Nothing says “spring has sprung” quite like the abundance of florals and pastel colors. And eggs. Eggs are everywhere – we’ve talked about how to prepare them, but now we’re talking about something different: dyeing them.
At OXO, we’re always looking for creative ways to make tasks easier, so we’ve broken down our favorite ways to use natural ingredients to create Easter egg dyes in colors that signify spring.
How to do it: Hard boil your desired number of eggs – the recipe below makes about enough dye for half a dozen eggs, so you have the option of making multiple colors.
1. Fill a saucepan with two cups of water and add your choice of dye materials (see below for options), then bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat to low and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until the dye appears several shades darker than you want your egg.
3. Stir in two tablespoons of white vinegar (without the acidity of the vinegar, the calcium in the eggshells won’t break down enough to let the dye seep in, so don’t forget this step).
Good tip: Use an egg rack to hold your eggs as you dye.
To create a soft burnt orange shade, we added two cups of yellow onion peels to the water prior to boiling. The rust color created by the onion skins is a perfect complement to the pastel hues of other traditional egg dyes.
Robin’s Egg Blue
If you can stand the smell of boiled cabbage (some people find it very polarizing), you’ll be thrilled with the results of creating a purple cabbage-based dye solution; after you boil two cups of shredded purple cabbage, the dyed eggs will turn a rich robin’s egg blue.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the way to create a natural red or pink dye is to incorporate beets – their juice has been used as a dye for wool for many years… and is notorious for lending those same properties to countertops, cutting boards, and fingers. To make eggs a bright, poppy pink, we added two cups of grated beets to the water before boiling.
We love turmeric – the Indian spice is known for giving many curries a rich color, and the same warm yellow can be used to dye frosting for cookies. The spice can also be used to give eggs a vibrant, springy hue – simply add four tablespoons of turmeric to the water solution prior to boiling.
Greens, purples, bright oranges…
Many of the solutions listed above are perfect for making solid, primary-colored eggs; if you want to get creative with your dying, try mixing ingredients – adding turmeric to the cabbage solution, for example, can create a green dye, whereas adding a bit of cabbage to the beet solution will create a lovely lavender shade.
A final note:
The richness of your dye depends on the amount of time you leave the egg submerged in the solution; if you want bold, loud colors, we recommend placing the eggs directly into the bowl and refrigerating overnight. If you’re looking for more muted, pale colors, dunking the eggs for 2-5 minutes generally does the trick.