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Instead of composting or trashing all those vegetable scraps over the next few days, put them to use! Natural egg dye can be easily made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. This is a fun activity for the whole family and you can avoid all the nasty artificial dyes found in typical egg dying kits.
Keep in mind that these natural ingredients are going to take a longer time to dye your eggs than the synthetic dyes. Plan to let your hard boiled eggs soak overnight. The good news is that these dyes will work on brown eggs too! Just expect the color to appear much darker.
How To Make Natural Dye
Add four cups of water, four cups of the chopped or mashed ingredient, and two tablespoons of vinegar to a pot. If you are using one of the spices such as turmeric or chili powder add four tablespoons to the water and vinegar mixture. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20-30 minutes, depending on how dark you would like the dye. Make the dye a few shades darker than you would like the egg to be. Strain and pour into a large glass container, as these dyes are capable of staining plastic containers. Add your hard boiled eggs into each container and let them soak overnight in the fridge.
- Purple cabbage for blue (green on brown eggs)
- Turmeric for yellow
- Chili powder for orange
- Beets for pink
- Blueberries for purple
- Spinach for green
- Yellow onion skins for a yellow/orange color
- Red onion skins for red
- Grape juice for light purple
- Coffee (strongly brewed) for tan/brown
*The grape juice and coffee do not need to be boiled.
Add Some Designs
Let your kids add designs to the eggs with a white crayon or wax, or let your little ones add stickers. These areas will retain the egg shell color even after soaking in the dye.
You can also place petals or leaves on your egg and secure them with pantyhose or cheesecloth. Let your egg soak as directed above. Once the egg is done and the pantyhose are removed the area where the petal was will be left white (or brown) for a beautiful and unique design.
Photo credits: Main image with eggs and vegetables and finished egg designs adapted from somewhereintheworldtoday (CC BY 2.0); Kids with homemade dyes adapted from The Paessel Family (CC BY 2.0); Bunny design on egg adapted from Sara Laval (CC BY 2.0).