How to Color Easter Eggs Naturally:
Recipes and Tips for Dyeing Eggs
The basics of how to color Easter eggs haven't changed much over the years. To make your own colored, hard-boiled eggs you will need a few basic supplies and an hour or so to play. And maybe a couple of young helpers to make it fun!
You'll also find more instructions and ideas for how to color Easter eggs right here! Or if you're learning how to dye Easter eggs for your kids' Easter baskets, check here for some great Easter basket ideas!
Supplies for Dyeing Easter Eggs with Food Coloring
- Liquid food colorings in a variety of colors (found with baking items in grocery stores)
- White vinegar
- Warm water
- Metal tongs or spoons for moving eggs. Do not use plastic as the dyes will stain
- Glass cups (short and wide enough for an egg) or plastic punch cups
- White eggs, hard boiled and cooled
- Empty paper towel rolls
Instructions: How to Color Easter Eggs
With Food Coloring and Vinegar
1. Get Your Supplies
The first step in how to color Easter eggs is, of course, to get organized! Set up all of your supplies before beginning any actual dyeing. Use a thick layer of newspaper in your work area to absorb any drips of dye. Food coloring can stain instantly!
Then, cut the empty paper towel rolls into 1 1/2" round segments to act as egg stands and set out ready for the eggs. Grab one plastic cup for each color of dye you plan to use.
2. Make Your Colors
Each cup will hold one color of dye, but one hue can be one of the primary food colors (red, blue, green, yellow) or any combination of these colors. In each cup combine 10-20 drops of food coloring, 3 teaspoons white vinegar and 1 cup warm water.
3. Dye 'Em
Carefully place the eggs in the cups so that they are completely covered. Remove eggs when they have the shade you like, and place on their egg stands to dry thoroughly. Longer soaking times will give you deeper colors.
Store eggs in egg cartons in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
This basic technique for how to color Easter eggs with food coloring will give you bright, consistent color on the eggs.
Supplies for Dyeing Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes
For more variety or subtle differences in your eggs try dyeing them naturally. You will need the same supplies as above except for the food coloring.
Items you will need:
- Metal saucepan
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Metal or glass measuring cup, 4 cups or larger
The different materials you'll need for how to color Easter eggs naturally are:
- Red: beets, cranberries
- Yellow: cumin, turmeric, yellow onion skins
- Pale green: spinach
- Blue: blueberries, red cabbage leaves
- Brown: strong coffee or tea
How to Color Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes
1. Prepare Your Dye Material
Finely cut the dye material of your choice into a saucepan. Begin with one or two handfuls, but exactly how much you use is personal choice. For spices, use 2 tablespoons per saucepan.
2. Cook and Simmer
Add water to come at least one inch above the dye materials, about 1 cup of water for each handful. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the dye 15 minutes or as much as an hour until you like the color. Your dyed eggs will be lighter than the color in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Using a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) strain the dye mixture into a large liquid measuring cup. Add 3 teaspoons white vinegar for each cup of strained dye liquid.
4. Prepare your Containers and... Dye!
Pour the mixture into a small bowl that's deep enough to completely cover the eggs. Continue from Step 3 that uses food coloring for dyes.
Note:Eggs colored with natural dyes will not be glossy. The dull finish can be polished with a tiny drop of cooking oil or mineral oil after they are completely dry.
Four More Fun Easter Egg Dyeing Ideas
1. Tie Dye!
If you like a homemade or variable look you can tie-dye the eggs. Wrap the eggs gently in rubber bands of varying widths before dying. The spaces of the rubber bands will not take as much dye and look lighter. Remove the bands after the egg is dry.
To imitate the speckled eggs of nature try putting a small amount of paint on a stiff brush. Flick the pain on the eggs using your fingernail or a popsicle stick. Think outside the box on color combinations.
3. Get Creative
Wax crayons can draw on eggs before they are dyed and will work much like rubber bands to prevent dye from staining. Wipe off the excess crayon with a paper towel. Use white crayon to draw on flowers, bunnies, or any other shape you don't want dyed.
4. Go a Little Nuts
Have fun with it! Nothing helps you know how to color Easter eggs like trying it yourself and then experimenting!
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