Looking to try something different with your Easter eggs this year? These fun recipes, using ingredients that are 100% natural, create vibrant and earthy colors that are sure to stand out.
To start, hard boil a dozen eggs. In addition to the ingredients below, you will need a saucepan, whisk, liquid measuring cup, a couple of spoons and some glass containers. I recommend using 16oz wide mouth Mason Jars. Each jar will hold 2 eggs comfortably and the wide mouth allows you to easily move the eggs around while working. Large cups or deep bowls also work well. Just be careful if you use plastic or ceramic containers as you are making dyes with hot water. Glass is easy to clean up and does not stain.
Yellow: Stir 2 Tbsp of Turmeric to 1 cup of boiling water. Add 2 Tbsp. white vinegar.
Orange: Peel skins off 6 yellow onions and add to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 15 mins, then strain. Stir in 1 Tbsp white vinegar.
Purple: Peel skins off 6 red onions and add to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 15 mins, then strain. Stir in 1 Tbsp white vinegar. **It is important to note that when I originally researched this process this was supposed to create a lime green color. I think because I added some of the actual onion, not just the flaky skin, I changed the outcome of color.
Blue: Take 1/4 of a head of red cabbage and cut into chunks. Add to 4 cups of boiling water and stir in 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Let cabbage soak until the water is cool and strain out the chunks. Pour liquid over eggs and soak overnight.
All the colors shown are the result of letting the eggs sit overnight in jars. It is best to do this in the fridge so the eggs don’t spoil. When removing the eggs from the jars, you might notice a slimy film on the shells from the dye. This is natural and not something to worry about. Gently rinse with water and this will go away.
To get the “brushed” two-tone finish that you see in the photos, I used a damp cloth or my finger to wipe off patches of the dye to create the painted look I was going for. To get the bright solid colors, I gently rinsed and placed in a bowl to dry. It’s fun to play with different options and the beauty of dying with natural ingredients is that the results will be perfectly imperfect.
To add a shine to the finished eggs, moisten a paper towel with some vegetable oil and lightly rub down the eggs. Always remember to keep the eggs refrigerated until you are ready to show them.
Of course, not everything went as planned. I did try 2 other colors without success which are not shown here.
- Lavender called for 1 cup grape juice mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. My results were white eggs with brownish spots and a thick film and and almost salty like finish on the outside. I washed them and let them sit for a few hours in the red cabbage mixture which made a paler blue version.
- Paprika follows the same process as turmeric and was supposed to result in a red-brick color. Unfortunately, all I seemed to do was dye my fingers. The eggs themselves were a muddy brown. I think that the paprika I used was too old and that could have affected the color. I’m not 100% sure.
If you are looking for additional inspiration and other colors to try, click here for more info.