Monday, April 3, 2017

Natural Dye Easter Egg Coloring

I have been looking at natural dyes for Easter eggs for a few years. I don't know why it's taken me so long to do it, but here I am. All of the videos I've seen are pretty much the same, and it looks so simple. Because, it is. 

I picked up some knee high pantyhose at the store. They came twelve in a pack and cost under $2.00. (That's my mechanic's hands. He didn't realize how hard he works until he saw this picture.) The pantyhose keep your imprinting material in place. Tie a knot on each end. I wish I would have boiled more without pantyhose. They are beautiful, too.

We wrapped some of the raw eggs with parsley and others with twigs from the Norfolk pine leftover from Christmas. I wish we had dandelions, because they make a really nice imprint. Nothing is blooming here yet. so parsley it is. 

I started with turmeric. It stains everything, so I didn't think I could go wrong here. I just sliced it to expose the center. Grating it might have exposed more surface area, providing more available color.

Place it in a pot and add about 1-2 cups water. Add some of your wrapped eggs. Boil for 20 minutes. The liquid will start to turn color.

I noticed that the pantyhose really picked up the color.

Next, I used yellow onion skins. Use the papery outside layers that fall off when it's squeezed. Wrap the eggs in the skins before you place it all in 1-2 cups water. Boil for 20 minutes.

Lastly, I chopped some red cabbage. Same process. Add 1-2 cups water and boil for 20 minutes.

While I've got my eggs on, I'll prep my jars. Pick jars that will hold enough liquid to cover the eggs. They will also need a lid. Add enough vinegar to each jar to cover the bottoms. A couple of tablespoons should do it. The vinegar affixes the color to the eggs.

After 20 minutes of boiling, transfer eggs, colorants, and liquid into jars. I haven't tried mixing colors. I just used one jar for each color. The turmeric turned the hose a gorgeous shade of yellow!

The onion liquid is so clear, and the color so rich.

The cabbage is purple. I can't wait to unwrap these eggs.

None of my eggs actually look like they've picked up much color. 

I'm hoping that will change as I soak them overnight in the refigerator.

The next morning, take the jars out of the refrigerator. I recommend putting down a piece of parchment. Take the eggs out of their jars.

The turmeric didn't really take. I don't know if it's something I did or didn't do, but it didn't change very much at all. The hose are a beautiful yellow though! Maybe a white egg would have shown the color better.

The onion. That color is so rich! I love the onion. I just cut the knots off and the eggs pop right out.

This spot is where I had tied a knot. Nice pattern.

After peeling off the parsley, this imprint is left behind.

The cabbage is my favorite! There is no commercial dye that can color like this. The blue is beautiful. It looked really purple in the jar. I did leave one egg unwrapped to place in the cabbage water. I liked it too. It had more color without an imprint. 

Such rich, deep colors. You can see the difference in the eggs I started with.

I won't ever buy Easter egg dye again. If anyone finds another food dye source that turns out as well as the onion and cabbage, please let me know.  I think beets would make a pretty color. This was fun to do, so grab some little ones or not, and color away. Happy Easter! 

  • eggs
  • red cabbage
  • brown onion skins
  • turmeric
  • water
  • white vinegar

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