Did you know you can naturally dye Easter eggs? It’s crazy to think last Easter I was trying to find items curbside and hoping the stores had enough food to pull off any type of special breakfast for the three of us at home. Traditions seemed to halt in an instant. Just taking one year off from the “usual” of a busy weekend of hunts, candy and plastic has helped me think more creatively about beautiful ways to celebrate the weekend without so….much…everything. Our sustainable craft expert guest contributor, Melissa of Happy Mess Studio, is back with how to make beautiful naturally dyed Easter eggs using kitchen scraps, household items and found nature outside. I love this beautiful craft to bring a wonderful science activity into our time together and experiment with positive and negative space with binding. It’s wonderful to remind ourselves the real hope in Spring. Regeneration and rebirth are beautiful parts of the life cycle for every living thing. If you learned how to tie dye with avocados from her, you’ll be ready for this fun challenge!
Spring is finally here and it is so welcomed after snow-pocalypse 2021. I’m finally seeing some growth in the garden! I love this time of the year and the weather that comes with it. What better way to kick off the Spring and Easter festivities then with a craft! Today I will walk ya’ll through how to dye easter eggs with natural dyes. We’ve all bought and used those kits with artificial dyes, but if you’re wanting a more sustainable option, this is a great way to do so. The colors you can achieve with existing items in your refrigerator can produce a wide variety of beautiful and natural colors. I will walk you through dyeing eggs with onion skins, cabbage, avocado, and beets. These are only a few examples but feel free to explore other fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, turmeric, berries, and red onion skins.
HOW TO NATURALLY DYE EASTER EGGS
– Eggs (white eggs will absorb color best)
– Beets, yellow onion skin, cabbage and avocado pits/skins.
– White vinegar
– Pot to boil eggs
Cheese Cloth or panty hose
– Rubber bands
– Leaves or flowers (organic material to create texture on eggs)
– Large glass jars or bowls
– Stirring utensil: spoon, chopstick, etc.
Before you prep and cook your dyes, go ahead and start boiling water for the eggs.
Prepping Your Dye:
You’ll want to start by chopping up the cabbage and beets into small 1/2” pieces. Simmer each batch on low for about 20 minutes or until a desired amount of color is extracted. Filter the dye through a mesh strainer and pour each color into a glass jar or container.
Tip: try not to cook the materials on high heat. I noticed this will turn the dyes brownish. Low and slow is better.
For the yellow onion skins, use the outer dried shell. You will want to collect about a handful. Cover contents with water and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Again, filter the dye through a mesh strainer and pour into a glass jar or container.
Similarly with the avocado, collect 2 or 3 avocados worth of skins and pits. Clean them thoroughly, cover with water and slowly coax the color out for about 30 minutes. Strain the contents into a glass jar. I cooked mine with too high of heat and the color came out more similar to the onion then I expected. Overall, I’m still happy with the results.
Once you have prepped all the dyes and strained the contents, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each color. This will help the dye stick to the egg more easily.
After the eggs have finished boiling, we can start prepping them for the dye. I wanted to add some texture, so I foraged for different leaves and flowers in the garden to create resists on each egg. After the winter storm we just had here in Texas my garden is barely rebounding. But the weeds seem to be thriving! I went searching for some fun looking leaves and found some wild carrot root, mint, dusty miller and a couple daisies. I placed the leaves and flowers around the egg and then wrapped them with cheese cloth and a rubber band. On some of the eggs the cheese cloth itself made a lovely texture which was a happy little accident. If you don’t have cheese cloth an old pair of pantyhose will work great. Check out some examples below.
Place your prepped eggs the dye baths and let them soak for at least 1.5 hours and as long as overnight. The longer that the egg sits in the dye the darker the color will be.
Check on the eggs and take them out once your desired color is achieved.