Get the Recipe: Naturally Dyed Eggs
Since having kids, I keep my eye out for activities that will spark creativity but are easy enough for even the littlest of the group to participate in. Holidays are always a great time for simple craft projects, and one of our favorites come spring is Easter egg dyeing.
Egg dyeing with kids can be a stressful experience, but this is a great time to embrace the mess and just get down and dirty! We like to use natural dyes made from everyday ingredients — combine the dyes with these tips for an eggcellent experience.
- Set up your dye station outside to avoid messy spills.
- Dress the kids in play clothes, just in case.
- Be sure to have snacks on hand to prevent the crabbies, but make sure kids wash their hands after eating to avoid crumbs getting into the dyes.
- Boil your eggs and make the dyes the day before to save time on decorating day.
- Make sure your cooked eggs don’t stay out of the fridge longer than 2 hours — they’re not safe to eat after that!
Why use natural dyes? For starters, you probably already have many of the ingredients in your pantry. It’s also a great way to combine a science lesson with fun, and there are no worries about what might be in those mysterious dye packets.
Try our recipe for Naturally Dyed Eggs, using beets, blueberries and turmeric.
- 2 cups roughly chopped, raw beets (for pink/red), OR
- 2 cups blueberries, crushed (for blue/purple), OR
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (for yellow/gold)
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- Hard-boiled eggs
Put your choice of coloring ingredient (beets, blueberries or turmeric) into a small pot with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding any solids, and then stir in vinegar. Set aside to let cool until warm or room temperature.
To color eggs, submerge in dye, turning often for even coating, until desired color is reached. For more colors, dye eggs first in one color, then wipe dry and dye in a second color.
For more colors, try some of these options. You might need to adjust amounts to get the color you desire, and remember that the color will get deeper the longer you steep!
- Yellow — Lemon or orange peels, carrots or celery seed
- Orange — Paprika, cumin, chili powder or yellow onion skins
- Red/Pink — Cranberries, raspberries or radishes
- Purple — Hibiscus tea
- Blue/Lavender — Red cabbage, blackberries, purple or red grape juice
- Green — Spinach leaves
- Brown/Beige — Coffee, tea or walnuts
Natural egg dyes often produce their own mottled pattern, but you can also create designs by wrapping kitchen twine around the egg before dipping, or produce leaf patterns by placing a leaf on the egg, then wrapping it in nylon stocking. The results are gorgeous!
Avoid eggs but still want to get in on the Easter fun? Try these vegan egg alternatives!
- Wooden eggs are available at most craft stores. Paint or adorn with stickers and washi tape for a long-lasting decoration!
- Try ceramic eggs! These from Eggnots can be dyed just like real bird eggs to get the full experience.
- Craft papier-mâche eggs using water balloons and colorful crepe paper.
- Often used at Christmastime, salt dough is great for making flat eggs for painting. Poke a hole in the top and string them for a festive garland.
- Bake up vegan cut-out cookies like these Whole Wheat-Almond Butter Cookies, cut into egg shapes, and decorate with vegan icing and sprinkles.
How do you decorate eggs at Easter? Share your tips in the comments!