Using a variety of vegetables and spices, naturally dyed Easter eggs are a fun activity your kids will love.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a very crafty person. My creative and artistic talents lie almost exclusively in the cooking department. However, every once in awhile I stumble onto a craft that I actually enjoy and am reasonably good at. In this case it’s Easter eggs…probably because in some aspect, there’s food involved ;). My kids and I have been naturally dyeing eggs for a few years now. What started out as a fun little experiment has turned into an annual event that we all enjoy. First, we head off to the grocery store in search of white eggs (because the farm eggs I usually buy are almost always a shade of brown, so not quite as good for dyeing) and a few different vegetables to make the dye. The produce section of your local grocery store is full of natural dyes just waiting to be discovered.
Once home, we cook up the dyes and set them aside to cool while we head outside to search for leaves and flowers to use to make imprints on the eggs. This is one of the coolest parts and easily the part the kids enjoy the most. Using old stockings to hold the leaves tightly to the eggs, we set them in the dye to do their thing and when we take them out a couple hours later, it’s always an adventure to see how the patterns turned out and exactly what shade of a given colour the eggs have become. If you’ve never tried naturally dying your eggs before, I encourage you to give it a go. It’s easier than it seems, and definitely way more fun.
For this recipe, I’ve stuck to primary colours, but there’s so many more colours you can create:
Red cabbage = blue
Beets = dark pink
Tumeric = yellow
yellow onion skins = brown
red onion skins = green
blueberries = bluish grey
paprika = reddish orange
- 2 Cups red cabbage, chopped
- 3 beets, roughly chopped
- 3/4 Cup tumeric, roughly chopped
- 3/4 Cup vinegar
- 9 Cups water
- hard boiled eggs
- elastic bands or twist ties
- a variety of leaves, herbs or flowers
- In a saucepan, place the cabbage and cover with 3 Cups of water.
- Bring to simmer over low-medium heat and cook for 15 minutes.
- Scoop or strain the cabbage out of the liquid and discard, then mix 1/4 Cup of the vinegar into the liquid and set aside to cool.
- Repeat steps 1 -3 with the beets and tumeric.
- Once the dyes have cooled, place the 1 or 3 leaves on the surface of an egg and place it in a stocking, being careful to keep the leaf in place.
- Pull the stocking tightly around the egg and tie or wrap an elastic around the ends to hold it in place.
- Place the egg in the dye and let set for at least 1 hour. The longer the eggs are left in the dye, the richer the colour will be.