Even though our guys are older, they still enjoy dying Easter eggs. We’re an arts and crafts kind of family so it’s an activity right up our alley. We had missed dying Easter eggs the past couple of years so I decided I wanted to make this happen this year. When the stars aligned this week and the grocery store wasn’t sold out of all the white eggs as I’ve experienced in years past, I was excited to return to Easter egg dying. Once I boiled the eggs, and we were set to go, I realized we didn’t have any dye. Ruh-roh! We don’t use dye so we don’t keep it on hand. Instead of journeying back out to the grocery store, I decided we’d make our own natural dyes with what we already have at home.
This is where the experimentation, creativity and fun began. We looked around our kitchen to see what we already had for making some natural dyes. My first thought was what typically stains my hands when I’m cooking. The guys helped me brain storm. The most obvious two ingredients we decided are beets and turmeric. If you’ve worked with these two roots before, you know they don’t typically wash off easily. They actually create pretty stubborn stains. Coffee and tea also came to mind as they leave stains on lighter colored surfaces (unfortunately, our teeth being one of those surfaces!). Looking for a blue and green to add, we decided to experiment with blueberries and a greens powder we usually put in our smoothies. In the interest of time, we decided to stop here, but I’m sure there are so many other options yet to be discovered. You really can get creative with natural dyes for your Easter eggs.
WHAT WE USED
Beet Juice (left over from a jar of picked beets) – PINK
Turmeric Powder (1 T. dissolved in 8 oz. boiling water) – YELLOW
Espresso (6-8 oz. brewed) – TAN
Passion Fruit Tea (1 bag steeped in 8 oz. boiling water) – GREEN (yes, we were also surprised it turned out green!)
*As mentioned above, we tried blueberries and a greens powder we had on hand, but did not have good luck with these two ingredients producing any color on the eggs. Next time, I think I’ll use more of the fruit and powder. Or perhaps I’ll try something different.
HOW TO MAKE
In smaller bowls, add 1 T. white vinegar to each of your liquid dye solutions.
Add a couple of eggs to each bowl and allow to process. With natural dyes, it takes longer for the eggs to take the color. If you want deeper, more vibrant colors, it will take hours (3-4 or for some perhaps even over night). We wanted softer, more muted colors so it took our eggs about an hour or so to process.
Once desired color depth is achieved, remove eggs from dye solution and allow to dry on paper towels.
I consider our little experiment in making our own natural dyes for Easter eggs a big success! We’ll definitely make our own dyes again. And when next year rolls around, we look forward to playing around with some different ingredients to concoct other colors to add to what worked well this go around. I’m definitely in search of a natural blue and orange, maybe a purple too. Let us know if you have any brilliant ideas! Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate!