Natural Ways to Dye Easter Eggs

The term Easter comes from the Old English ēastre or ēaster, a festival of spring. From there it’s a short leap to go from spring to nature. Amid all the sugary and chocolaty treats that have made their way into the Easter celebration, it might be time to change gears and consider natural ways to dye Easter eggs. Traditional, store-bought Easter egg kits may contain chemical dyes and artificial ingredients—they’re not particularly life-affirming.

There are a couple of routes to choose from when creating your own dyes but all should begin with hard-boiled Inspired Organics organic cage-free jumbo or large brown eggs. Now head to the spice rack and produce bin. A host of colors are at your fingertips. Grab some organic red cabbage, blueberries, pomegranate, red and yellow onion skins, beets, and turmeric.

Most natural dyes call for a cup of chopped produce, a cup of water, and a tablespoon of vinegar. The acid in the vinegar reacts with the shell of the egg to create ideal conditions for color absorption.

Now decide to go with a hot-water dye or a cold-water dye. Both produce great results: hot-water dyes tend to result in more intensely colored, more uniform dyes. Cold-water dyes tend to be subtler, more transparent, and less even. Both methods allow for multiple dips. Wipe the eggs and let them dry between dippings for more color. If you want a little bit of shine, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil on the eggs after they’ve dried.

Soaking times vary, but most colors can be achieved in 30 minutes, with either water method. Here’s a key to some color combinations, but feel free to experiment:

Chopped purple cabbage will dye blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs

Red onion skins will create lavender or red eggs

Yellow onion skins will create orange on white eggs, rusty red on brown eggs

Shredded beets will be pink on white eggs, maroon on brown eggs

Ground turmeric (2 tablespoons) will create yellow eggs

Ground turmeric and purple cabbage will create green

Happy egg hunting. Check back for tips and recipes on how to use all those hard-boiled eggs after Easter.