Spring is in full swing and Easter is less than two weeks away—have you made plans for how you’ll celebrate? Dyeing eggs is a quintessential Easter tradition, especially if you have little ones at home. Historians suggest that dyed eggs have been associated with Easter since at least the 13th century; their symbolic link to spring’s rebirth and fertility made decorated eggs a popular seasonal gift in medieval times, often presented to lords of the manor or as a special offering at church on Good Friday. Today, they remain one of the most recognizable symbols of Easter, and you’ve likely seen egg dyeing kits pop up on your grocery store shelf in recent weeks.
This year, consider trading out those technicolor dyes from the store in favor of a more natural approach. Did you know that you can achieve gorgeously colorful Easter eggs using simple materials found in your own kitchen? Read on to find our natural egg dyeing how-to, then hop to it!
Natural dye ingredients (see below)
White eggs (other shell colors may react differently to natural dyes)
1. Choose Your Colors: Start by selecting your colors and gathering your natural dye ingredients. Here are a few common options and the ratios you’ll use to create your dye solution:
Red or Purple Cabbage = Blue Eggs [use 1 cup per cup of water]
Turmeric = Yellow Eggs [use 2 tablespoons per cup of water]
Red Onion Skins = Lavender or Red Eggs [use 1 cup per cup of water]
Yellow Onion Skins = Orange Eggs [use 1 cup per cup of water]
Shredded Beets = Pink Eggs [use 1 cup per cup of water]
Chopped Spinach = Light Green Eggs [use 1.5 cups per cup of water]
Coffee = Tan Eggs [use strong coffee in place of water]
2. Make Your Dye: Add your chosen dye ingredient to the pot along with water, using the ratios above. Expect to use around four cups of dye for every dozen eggs. Add a tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of water. Bring the dye mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture into a large bowl to remove the solid ingredients, then return the liquid to the pot.
3. Color Your Eggs: Natural egg dyeing differs from synthetic options in that you’ll hard boil the raw eggs right in the dyeing liquid. Gently place your eggs into the dyeing liquid, then bring to a boil. Allow the eggs to boil until you achieve your desired depth of color—this may be just a few moments for pastel eggs, or up to 20 minutes for more saturated hues. (For very dark colors, you can also leave the eggs in the dyeing liquid after boiling and store them in the fridge overnight.)
4. Dry and Enjoy!: Once your eggs have reached the desired color, remove them from the dye using tongs, gently pat them dry with paper towels, and place them on a drying rack until the color is set. Once dry, they’re ready for egg hunts, Easter baskets, and springtime decorating!
Are you planning to celebrate Easter with any sweet springtime crafts? Share your favorite traditions in the comments!
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