How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

There’s certainly a little bit of nostalgia that goes with dyeing eggs with one of those supermarket kits. But did you know that you can dye Easter eggs naturally with ingredients you may have right in your kitchen? 

Be sure to use all of those hard boiled eggs to make these delicious avocado deviled eggs!

colorful naturally dyed eggs on a paper towel

Why dye Easter eggs with natural food ingredients?

As I discussed in the introduction to my book, one of my sons reacted poorly to food dyes when he was young. That was really the impetus for us to begin shifting into a “cleaner” lifestyle. 

It makes sense to eliminate those ingredients wherever we can, right? Even Easter eggs!

Dyeing eggs with natural ingredients also offers a chance for kids to experiment. They might be surprised to see the resulting colors with some of these vegetables. 

bowl of hard boiled eggs with the ingredient to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally (red cabbage, onion, spinach, coffee, blueberries, beets)

The process to dye Easter eggs naturally

Using kitchen ingredients to dye eggs requires a bit more work than the instant color tabs, but consider it art. And a fun science project for the kiddos! 

To make dye, you’ll need to extract the color from natural ingredients by simmering them in water. Once the dye is made, the hard boiled eggs will need to soak in the colored water for an extended time. This is where patience will come in. 

Refrigerating the eggs IN the water overnight will result in the deepest coloration. 

Fun egg decorating ideas

Since this method kind of eliminates the possibility of dipping eggs in various colors over a short period of time, it’s a good time to employ some alternative decor! 

  • Use a white crayon to write on the eggs.
  • Stick on a bunch of office dots for a polka dot egg.
  • Use skinny floral tape to make stripes. 

Pulling the eggs out of the dye the next day and seeing the magic that happened means two days of egg dyeing fun! 

Once the dye dries, remove the labels or tape. If there is any residual stickiness from the labels, a little vegetable oil on a rag will remove it (and shine the egg up, too).

What to expect your naturally dyed eggs to look like

The short answer is: It depends! These natural dyes can be quite intense in their final coloring once they’ve spent the night in a color bath.

Since these are natural ingredients, expect variations in the color and intensity with naturally dyed Easter eggs. 

colorful easter eggs naturally dyed on a paper towel
easter eggs dyed dark blue alongside blueberries

How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

Dyeing Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Science meets art when you dye eggs with natural ingredients that you have right in the kitchen.

Materials

  • Hard boiled eggs

Blue

  • 1/2 head red cabbage (2-3 cups)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Dark blue

  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Dark green

  • 6 Chlorophyll tablets (available at health food stores)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Yellow

Light green

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Pink/Red

  • Fresh beets
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Brown

  • 2 cups strongly brewed coffee

Instructions

beet slices on a cutting board

To prepare the dye for everything but the coffee:

1. Place water, vinegar, and the selected vegetable, roughly cut if necessary, into a medium saucepan.

2. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.

3. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour the dye through a fine mesh strainer.

white hard boiled eggs in jars

To dye eggs, place two boiled eggs in a jar. Pour the dye or coffee over to cover. Place the lids on the jars and refrigerate overnight.

Carefully remove the eggs from the dye and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow to dry completely before touching to avoid disturbing the dye.




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2 comments… add one
  • Diana Apr 5, 2021 @ 2:25

    We tried the natural dye method for eggs, what a great idea! We really liked the turmeric and cabbage colors they turned out so vivid. We’re inspired to find other sources for natural dyes for next years eggs. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Martha Kowalczyk Mar 27, 2021 @ 17:41

    Fun to do and learn. I remembered doing this with my parents and showed my granddaughter how to color eggs with veggies. Please keep posting this every year before Easter so people can do this with their children and grandchildren. Wonderful memories are made.

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