Our kitchens are full of natural pigments that can transform plain white eggs into colorful Easter masterpieces. For this project the kids and I visited our favorite local farm market and stocked up on things like beets, red cabbage and red onions. We also picked up a bottle of turmeric and had plenty of coffee grounds already from the morning. Invited a few friends over to join us and let the kids have fun experimenting with colors and combinations.
First you'll need to selected your dyeing agent and add it to a pot of boiling water. We used beets, coffee grounds, turmeric, red onion peels and a few different types of tea. We didn't use the red cabbage or brown onion skins but those would work great too! Add enough water to cover the ingredients in the pot along with 1tbs of vinegar and let simmer for 30 minutes.
We opted for the cold-dipping method because it is safer for the kids but you could add your eggs directly to the simmering pot for 30 minutes for a more vibrant color on the eggs.
After the ingredients had enough time to simmer, strain the liquid into a deep bowl big enough for a couple of eggs. Add your eggs to the colors and allow them to set for at least 10 minutes. The longer they sit the more vibrant their colors will be. (We like to choose our colors and then set the kids up with a craft or game to keep them occupied while our eggs "bathe"). Again, if you are expecting super vibrant colors you'll need to boil the eggs in the mixture for 30 minutes or so.
After the initial soak, we let the kids experiment with adding their eggs to another color for a few minutes to see what we could get.
Remember that natural dyes could produce some unexpected results so have fun experimenting!
**Please note that just as there dyes are essentially staining your egg shells they also like to stain pots, bowls, clothing, tables and even little fingers. It's best of this project is done outside or somewhere you don't mind getting ruined.**
Dyeing agents (we used coffee grounds, turmeric, beets, green tea, peach tea and red onion)
2qt pot or larger
Small bowls (1 for each color)
Drying Rack (we used a cookie sheet)
Hard boiled eggs
1. For the cold-dipping method (which we used for this) hard boil your eggs separately from the dyeing agents. Once cooled, let the kids add eggs into dyes and let sit for at least 10 minutes for lighter, muted colors and as long as overnight for a deeper color. This method is safer and more enjoyable for little helpers but does produce a more uneven and lighter coloring.
2. Boil ingredients in enough water to cover with 1tbs of vinegar. Boil for 30 minutes and strain. Add to small bowls and let eggs sit in strained dye for at least 10 minutes (or as long as overnight). Experiment with mixing eggs into different colors, use spoons to remove from liquid and set to dry.
3. For deeper more vibrant hues, boil dyeing agents in enough water to cover, strain, and return to pot. Add raw white eggs to color and bring to boil for 30 minutes. The heat allows the pigments to deeper penetrate the egg producing richer colors. Better for older kids or a moms' crafting night perhaps!