Easy Natural Egg Dyes: 2 Ways

2014 natural easter egg dyes

I’ve been fascinated for the past few years with natural egg dyes and love trying new methods out. It’s not quite as exciting for the kids as natural dyes tend to take a long time to get super pretty / vibrant, but then again they are usually pretty content with the plastic eggs filled with candy so I’ve been able to get away with my natural dye experiments for the past few years with little complaint.

This year I stuck to just two dyes – a blue dye made with red cabbage and a reddish dye made with yellow onion skins. Seriously apart from water, a splash of vinegar and a bit of baking soda – those were the only ingredients. Here’s how I made each dye:

Red Cabbage Based Blue Egg Dye

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • water
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • baking soda if desired

Directions:

  1. Cut up one head of cabbage and put it in a saucepan.
  2. Add water until cabbage is covered and boil for 20-30 minutes. We boiled for 20 minutes and it was a pretty vibrant blue color so we called it a day.
  3. We chilled our dye overnight mostly because we are lazy and didn’t get back to it that day.
  4. The next day I added a tablespoon of vinegar to the dye. Vinegar tends to lighten the dye so if you want a darker color you can add baking soda to get the color just right.
  5. Add your eggs and refrigerate if hard boiled as they’ll need to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes in the egg dye for a light blue color and up to overnight for a darker blue.

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from lightest to darkest: 30 minutes, a few hours, over night

Yellow Onion Skin Based Red Egg Dye

20140419_161554Ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium yellow onion skins (use the onions sooner than later)
  • water
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • baking soda if desired

Directions:

  1. Peel the skins off 4-5 yellow onions and put skins in a sauce pan. Add water until onion skins are covered.
  2. You can EITHER boil your eggs in this mixture for 10 minutes OR boil the mixture for 20-30 minutes and then use the dye to color pre-boiled eggs. We did both and unsurprisingly the eggs we boiled in the mixture did not get as dark as the eggs that were able to sit overnight in the egg dye.
  3. Add vinegar to your dye to help in the dying process. Add baking soda to darken the dye of desired.

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Egg on the left was dyed in the red dye first then the blue dye.

The other four were dyed in the red dye overnight.

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We also attempted a green color by adding one of the eggs boiled in the yellow onion skin dye (which resulted in a yellowish egg) into the blue dye. This was the result – interesting but a bit icky looking?

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Here are two of the blue eggs with the one yellowish egg that we kept from the eggs boiled in the yellow onion skin dye (the others we experimented with).

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Over all, I think I preferred the blue dye made with the red cabbage. 

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How does your family like to decorate Easter eggs?

Got a favorite natural dye recipe I should try?

 

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