Dying Easter Eggs is a tradition we partake in every year. If you do too, and decide to go the natural route this year, there are a few options you can try at home with things you already may have in your pantry or commercially produced options as well.
Before you dye your eggs, make sure to wash and dry the outer shell to remove anything that might prevent the dye from taking.
Also, if you choose to use organic eggs, they are typically brown, so your colors will look more “rustic” than if you use white eggs and you will have to let them stay in the dye water longer to get deeper colors.
Use a wire wisk and put the egg inside to dye Easter eggs easier and with less mess. I saw this tip a few years ago and thought it was brilliant. We’ve done it this way ever since.
We dyed our eggs in metal bowls, coffee cups and reused Stonyfield Greek Yogurt cups. All great eco friendly options!
DIY NATURAL EASTER EGG DYES
If you want to skip the kit and do it yourself here are some natural ways to color your eggs. Note that eggs dyed naturally will be much more “rustic” looking. I actually like it as it looks more “earthy”. The longer you The longer you leave the egg in the dye, the darker the color will become, so if you are dying with impatient little ones, you may have to stick the eggs back in the dye when they go to sleep
Pink & Red: Boil a few chopped or mashed beets with 3 cups of water and 1 tbsp of vinegar. Strain liquid into cup for dying eggs. You can also use the juice from canned beets. You do not have to use the vinegar, but it supposedly helps the color “stick”.
You can also try cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice, but beets seem to work the best.
Blue & Purple: We tried blueberry juice and concord grape juice to get blue. The blueberry juice gave us a more dark grey/blue color, but it was pretty. I have also read that shredding red cabbage and boiling it with 1 tbsp of vinegar will give you a great blue. Add a bit of baking soda instead of vinegar to make it more purple. The idea here is the PH balance. More acidic will give you a deeper blue and less acidic will give you a purple color.
Yellow & Orange: Turmeric is the best for this. Boil the turmeric (1 tbsp) in water and then use that as the dye. We also tried paprika, but it came out a little brownish-yellow. Still a nice color, but not the yellow we were hoping for.
Green: Add spinach to water and boil on the stove. Retain the juice to use as your dye and add a tbsp of vinegar. Again, the longer you leave it in, the darker it will get.
Brown: Good old coffee will do the trick for brown shades. Simply brew a cup and add a tbsp of vinegar. Leave it in overnight for a dark brown color. This is a little scary as it gets me thinking of what it is doing to my teeth!
NATURAL EASTER EGG DYING KITS
I have to say, boiling all of these items in different pans and making a huge mess makes me think that the eco coloring kits are the way to go. We created quite the mess of pans and bowls doing our natural dye tests.
If the DIY method above isn’t for you, here are some commercial kits to try:
Eco-Kids USA Eco-Eggs Egg Coloring Kit. This kit is made with natural and organic fruit, plant and vegetable extracts from annatto seed, curcumin, purple sweet potato and red cabbage. We used this kit last year and were pleased with the natural colors it produced.
GLOB Natural Easter Coloring Kit. This is new this year and I actually saw it at the Natural Products Expo West. IT uses not artificial dyes or chemicals and uses blue cabbage, yellow/orange annatto, and purple radish to produce the colors.
We Can Too Nature’s Magic Egg Dyeing Kit. This is also new (or new to me at least) and is made from fruit and vegetable powders. It includes an organic food grade wax crayon in the kit.
Available at Abe’s Market for $14.40.