We try to keep it all natural as much as possible around our house, even when it comes to things like Easter eggs. Way back when food colouring didn’t exist, various fruits, vegetables and spices were used as dye. So rather than using an egg dyeing kit, we decided to experiment using food to dye our Easter eggs this year. Our eggs turned out beautifully and it was such a great experiment to do with our kids. We were even able to talk about primary and secondary colours on the colour wheel and everyone had a chance to make predictions as to the final colour of each egg. We just had to share this DIY on how to naturally dye Easter eggs so you too can have pretty table decorations for Easter dinner.
We used turmeric, beets, red cabbage and spinach for our various dyes. The turmeric, beets and red cabbage all produced fairly darkly coloured eggs, while the spinach egg was much lighter and needed to stay in the dye solution longer. Use this recipe as a starting off point and try out different food ingredients to make your own colours. Onion skins, tea or coffee, raspberries, blueberries, and even paprika are all other great ingredients to try!
All-Natural Easter Egg Dye Recipe
- 4 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp of white vinegar
- yellow: 3 Tbsp turmeric
- blue: a quarter to a half of a red cabbage, chopped
- red/pink: 3 – 4 beets, chopped
- green: 1 bag of spinach
Place the water, vinegar and your selected colour ingredient into a pot and boil for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid into a glass jar (note – you won’t be able to strain the turmeric, unless you use a cheese cloth, but we didn’t find it necessary to do). Place hardboiled white eggs into each of the jars. Stir often for even colouring. Leave them in the dye for at least 30 minutes up to overnight for darker more vibrant colours.
As any kindergartener will tell you, blue and yellow make green! So you can use your base colours to create lots of different coloured eggs. We used two different ways to make some secondary colours. You can first dye the egg one colour for 30 minutes and then place it in a different coloured dye. We found that this way produced darkly coloured eggs, particularly if we used the red cabbage dye. Alternatively, you can mix different dyes in a new jar; we found this produced a more muted colour.
Here are a few of the different combinations we tried:
Quite possibly the best part of this experiment are the endless options for varying shades and colours of the eggs. Give each kiddo their own set of jars and hard-boiled eggs and allow them to try out different techniques. What about only putting a bit of dye in a jar so half the egg gets coloured? Or mixing all the colours you’ve made together in one jar? What happens if you use a brown egg rather than a white one?
So give this old-school style of creating beautiful Easter eggs a try. We bet you and the kids will have an eggcellent time!
Searching for some creative Easter egg hunt ideas? We’ve got you covered!
By: Michelle Hughes