Looking for a natural alternative to traditional Easter egg dye kits? Here are some tips for beautiful, naturally dyed eggs.

Warning: This activity requires adult supervision!

What You Need

  • up to 12 uncooked eggs (You can use white or brown. Colors will be more vibrant on white shells and a bit subdued on brown.)
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • items for dyeing*: 2 to 3 Tbls. turmeric for yellow; 2 containers of fresh blueberries for blue; 1 bunch of sliced beets for pink; skins of 6 red or yellow onions for rust; petals from 6 marigolds for olive green
  • Optional: crayons, rubber bands, string or cheesecloth for creating designs

* Instead of these items, you can use Eco-Eggs, a natural egg coloring kit made from organic vegetable and plant extracts. The kit includes three powder-based coloring packets. The results are quick and vibrant.

What You Do

  1. Place dye ingredients in a pan with 1 quart water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar. (The vinegar helps break down the shells of the eggs, making them easier to peel.)
  2. If you want to add designs on the eggs using crayons or rubber bands, do that now.
  3. Add the eggs to the water and make sure they are submerged.
  4. Boil for 15 minutes, then transfer the eggs to a bowl filled with ice water.
  5. Let the eggs chill for at least 20 minutes, then remove them from the water and refrigerate.

ALTERNATE COLD BATH METHOD: Simmer the dye ingredients for each color in 1 quart water with 1-2 Tablespoons vinegar for 20-30 minutes or longer, until the dye reaches your desired shade. Allow the color bath to cool, then transfer each color to a separate container that allows you to submerge hard boiled eggs for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator. The longer the eggs sit, the deeper the colors.

Contributed by Raquel Dadomo of Wheatsville Co-op. Wheatsville Co-op is a natural foods cooperative grocery store, serving Austin since 1976.

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