There’s no question that dyed and decorated eggs are a staple during Easter. Egg dyeing kits, as convenient as they may be, can get pricey, especially if you’re hoping to color at least a dozen eggs. This year, save some cash and ditch the fake stuff by dyeing brown or white hard-boiled eggs the old-fashioned way: with fresh produce and spices you already have in your kitchen.
Natural Easter egg dyes tend to give an understated, slightly rustic look. Just like other egg dyeing methods, the natural dyes become deeper and brighter if you let the eggs soak for a longer period of time. Most natural dyes will give a solid color payoff after just 30 minutes, but lighter colors like orange may benefit from an overnight soak.
So, pick your color(s) and follow the how-to guide below to give your eggs a dose of all-natural color. The rest is your call: Scatter your dipped and dyed creations throughout your yard as part of your family’s Easter egg hunt or add them to your table’s centerpiece for a standout display.
How to Make Natural Easter Egg Dye
- Combine 1 qt water and 2 Tbsp white vinegar in a medium pot.
- Bring it to a boil and add your dye ingredients for the egg color of your choice (listed below). Lower the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Let cool. Strain the dye to remove any food fragments.
- Add the eggs to the strained dye and let soak for at least 30 minutes. When it reaches the desired color, remove the egg with tongs and pat it dry with paper towels.
Natural Easter Egg Dye Color Glossary
Get your desired color by adding these ingredients to the water and vinegar mixture and then following the four steps outlined above (unless otherwise noted).
Red/Dark Pink Eggs
Add 4 cups chopped beets and follow the instructions above.
Add 4 cups yellow onion skins and follow the instructions above. For a brighter orange, let the eggs sit in the dye overnight.
Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add 4 Tbsp paprika and white vinegar, and mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a jar and let cool to room temperature. Add an egg and soak until you are happy with the color. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse with cool water. Let dry.
Add 3 Tbsp turmeric and follow the instructions above.
Add 3 cups chopped red or purple cabbage and follow the instructions below. For a brighter blue, let the eggs sit in the dye overnight.
Add 4 cups blueberries and follow the instructions above.
Add skins from 6 red onions. Add in 2 cups of water and 3 Tbsp of white vinegar to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and strain the liquid into your jars. Add an egg and let soak until you are happy with the color. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse with cool water. Let dry.
Add spinach leaves to a saucepan and pour in 2 cups cold water and 4 Tbsp white vinegar. Bring it to a bowl and follow the steps listed above.
Pour about a cup of red wine into a jar. Add an egg and let soak until you are happy with the color. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse with cool water. Let dry.
Boil water in a tea kettle. Pour water into a jar with 3 black tea bags and let steep for 30 minutes. Let the water cool at room temperature. Add an egg and let soak until you are happy with the color. Remove with a slotted spoon and rinse with cool water. Let dry.
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