Natural Ingredients for Dyeing Easter Eggs
For Desired Colors:
Boil 4 cups of red onion skins in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual.
For Pale Red:
Boil 4 cups of fresh beets, cranberries or frozen raspberries in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual.
Soak hard boiled eggs in cranberry juice or the juice from canned or pickled beets until desired color is reached.
Boil 4 cups shredded red cabbage in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual. Also try soaking eggs in the juice from canned blueberries.
Soak hard boiled eggs in grape juice.
Add 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric and 1/2 tsp. vinegar to 1 cup hot water. Cool to room temperature and dye as usual.
For Light Yellow:
Boil 4 cups fresh shredded carrots in a quart of water. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual.
For Beige - Brown - Mocha:
Soak eggs in strong brewed coffee that has been cooled to room temperature. Or add 1 Tbsp. instant coffee and 1/2 tsp. vinegar to 1 cup of hot water. Cool and dye as usual.
For Pale Green - Green:
Soak eggs in liquid from canned spinach or boil 4 cups fresh spinach in a quart of water. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual.
For Green - Gold:
Boil 4 cups of Yellow Delicious apple peels in a quart of water. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual.
Rub fresh or frozen (thawed) berries over hard boiled egg to achieve soft blue, pink and purple shades.
Dissolve 4 Tbsp. paprika in a quart of hot water. Cool to room temperature and dye as usual.
Boil 4 cups of yellow onion skins in a quart of water for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Strain and dye as usual.
1) Natural dyes create beautiful effects, but may NOT be suitable for eating. Use for decoration only.
2) It is suggested NOT dyeing eggs overnight. Some colorants may seep through the shell and make the egg unsafe to eat.
3) Always return eggs to refrigerator after dyeing.
Instructions on Dyeing Techniques
The cold-dipping method creates subtle, translucent shades, but may result in uneven coloring unless the eggs are rotated vigilantly. For the cold-dipping, the eggs and ingredients are boiled separately ( in a non-stick or glass pot). After the dye has cooled and been strained, immerse the eggs for 5 to 10 minutes and pat dry with a paper towel.
THE BOILING TECHNIQUE:
The boiling technique involves boiling the eggs in the dye; as the egg heats and rolls in the boiling water, a more uniform and intense color is produced. To dye 8 eggs with the boiling technique, use 2 tablespoons of vinegar per quart of water. Place eggs in non-stick or glass pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Add natural dye ingredients, bring to a rolling boil, and reduce to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
EGG DYEING TIPS:
1) Use only non-stick or glass cookware when boiling ingredients for egg dyes. This will prevent color-altering reactions with metallic pans.
2) Dry freshly dyed eggs in egg carton for 10 minutes before adding to display or Easter basket.
3) Always protect table and clothes from dye.
4) To shine eggs for display, rub eggs with vegetable oil. Then wipe off.
5) Add 2 Tbsp. vinegar to egg dye to help dye adhere to eggs.
EGG DESIGN IDEAS:
1) Color eggs with wax crayons before dyeing. Write names or draw pictures. Dye will not adhere to wax.
2) Wrap hard boiled eggs in layers of rubber bands. Soak eggs in one color. Remove a few bands and dye again in another color. Continue until all the rubber bands are removed. You'll be left with a beautiful batik design.
3) Try placing various stickers on eggs before dyeing. Dry eggs for ten minutes. Remove stickers.
4) Submerge half an egg in one color of dye. Then turn egg upside-down and dye the other half in another color for a two-toned egg design.
5) Use white glue to attach bits of ribbon, bows or sequins to colored eggs. They can easily be removed when peeling egg.
Date: April 12, 2003