Easter Eggs

Natural Dyes

Dyeing Easter Eggs is always so much fun. I like the kitchen science aspect of using natural dyes and I love how naturally dyed eggs turn out. I also love the colors of conventionally dyed eggs and so do my kids, so we often end up doing both.

Onion-Skin Dye and Egg

This year, we dyed both store-bought eggs and home eggs (of three colors) from our hens. Some were whole and others were blown. For the natural dyes, we used yellow onion skin (a totally reliable, works-every-time natural dye material), beets (less reliable), and red cabbage (which yields blue eggs instead of red).

Beets Cabbage

Natural Dyes and Undyed Green and White Eggs

Here we have cabbage- and beet-dyed eggs on the left. An onion-skin egg is in the lower right corner, and the green eggs are undyed. That’s how they come out of the chicken! The beet-dyed eggs are a gorgeous mauve at first, but they quickly fade to a grayish pink. I need to find out if there’s a way of fixing the color. In our excitement, we forgot to do the yellow Turmeric dye.

Cabbage Dye Bath with Eggs and Wool Onion Dye Bath with Eggs and Wool

While we were going about the business of dying eggs, we decided to dye some wool, too. Lucas just recently finished his clothing block at Sacramento Waldorf School’s third grade. He learned to spin wool to make yarn, and has it in mind to spin at home. We figured, wouldn’t it be even more fun to spin yarn from wool we dyed ourselves?

Holding the Blown Eggs Down

Meanwhile, we also used the conventional food dyes on some eggs. Since many of our eggs were blown, we had to hold them down in the dye baths.

It's Science

Asher thought this whole thing was pretty cool. “It’s SCIENCE!”

Conventional Dyes

Our egg dying kit came with a kind of sponge paint for dramatic effects, and both kids enjoyed doing that, too.

Lucas's Rainbow Egg

Lucas made a rainbow egg.

"Bunny of Doom"

And we lucked into this black egg—now we need to market the secret of black Easter eggs to Goth Kids everywhere! It’s not what you might think. This is a green Araucana egg dyed in a purple dye bath. Lucas dubbed it the “Easter Bunny of Doom!”

Green Hands

And this is to be expected. Such glee!

2 Responses to “Easter Eggs”

  • rae
    April 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    i love that you embraced both…natural and synthetic. what a mom! that black egg is wicked cool. 😉


    • Sara
      April 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Hi Rae,
      It’s nice to hear from you again! Yeah, I can’t help but love both. I have very powerful memories of being a child and dyeing eggs (conventional food dyes) with all of my cousins at my grandmother’s house every Easter Eve. I can smell the vinegar and see my own small fingers in grandma’s coffee cups pulling out the bright eggs. We used to dye dozens and dozens and dozens, so I got my fill of all the colors. I’ll have to try to replicate the black egg soon!
      Be well!


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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