The Easter season is rolling around again. Are you going to do the same-old same-old and buy the same old chemically laden dyes that you’ve bought for all of the previous years? Follow these recipes for some fantastic all-natural dyes that will transform the way that you do Easter from this point on. Natural dyes are not as difficult as you think, and you can make them out of stuff that you already have in your refrigerator and your kitchen cupboards.
1. Place the eggs in a pot. Make sure that the eggs are all in one layer; if all of the eggs will not fit in one layer, then you should either use more than one pot or you should boil the eggs in batches.
2. Fill the pot with water until it is about half an inch over the eggs.
3. Next, add two teaspoons of distilled white vinegar, unless you are going to be using onion skins to dye your eggs. The onions skins will react with the vinegar and turn your eggs a rather light and unattractive shade of brown.
4. The next step is optional: you can add 0.5 teaspoon of alum to the water in order to make the colors of the eggs brighter.
5. Next, add the natural dye ingredient that you are going to use. Remember that it is going to take a fair amount of your natural ingredient in order to get your dye color. For example, if you are dyeing your eggs red, you will want to use a whole cup of cherries.
6. Next, bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the heat and keep the water at a full simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Next, remove the eggs from the water and place them in a bowl that is already covered with paper towels.
8. If you want the color of your eggs to be darker, then strain the liquid that you used to dye the eggs and remove the paper towel from the bowl. Add the strained and cooled liquid to the bowl with the eggs.
9. Let the eggs sit overnight. However, remember that this may end up in weaker egg shells, as the vinegar works into the egg shell. Remove the eggs from the liquid and let them sit for about an hour to let the shells harden.
10. Finally, when the eggs have dried, then you can achieve a glossy look by rubbing vegetable oil on the eggs with a paper towel.
Ingredients to use for natural dyes:
Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to see what you can end up with. These are some tried and true dyes:
1. Red or Pink: fresh beets, canned cherries, frozen cherries, crushed cranberries (do not use cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly)
2. Orange: yellow onion skins
3. Light yellow: ground cumin, orange peels, lemon peels
4. Golden yellow: ground tumeric
5. Light green: spinach
6. Blue: red cabbage or crushed blueberries (make sure that you boil the cabbage for 30 minutes before you use it to dye your Easter eggs)
7. Purple: grape juice
There are a number of other options that you could try, such as coffee to get a nice brown or beige color. You may also want to try using red onion skins. You can also experiment by using a number of different ingredients and mixing your shades to see what you can come up with. Encourage your kids to experiment so that they can have fun dyeing Easter eggs!