Friday, April 1, 2011

Vibrant Vegetable Dyed Easter Eggs

Well our much desired spring seems to be playing an April fools trick on us today... by bringing us snow! So I decided today would be a good day to share our Easter egg project ~ knowing that the "real" Spring shall shine her face upon us soon! This process took awhile and created quite the mess (my white counter now has so much character ; ) but was lots of fun!
This was a first for us so it was very thrilling to prepare it all, let it sit and then oh and ah the beautiful results.
There are so many different colors you can attempt to dye your eggs but we opted to try our hand at the three primary colors and see how it went.

To create ~ begin by taking your room temperature (helps with the process) eggs and pierce the top and bottom of the egg with a large needle. This can be done by kids (my eight year old loved the whole process) but obviously with care. Be sure to pierce the egg yoke to make for easier blowing. Then enlarge the hole at the end of the egg you will be blowing out from. It gets a little messy ~ we had eggs breaking, eggs landing on chairs, eggs on clothes and hands, but hey thats half the fun!

You can then rinse out your eggs and prepare your vegetable dye baths. 

 For red dye: Take 4 beets and roughly chop them. Combine it with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.
For yellow dye: Heat 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt in a saucepan. Add 6 tablespoon ground turmeric and stir well. Simmer for just a few minutes until the turmeric dissolves.
For blue dye: Take 1 large red cabbage (about 1 pound) and shred it. Combine in a saucepan with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid for dyeing.

If you want to play around with some other colors here is a helpful chart.

We had one little girl get so involved in the process she decided she needed to dress the part ... 

stirring her pot of medicinal goodness.

After you have strained and cooled your dye you can add your eggs. We got a little stuck as to how to keep our eggs from bobbing back up ~ hence we came up with this method. Seemed to work!

Then leave your eggs in their dye baths and let nature work its magic! We left our eggs in overnight to see how deep we could get the colors.

The results were lovely.

You can then drain your eggs (we placed ours upright into plants to drain), gently dry your eggs and then give them a rub down with a little oil to make them shine.

There are so many ways to go about creating beautiful eggs.
To name a few...

Tie-Dyed Eggs
Collect a handful of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Dye the eggs, remove them from the liquid and let them dry completely before pulling off the rubber bands.

Crayon Eggs
Perhaps the easiest technique of all is the color-with-crayons method. Simply draw a design onto your eggs and then dye as you would any other Easter egg.

Dip Dyed Eggs
Dip dyed eggs into a second coat of darker dye to add a whole new color. The first coat is boiled and the second is cold-dipped for 5 to 10 minutes. To cold-dip, place egg in a small glass bowl or paper cup and prop it up against the side. Some great color combinations include coffee and blueberry; turmeric and red cabbage; and onion skins and cranberry juice.

Wrapping with Onion Skins
This method is a little messy, but the results are always a pleasant surprise. Rub eggs with white vinegar and wrap in onion skins. Secure the skins with cotton string, dental floss, narrow rubber bands or nylon stocking. When boiled, the skins dye the shells giving a natural tie-dye look. To achieve a full, rich effect, practice using many layers of onion skins. Hint: Pre-dampening the skins helps them stick to the egg.

I thought perhaps we may use our pretty eggs for an Easter treasure hunt (by hiding the clues rolled up inside each egg ~ needing them to be smashed *gasp* to be found) and then having their Easter baskets at the end of the hunt. The girls also want to write wee love notes, roll them up tight and slide them inside the eggs to hand out as Easter gifts. We shall see what inspiration hits!

Have fun coloring your world!

~ Shanti ~


  1. Ahhh! I've been at a loss as to how to easily get blue! You are amazing - thank you! (:

  2. ooh, beautiful! Love that Easter grass basket!

  3. lovely indeed! excellent pictures. follow the link and check out my give away, your followers will love it:)

  4. Oh lovely! Now I've dyed eggs dozens of times, but i've never blown the egg out - we always just boiled them. It never occured to me to blow the insides out....

  5. Oh, the blue is SO brilliant! We've done the other 2 colors similarly with great success but never tried blue (we had chickens until we moved last year that laid blue and green eggs so we didn't need to ;) ). WE'll definitely try this next week!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. This post makes me want to color eggs this weekend. Thanks again for the crafting inspiration! :) You girls rocks.

    Oona Nicholas

  7. Our favorite thing to do with blown eggs is to fill them with (paper) confetti and smash them on each other's heads. Admittedly, we've never had eggs this beautiful to work with, though.

    The confetti just kind of stays inside, but if you're concerned, you could place a sticker or bit of tissue over the hole.

  8. Those colors are fantastic! We NEED some color.

  9. How Amazing!!!! Cannot wait to try this- thank you sooo much!

  10. Oh. My. Goodness. Amazing as always, you make this seem SO do able, thank you! (P.S. my daughter saw the post and wanted the 'easter eggs for easter' she kept asking me to 'get them out' -she's 2)

  11. These are what I always HOPE for but never get! Thanks so much for sharing...will try this with my class (brave soul that I am) and with my own kids...maybe I'll start blowing the eggs out NOW to be ready for next week! The blue is so beautiful.

  12. The colours are GORGEOUS! It's so satisfying dyeing with natural dyes. Have you seen the eggs at bigsislilsis? I think you would LOVE them.

  13. Whoa, I've never gotten such vibrant colors with natural dyes. BEAUTIFUL-

  14. A timely seasonal post! The eggs turned out beautifully and I look forward to giving the onion skins a try.

  15. Wonderful eggs! Thanks so much for sharing, I can't wait to give it a try.

  16. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful and informative post. I can't wait to try some of these with my kids this year. I love the photos...just look so vibrant and i love the idea of using NATURAL products for this annual activity. Thanks for sharing. (I follow and visit often). come by and say hello!

  17. those colours are amazing - thanks for the dying tips - what a great result. I never would have guessed that red cabbage would make blue.
    hmm there you go.

  18. W-S wanderings... I checked out those eggs and fell in love. You were so right. Shall have to give them a go!

  19. Oh, you are always so danged clever and esoteric. I think I want to be you when I grow up.

  20. We dyed some eggs with onion skins and loved the color! So fun! Those colors are bueaitful. I am featuring this at Grab my "featured" button.

  21. We've done "Psyanka" for years so we are familiar with blown eggs but when trying natural dyes I have never been able to get that vibrant blue! It is beautiful!! Thank-you so much for sharing!

  22. Fabulous! I did the same thing last week with the cabbage. I loved the results!
    PS- I also really love your Blog makeover!

  23. Hi!
    I just had a question. I died eggs with the beets and was really happy with the results when I took them out of the die, but after a while the color turned to brown and - well they were pretty in their own way but not what I expected... Have you had this experience in the past? Do you have an idea of what i didn't do right? i'm thinking of dying silk with the same method, but i'm looking for reddish color - not brown! Thank you so much for all your great ideas!
    ~Vika, Montreal, Qc

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