This Easter, skip the store-bought egg-dyeing kit and experiment with natural dyes found in your own kitchen. Natural dyes provide a depth and variety of color and tone that the packaged, tablet dyes can’t deliver. Plus, everyone will have an opportunity to see how everyday foods can be used to create beautiful treasures for the Easter morning egg hunt.
- Plain white hard-boiled eggs
- white vinegar
- a selection of natural dyes
- pots for boiling
- bowls to hold dyes
- slotted spoons.
- Optional: crayons or wax pencils, rubber bands, fresh
raspberries, sponge, oil.
- Begin with a dozen hard-boiled eggs. Choose the materials that
you will need to create your natural dyes. You can use fresh,
frozen or canned produce. Some of the materials will need to be
boiled first in order to impart color.
- Add white vinegar-two to three teaspoons per cup of dyeing
liquid-to all of the dye materials to create a deeper color.
- Dip your egg into the dye and allow it to sit for at least five
minutes. Check the egg to see if it has reached the desired color.
If not, let the egg sit in the dye for more time.
- If you want to achieve a more intensely colored egg, strain the
dye through a coffee filter or sturdy paper towel.
- Cover the eggs with the filtered dye and refrigerate
- Allow the eggs to dry completely in an empty egg carton or on a
rack. Use caution when handling the wet eggs because the dye will
easily smudge off.
- Refrigerate the eggs when you are done working with them.
You can also experiment with a variety of embellishments.
- Try drawing on the eggs with a crayon or wax pencil before
dyeing to make words or designs.
- To create a textured look, dab wet eggs with a sponge or
- Cover egg with rubber bands to make a tie-dyed effect.
- Smash raspberries directly onto the egg to create a mottled
- To create a subtle sheen, rub the dry egg with cooking
(Note: Wear smocks or aprons for this project to avoid
staining your clothes and be prepared for some odors. Also, I
wouldn't recommend eating hard-boiled eggs that have been dyed
using this method because they may have taken on the flavor of the
materials used in the dye. Beet-flavored eggs? Yikes.)
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.