Natural dye Easter eggs

For years, I’ve wanted to dye our Easter (or spring equinox, or whatever it is we’re actually celebrating these days) eggs from natural colors instead of buying the little Paas kit at the supermarket. What could be a better hands-on science activity for the kids than to watch veggies and other foods turn into food coloring? So, for the last two days I’ve been busy boiling various substances in the kitchen. A good $20 of beets, red cabbage, turmeric, coffee and onion skins turned the inside of our home into a smelly steam plant, the odor of which is still not completely gone.

The other problem, besides the intensive work of approximately 10 hours, was that almost every step required boiling something, and being that my children are young it was hard to involve them for much of the project. What looked so fun on the cover of Martha Stewart several years back resulted in my turning into a lunatic. “Kids, I’m busy. Can’t be helped. I’m coloring eggs. For you.” We did manage to have fun when it was time to soak the eggs – 30 minutes to an hour for each egg, versus 2 minutes in the Paas dye, but no matter that now – and it was really cool to watch how the simple act of boiling the egg directly in the dye changed the color dramatically.

And the results. The colors are so amazing – earthy, gorgeous tones more like the colors I use to decorate my home than the unnatural colors from the store-bought dye. Will I do it again next year? I just may love the colors enough to forget about the actual experience of it the following spring.


5 Responses to “Natural dye Easter eggs”

  1. 1 Cheeky March 22, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Oooh, what did you use to get that gorgeous turquoise…and the burgundy? And for that matter, the orange and gold? Very nice!

  2. 2 jenefur March 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Those colors are awesome!! Love ’em!!!

  3. 3 Kristina March 22, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Turquoise: Red cabbage, soaking for several hours
    Burgundy: Yellow onion skins, boiling egg in it
    Orange: Yellow onion skins, soaking egg at room temp
    Gold: Tumeric, boiling egg in it

  4. 4 Tiarnna March 25, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Oh those are sooo pretty!!! Hey! I know…..raise some chickens to get pretty colored eggs! I am getting Easter Eggers. 😉 They lay various shades of blues/greens/peaches. LOL

  5. 5 Agatha March 27, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Beautiful! Hey, do we read the same blog… ??

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