Use Natural Foods and Spices to Color Easter Eggs

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Create completely natural Easter egg dyes bursting with color by using natural foods and spices. Making natural dyeing agents is a great way to use up food almost at its prime and those spices you always seem to have too much of in the cupboard.

Decorate with naturally dyed eggs.
(Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Things You'll Need

  • Mason jars, one for each dye mixture
  • Brewed coffee
  • Juiced beets
  • Muddled blueberries
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Teapot
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Faux bird nest
  • Faux Spanish moss
Step 1

Cook the eggs by covering them with one inch of cold water in a pot. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat, allowing the eggs to sit for another 10 minutes in the water, then rinse with cold water and they’re ready to use.

Food and spices make natural dyeing agents.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 2

While the eggs are boiling, prepare the mason jars for dyeing by combining the 2 tablespoons of each natural base ingredient with 1 1/2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar in the bottom of each jar. The vinegar will helps the dye adhere, bringing out the brightest shades on the eggshells.

Spices like turmeric and paprika can be added in their powder form, coffee in it’s brewed liquid form, and raw food ingredients like beets and blueberries can be juiced into liquids or mashed with a muddler right in the bottom of the jar with the vinegar.

Vinegar helps bring out the vibrant color in the dye.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 3

Once the eggs have boiled, drain and drop each one into the individual jars using a spoon to avoid cracking. Jelly jars are an ideal size for containing a single egg; if you’re dyeing a large batch of eggs, you can get the same results by adding multiple eggs into larger jars.

Pour boiling water from a tea kettle into each individual jar.

Use caution when handling the hot water-filled jars.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 4

Give the mixture a gentle stir with a spoon if needed and let the eggs sit to dye.

Mason jars make single containers for egg dyeing.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 5

The longer you leave the eggs in each mixture, the more concentrated the color will become. These pictured eggs were left to dye for one hour.

Tip: You can achieve many different shades with minimal ingredients by leaving some eggs in the dye for longer or shorter periods of time. If you have just a single dye color, you could create a completely ombre effect to your collection of eggs by incrementally timing the dyeing period 15 minutes apart.

The color of an egg dyed with turmeric for one hour.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 6

Natural dyeing agents result in rich, rustic shades. The blueberry returns a beautiful slate grey, the coffee stains a rich brown, the turmeric and paprika will develop into speckled hues of bright yellows and orange, and beet will produce bright pink and muted red shades.

Tip: Additional natural dyeing agents you could using this method include leafy greens, berries, tea, onion skins, cabbage leaves, fruit peels, bright vegetables like carrots and more.

Natural dyeing agents result in rich, rustic shades
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 7

Once the eggs are dyed, they are ready for decorating with. Make a rustic Easter tablescape by pairing each egg with faux bird nests and spanish moss, available at most craft stores.

Find faux bird nests and moss at your local craft store.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
Step 8

Place each nested egg onto a plated napkin to create individual spring themed place settings. They will add a touch of color to each seat and the best part is, the eggs are edible — so they double for festive decor and a fun little brunch starter.

Place different colors around the table for a festive setting.
Image by Tim & Mary Vidra
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