Thursday, April 11, 2013

Organically Dyed Easter Eggs

About a month ago while browsing PopSugar SmartLiving I stumbled upon a posting about all natural alternatives to traditional Easter egg dyeing.
After reading the article my wheels started to turn, thinking about what else I could use to dye eggs. I planned on sharing this activity with our 20 month old niece (this was the first Easter she was able to hunt for eggs) it was important for these eggs to be bright, colorful and non-toxic for her to enjoy. 

I had a rough list of ingredients in my head as I headed to the local farmers market in hunt for items that could serve double duty: package-free edibles that could be both conusumed and used for dye. The farmers market in Larkspur had an Easter theme that day which included a kids craft for (you guessed it =) natural egg dyeing with items available at the farmers market! I got so excited when I saw their display that I began asking the ladies running the craft tons of questions. They were sweet, informative and I could tell they were really happy to talk to someone over the age of six. =) The gist of what they told me is just to boil the ingredient of choice with two cups of water for less then an hour. Once the mixture is cool add a splash of white vinegar to set the color. Also, these dyes are weaker then their unsafe counterparts so for brighter colors the eggs should stay in the dye for longer. Farmers market purchases in tow, I headed to the store for a few more 'zero waste' ingredients then home to experiment. 

{Farmers Market Kids Craft}

At home I had fun concocting the dyes and testing out the colors. I hard boiled six eggs and blew out the insides of the remaining so that my sister wasn't stuck with a dozen hard boiled eggs! To add interest through negative designs I tied rubber bands around some and zigzag strips of sticker labels on others. Here are the dyes I tried:
  • Red Wine
  • Yellow Onion Skins
  • Turmeric 
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Turmeric + Purple Cabbage
The experiments results surprised me a bit. Red Wine, thinking it would make a red or purple egg made an interesting grey marbled egg resembling stone. Yellow onion skins produced a rich golden orange hue. Turmeric made bright yellow. Purple cabbage turned the eggs a beautiful cyan color then the turmeric and cabbage dye made a green.

{The finished product on my sisters spring time table-scape}

On Easter, my husband hid the eggs for our niece to find. It was a precious sight watching her roam around the yard, even though she found just one egg ;)


1 comment:

  1. They were such beautiful eggs and we'll have the blown out ones for next year's hunt too! Love you Sister!