Easter is a wonderful time to do stuff with family!
Here you can see how we use beets to dye the eggs.
Yellow onion skins can also be used to create a unique mottled texture on the eggs surface after the dye is applied. This leads to many shades of beige and a naturally beautiful look!
Easter Egg Dyes: The Natural Way
Years ago, my then gardener Jody Main, taught me how to make beautiful Easter Eggs using natural dyes. It was wonderful, I no longer had to buy those crazy little kits with the artificial bright colors; further, I could use what I have in my garden or in my pantry. Jody was well versed in the history of Easter Egg dying, and of course, after I thought about it, it became obvious that for hundreds of years families had only used natural dyes.
After many years of dying eggs Jody simplified the process to only use three dying materials: raw beets, yellow onionskins, and frozen blueberries. With these basic reds, yellows, and blues you can combine the dyes in varying amounts to make just about any color in the rainbow. And all the dyed eggs shown here were made using only these three materials.
How to Dye Eggs the Natural Way
Before you start you will need to have on hand: a few stainless steel or enamel saucepans, vinegar, white eggs, and dye materials. For your color options consider the following:
Red – 2 cups of grated raw beets with 1 tablespoon vinegar; boiled with 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes (you could also use frozen cranberries, or strong jamaica tea [Red Zinger])
Yellow to Gold – 3 large hands full of yellow/brown onionskins simmered in 3 cups of water for about 15 minutes (you could also make yellow with strong chamomile tea or use 2 or 3 tablespoons of ground turmeric boiled in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes)
Blue – 1 pound crushed frozen blueberries boiled about 15 minutes (red cabbage leaves could be used for lavender shades)
Here are some of the guidelines:
·Boil white eggs until they are hard-boiled.
·Make the individual color dyes in 3 different stainless steel or enamel saucepans.
·Strain the dye mixtures through cheesecloth or a fine strainer for a uniform color; or for mottled, tie-dye, or a spotty effect leave the ingredients in the pan with the cooked beets, onion skins, or blueberries, and put the eggs directly in the pan to soak with the cooked ingredients.
·The longer you soak the eggs the deeper the color will be.
·Combine the different dyes in coffee cups to get different colors.
·To get special effects: dip one half of the egg in one color, the other half in another color. Or use a white crayon on the boiled egg to make circles, or your initials, etc., and then dye the egg.
Making Easter Eggs the natural way is a lovely way to get to know your colors and share the experience with children. No two eggs will ever be the same and the many different effects will bring out the artist in everyone.