Dyeing Easter eggs is a fun tradition that’s been around for centuries. So, how did our ancestors make all of those bright colors back before commercial egg dyes were sold in stores every spring? They used fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, and other pantry items.
Making natural Easter egg dye colors out of fruits, vegetables, and other everyday items you can find in your home or garden is both easy and fun. Everything from onion skins to grass can be used to make vibrant, all-natural colors. Just throw the raw materials into the boiling water while you cook the eggs—you’ll need to boil each color separately—and you’re good to go!
For really vivid color, be sure to add at least a half a cup of the dyeing material (such as berries), and two teaspoons of vinegar, for each cup of water you use.
In a medium pan, put in a single layer of eggs, enough water to cover them, and your dyeing materials. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the eggs and dye mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. If you want the color on your eggs to be darker, let the eggs soak in the dye mixture in the fridge overnight.
Here are some natural ingredients you can use for various dye colors:
Purple: Grape juice, red wine, violets (works best mashed into a paste with lemon juice).
Blue: Canned blueberries (including the juice), red cabbage leaves.
Green: Grass cuttings, spinach leaves.
Yellow: Ground Cumin or turmeric, orange or lemon peels.
Brown: Coffee, strong tea.
Orange: Carrots, chili powder, paprika. yellow onion skins.
Pink: Canned beets (with juice), cranberry juice, raspberries.
Red: Canned cherries (with juice), Pomegranate juice, red onions skins.
After Easter is over, be sure to put those leftover eggs to use with these easy and tasty recipes!
Jaime McLeod is a longtime journalist who has written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including MTV.com. She enjoys the outdoors, growing and eating organic food, and is interested in all aspects of natural wellness.