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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

April 12, 2012

This year my mom planned a little Easter egg decorating party at my house. Easter egg decorating, along with Christmas package wrapping, is something my family takes seriously. Very seriously. We don’t do it without several different types of glue, and there are typically no less than 300 different options of things you can decorate them with. My mom and I had been talking about trying some natural dyes the last several years we’ve decorated eggs, and so I decided to finally give it a try this year. I initially thought I’d only do a few colors, but then I got excited about it, and my dad requested a red dye, and soon I was sending my husband out the door for two dozen more eggs and some paprika.

We were so enamored with the process that we actually left most of the glue, lace and sequins to the kiddos while we messed around with the cabbage and chamomile. We took tips from here and here to produce the dyes. I was tempted to leave some of them overnight, but I could feel the shells getting softer (especially the dyes that had vinegar in them) and chickened out. (Ummm… no pun intended.)

The eggs didn’t seem to be very dark or color-rich (especially compared to the store-bought egg dyes we were also messing around with) but as soon as we took them out and sat them next to each other they began to develop distinct personalities.

drying on the dish rack

I loved how the eggs were so naturally beautiful. The eggs didn’t dye uniformly so each had variations of color, sometimes subtle and sometimes drastic. The little ‘imperfections’ and minute cracks in each egg were highlighted.



half beets, half paprika– we couldn’t ever get the paprika to dissolve into the water



grape juice (left=not rinsed off, right=rinsed)

grape juice (not rinsed)

purple cabbage

I think I will probably only dye eggs this way from now on. The dye materials can go straight to my compost pile or be re-used (as in the blueberry oatmeal we had the next morning) and they turn out so beautiful.

For those of you who knit, here’s a creative way to use the rest of your egg dye, and for those of you who eat, I highly recommend turning all of those hard boiled eggs into the most amazing (curried) egg salad ever, as I’m about to do.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 6:18 pm

    Hi Alicia! You don’t have your own chickens yet, do you? The eggs are GORGEOUS! Well done!

  2. soraya allies permalink
    April 13, 2012 12:54 am

    If you left the egg in vinegar, the shell would have dissolved a bit. Marvin did an experiment where he put a raw egg in vinegar for a week and when he took it out, it was transparent and bouncy. I’ll send you the video.

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    • April 13, 2012 7:06 am

      That’s awesome! My dad said in high school he did an experiment where they softened the egg shell, then warmed up an empty wine bottle in the oven. Then they set the egg on top of the wine bottle- as soon as the air cooled down it sucked the egg into the bottle. I kind of wanted to try it 🙂

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