Little Farm in the Big Woods

Homemade Natural Easter Egg Dye

Monday, April 14, 2014 1:02 PM

Last year for our family’s celebration of Passover I dyed eggs red using yellow onion skins.  I was skeptical, but figured I’d give it a try.  Well, I was amazed at how well they turned out, and decided that this year, I would try to make all of my own dyes for our Easter eggs.  

Well, of course, my first stop was “google”, to find out what foods make good dyes.  Obviously, the things that are most likely to stain your clothes make the best dyes!   Blackberries, blueberries, beets, grape juice....  those all give you pretty much the colors you’d expect from them.  Onion skins are another great dye, the red onion skins made a nice orangey-brown, but it was awfully close to the color our eggs are normally.  ;)  The yellow onion skins made a nice tangerine color.  (Yellow skins, when boiled with the eggs make a deep red).

On several websites I read about red cabbage (blue dye), carrot tops (yellow dye), and raspberries (pink-red), but none of those did much for me.  There are a lot of other choices to try, but here are the dyes I tried, and my results~

Clockwise from top left~ 

red cabbage, blackberry, blueberry, beet, raspberry, yellow onion skin, carrot tops, grape juice, & red onion skin

Berries~ you can use fresh or frozen (I used frozen). Boil about 2 cups berries with 1-2 cups of water and smash them up to release the colors, then when they’re cool strain out the solids and add 1 Tbsp. vinegar.

Beets~ Chop into small pieces, (I put them in the blender), add 1 cup water per beet (I used 2 beets), and simmer for a few minutes, then strain and add 1 Tbsp. vinegar.

Onion skins~ add 6 onion skins to 2 cups water, simmer for 15 minutes and then strain and add 1 Tbsp. vinegar.  (I did this same procedure with the carrot tops and cabbage.)

Grape juice~  I bought grape juice concentrate, and just added a little bit of warm water to thaw it out, but left it very concentrated and added 1 Tbsp vinegar.  Next year I might try cranberry juice concentrate or some others.  :)

We left our eggs in the dye about the same amount of time you would for vibrant colors in the “regular” tablet dyes.  The longer you leave them in, the more vibrant your colors will be.  

We had a lot of fun with the homemade egg dyes, and I look forward to trying more colors next year.  I just ran out of steam (and time) this year.  ;)

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