There is nothing like the fresh air of spring to reinvigorate my commitment to green living. Which is why, when it came to coloring Easter eggs this year natural dyes were the natural choice.
Every year, eco-friendly families shun the chemicals in mass-market Easter egg dyes by choosing to color eggs with natural alternatives. Not only are “green eggs” healthier if you choose to eat them later, but they are better for the planet because you won’t be tossing dye-laden chemicals down the drain.
Another reason for go green when coloring Easter eggs is to save money. Granted, if you go out and buy everything on this list you may as well pick up a few golden eggs why you’re out because you won’t save much. But most families won’t need a trip to the store. You can gather the supplies to color Easter eggs in your kitchen or garden and be ready to start dyeing in about 5 minutes. Natural egg dyeing is a spontaneous craft that can easily occupy an afternoon with the kids.
Many of these natural coloring sources are the same tried and true ingredients that were used for centuries, long before PAAS starting cooking up color dye tablets in his neighborhood store.
By now you’re probably wondering what’s the magical secret of how to color eggs with natural dyes. The instructions are simple, if a bit more time consuming than coloring Easter eggs with a store-bought kit.
Use this simple tutorial and non-toxic household ingredients to get started and then feel free to experiment. Many of the imaginative tricks for coloring eggs with dye packs will also work with this natural method. Wrap your eggs with string, drip the eggs with wax prior to dyeing, go for a marbled finish. There’s a rainbow of ways to dye eggs and still stay green.
How to Color Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes 101
* Gather your materials. Pick your colors from the natural selection of egg dyes at the end of this article. You will need one pot for each color unless you plan on coloring the eggs in batches.
1. Use a straight pin to poke a tiny hole into each egg’s bottom before gently placing them into a pot. Use enough water to cover the eggs (Just like when boiling eggs the rest of the year, the pinprick will help keep your Easter eggs from cracking!)
2. Add a splash of vinegar to the pot along with your preferred dyeing agent — vegetable, spice, etc.
3. Bring the whole mix to a boil and then let your eggs continue to simmer for around 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. By now you should be able to see the true hue of your Easter eggs.
4. If the color is right, then it’s time to let the eggs dry. Set them out on a sheet of parchment paper until the dye has had a chance to set. Buff with a bit of oil, or enjoy the natural hues of mother Earth as is.
If you want a deeper color, then you’ll need to let the eggs soak up the dye for a while longer. First use a slotted spoon to remove any vegetable matter from the liquid dye. For smaller coloring agents, you may need to use a strainer. Coloring eggs is all about what colors make you happy. So let your eggs sit and soak for as long as you want. If you plan to soak for more than an hour, be sure to refrigerate the mixture. Leave your eggs in overnight to skip the pastels and create a set of rich, jewel-toned eggs in beet red, onion gold and blueberry sapphire.
Now that you know how to color Easter eggs, check out this list of natural Easter Egg dyes. We;ve rounded up the first 12 colors. See how many colors you can make while still keeping your eggs green.
Household Ingredients for Coloring Eggs
- yellow — saffron, tumeric, green tea, orange peel
- orange — onion skins, paprika
- brown — coffee, black tea
- brown-gold — dill seed
- brown-orange — chili powder
- light pink —beets, cranberries
- red — red onion skins (lots), pomegranate juice
- yellow-green — green apple peels,
- green — spinach leaves
- blue — blueberries, red cabbage
- indigo — blueberries
- lavender —red zinger tea, splash or grape juice
- purple — red wine
When coloring eggs with natural plant-based dyes you won’t get the same shiny exterior as wuth chemical dyes. Natural dyes will give your eggs an earthy, matte finish. However, if you just can’t go with the shine, rub a dab vegetable oil onto your eggs and buff them to a gorgeous finish.