Dyeing Easter eggs
Dyeing eggs naturally is as much a science experiment for the kids as an art and craft activity. By experimenting with different foods, you can create a rainbow of colours with which to dye your Easter eggs.
Hardboil your eggs first, and the kids can draw on the eggs with crayons before you dye them. The patterns will appear once they are coloured.
If you want to keep your dyed eggs for a long time, you will need to blow out the egg. This can be tricky, so perhaps it's easier to simply make a basket full of colourful, hard-boiled eggs that will last as long as chocolate stash from the Easter bunny.
Tools and materials for crepe paper dyed eggs
- Different color crepe paper
- Hot water
- Small bowls or cups
- Slotted spoon
- Cooking oil
- Soft cloth
Soak crepe paper in hot water in individual bowls or cups for each color. Add eggs and allow to sit in water until he desired color is achieved. Remove with slotted spoon and allow to dry. Polish with small amount of cooking oil and soft cloth.
Tools and materials for naturally dyed eggs
- Natural dyeing agents (red cabbage, turmeric, onion skins, beetroot and coffee)
- 3 litre pot (or larger)
- White vinegar
- Small bowls
- Large metal spoon
- Paper towels
- Drying rack
Natural dye recipes
Select a dyeing agent, and place it in the pot using the amount listed below. Add 1 litre water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to pot; if more water is necessary to cover ingredients, proportionally increase the amount of vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a bowl.
Red-cabbage dye: 4 cups chopped cabbage
Turmeric dye: 3 tablespoons turmeric
Onion-skin dye: 4 cups onion skins (skins of about 12 onions)
Beet dye: 4 cups chopped beets
Coffee dye: 1 quart strong black coffee (instead of water)
With this method, the eggs and the ingredients for the dye are boiled separately. Using a metal spoon, lower cooled hard-boiled eggs into a bowl of cooled dye, and let them soak for as little as 5 seconds or as long as overnight, depending on the depth of color you desire. Remove eggs with spoon, pat dry with paper towels, and let dry on a wire rack. The cold-dipping method produces subtle, translucent shades, but can result in uneven coloring unless the eggs are rotated vigilantly while in the dye.
This method involves boiling the eggs with the dye; the heat allows the dye to saturate the shells, resulting in intense, more uniform color. Set raw eggs in a pot of strained dye; bring to a boil for the amount of time specified in the color glossary, below. Remove and dry eggs as with the cold-dipping method.
Natural dye colour chart
- Deep gold: Boil eggs in turmeric solution, 30 minutes.
- Sienna: Boil eggs in onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.
- Dark, rich brown: Boil eggs in black coffee, 30 minutes.
- Pale yellow: Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes.
- Orange: Soak eggs in room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.
- Light brown: Soak eggs in room-temperature black coffee, 30 minutes.
- Light pink: Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes.
- Light blue: Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 minutes.
- Royal blue: Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution overnight.
- Lavender: Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 seconds.