A few years ago, we dyed eggs with some natural materials we had around the house: onion skins, berries, turmeric, and spinach. We tried two different methods for dyeing:
1. Boiling the natural materials in water, and then soaking the hard-boiled eggs in the liquid
2. Wrapping the eggs in the natural materials with cheesecloth and boiling them.
Boiled red onion skins
Boiled turmeric (with spinach? I don’t remember what’s up with the green flecks)
All the eggs steeping in the already-boiled dye baths. It’s suggested that you let them steep for an hour or more (overnight in the fridge is probably good).
Wrapping an egg in red onion skins and cheesecloth.
All wrapped up.
Wrapping an egg in spinach leaves.
Wrapping an egg with berries in cheesecloth.
Uhhh, this one looks kinda scary all wrapped up.
Eggs in the pan.
Eggs heating up in water.
Eggs after boiling for about 12-15 minutes. We probably should have used a separate pan for each type of egg.
Unwrapping the eggs was suspenseful. I love unpredictable crafting!
The boiled eggs looked kind of tie dyed. The onion skin egg was the boldest: looks like a rusty slate! The other two were pale purplish. The berries definitely permeated the spinach egg!
The soaked eggs were only soaked for an hour or so, and probably would have done better overnight. The “dye” was delicate and probably would have rubbed off with too much handling.
I was kind of disappointed when we first pulled everything out, but once we had them all in a bowl together, they looked pretty!
Natural Egg Dyeing Resources:
- Natural Egg Dyeing by Frontier Co-op – includes some helpful hints
- About.com Chemistry Guide to Natural Egg Dyes – includes a chart of materials and colors
- Chart of Natural Dye Colors & hints at Lakewood.com – good tips for dye materials
- Egg Dyeing Recipes at Tatertots & Jello
Other Egg & Dyeing Resources:
- Dyeing Eggs with Kool-Aid at Gingerbread Snowflakes (it’s not natural, but it’s fun)
- Egg decorating roundup at A Bit of This and A Bit of That
- Natural dyes for twine at Living With Lindsay