How to Make Homemade Easter Egg Dyes

Dyed easter eggs in cartons

Egg dyeing with kids can be a fun Easter activity, especially if you embrace the mess. We like to use 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, 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.

How to Make Coloriffic Dyes

Why use make your own Easter egg 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.

How to Make Homemade Easter Egg Dyes

Homemade Easter Egg Dye

Try our recipe using beets, blueberries and turmeric.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method: 

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.

How to Make DIY Colors

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

Homemade 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.

Vegan Alternatives to Easter Egg Dye

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.

  • 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.

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