Photo by Melody

Dyeing Eggs Naturally

By Karen Jones (karri_sueMarch 18, 2008

Do you remember dyeing eggs with the little color tablet? It seemed that you were only limited by your imagination. Now that you're grown, are you looking for something a bit more sophisticated?

Gardening picture

My older sister always did things better than me.  I tried to do things just like her but I just didn't measure up.  Well, sis, I think my eggs are prettier than your eggs ever were!  It only took me 45 years to finally measure up! 

 Everything you need is probably in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer.  You will need small bowls, vinegar, and vegetable oil.  Also have on hand paper towels and cleanser in case you get some of the dye on the counter as some of them will stain.  I use an old saucepan to boil the dyes in.

Golden Yellow can be made with turmeric. Place raw eggs in saucepan and cover with water.  Add 1 tablespoon turmeric for each cup of water.  Stir well.  Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  Bring water to a boil; cover and remove from heat.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  Allow eggs to stay in the liquid until the desired color is reached.  Eggs accept this dye rapidly so check often.  Turmeric stains easily so be careful!


     Turmeric and Blueberry 

Orange/Brown can be made by using onion skins.  Boil a couple handfuls of skins in 1 quart of water, covered, for 20 minutes.  Pour liquid through a strainer into an enamel or stainless steel pan, pressing skins to extract dye; discard skins.  Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  Lower raw eggs into dye and simmer gently, uncovered for 20 minutes.  Let eggs sit in dye for at least 1 hour.

Blue/Purple can be made from blueberries.  Crush 1 cup fresh or thawed blueberries.  Add 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  Place hard cooked eggs in a bowl and cover with the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Pale Pink can be made from raspberries.  Strain a thawed 10 ounce package of frozen raspberries in a small saucepan.  Stir 1 tablespoon of vinegar into the raspberries and pour over raw eggs with the liquid above the eggs.  If necessary use a second package of raspberries.  Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 15 minutes.  Place eggs and juice in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.  


   Onion, Cabbage and Raspberry

Robin's-egg Blue can be made with red cabbage.  Place raw eggs in the bottom of a large pan.  Place 2 cups cabbage on top of eggs and cover with water.  Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and bring to a boil.  Gently simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let eggs cool in the dye for about 2 hours.

There are other dyes you can use, I have just given directions for my favorites.  Beets, carrot tops and blackberries can be used as well.  Experiment and see what you come up with.

These eggs are not meant to be eaten, just displayed. You can rub the eggs with a paper towel dipped in oil after they have dried.  This brings out the color and highlights.

I hope I have inspired you to try dyeing eggs naturally, it's a little more effort, but as you can see it is well worth it!

  About Karen Jones  
I live in the mountains of San Diego county in a tiny rural town. I inherited a love for gardening from my mother and use herbs and flowers from my garden to make bath products.

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