Before clothing companies, back when people still had to make and sew their own clothing, people used natural dyes to color fabric. A similar process can be used to dye Easter eggs! If you didn’t make it to the store to grab your normal egg-dyeing kit, this is a great alternative. Use up some of your kitchen scraps to make beautiful natural colors to brighten up your holiday!
What you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Dye materials (see list below), select some or all to dye with
- Paper towels
- Cups or bowls
- Hard-boiled eggs or hollow eggs to dye
- Shredded purple cabbage: 1 cup
- Red or yellow onion skins: 1 cup
- Shredded beets: 1 cup
- Ground turmeric: 2-3 tablespoons
- Brewed strong coffee: 2 cups
- Ground chili powder: 2-3 tablespoons
- Spinach: 2 cups
Bring 1-2 cups of water to a boil in your saucepan.
Pick your dye material and add to boiling water. The higher the ratio of dye material to water, the stronger the color will be. *Note: coffee does not need to be added to water. Skip to step 5 if dyeing with coffee.
Reduce heat and simmer dye materials in water for about 30 minutes. For stronger colors, simmer longer.
Place mesh strainer over bowl. Pour contents of saucepan through strainer, unless using ground spice. Cool to room temperature.
Stir 2 tablespoons white vinegar into strained liquid.
Soak eggs in dye mixture until desired color is obtained. For rich colors, place bowl (or jar) with dye material and eggs in the refrigerator and leave 8 hours or overnight.
Remove eggs and dry with paper towel. To give eggs a shiny finish, rub lightly with vegetable oil.
~Kami Ahrens, Assistant Curator