Creating a homemade, natural Easter Egg dye out of ingredient in the fridge has always appealed to me and my son as a fun kitchen experiment, giving us the chance to play mad scientists for a while. You can make the dye from any fruit or vegetable that when boiled leeches its color into the water. My son and I used kale, blueberries, cranberries, beets, a mixture of carrot peels and onion skins and turmeric for cool, unusually colored Easter Eggs in an earthy color palette. These eggs really stand out from the neon colored tie dyed Easter Eggs we usually make.
This is a basic step-by-step process, but in reality, each dye bath will achieve different color saturation levels in different lengths of time and we found it fun to experiment.
1. Bring your chosen dye ingredients to a boil when the color leaches into the water, remove the pot from the heat and steep. The longer you boil and steep the more color you will have. For most fruit, vegetables or their skins use a 1:1 ratio, meaning a cup of water to one cup of material. Vibrantly colored ground spices like Tumeric and paprika also color eggs, if you go this route, use a ratio of 3 tablespoons ground spice to one cup of water. I have read you can also color your eggs using brewed coffee and green tea using the same method.
2. Place hard cooked eggs into a bowl, strain the ingredients from the liquid, add 3 tablespoons white vinegar and the pour the mixture over the eggs. Let eggs sit in the dye until desired color is reached, this takes quite a while. It works best if you bring the dye to room temperature first so you don't risk overcooking your eggs with hot water.
3. The length of time the eggs need to sit in the color varies by ingredients, it is a matter of pulling the egg out and checking to see if you like the color. Some ingredients dyed the egg right away, like blueberries and turmeric. Others like kale and carrots steeped overnight. When you are happy with the color, rinse eggs quickly under cool water and let air dry on paper towels.
The blueberry and turmeric both colored the water quickly and dyed the eggs in no time. By the time I checked the egg in the blueberry dye it was almost black.
The kale took a long time to stain the egg, even though the water was bright green after steeping. The egg sat overnight in the the solution and still only took on the palest green color. The carrot/onion skin mixture developed a gorgeous orangey hue but it too sat overnight. If you keep your eggs in the dye for hours it is best to place them in the fridge.
The beet dye surprised me, I expected it to color the water and the egg quickly but both took a long time. I also expected a red, pink or purple egg and mine is grayish. Another cool one is red cabbage, which can make a bright blue or purple dye.
If you don't want to waste costly produce dyeing eggs, use peels, stems and scraps. Collect the scraps in the freezer till you have enough.
Kids' work is to play. WeeWork is a Mommy Poppins series offering an easy daily activity for grown-ups and children to do together, making kids' work an important part of your day. We aim to inspire together time, creativity and fun using only your imagination and things around the house. You can see all our WeeWork activity posts here.
Sign up to get WeeWork activities delivered to your inbox.