Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DYEING EASTER EGGS THE NATURAL WAY

UPDATE 2/2013:  Have had a lot of visitors to this blog entry, thank you!  I have answered some questions I left out in the original posting, in the comments below, so please check those.  This is a fun project I hope you'll try.


They are safe to eat, as long as you keep them, like all boiled eggs, refrigerated until you are ready to eat them.


This is something I've done a few times over the years, and had hoped that we'd have the farm house closed and finished by Easter but alas, didn't quite make it. I'm going to post this anyway, in hopes that others can have fun.

Natural egg dyeing, photo courtesy of whiteleycreek.com
Have you ever dyed eggs naturally?  The beautiful photo above comes courtesy of the blog for http://www.whiteleycreek.com, a lovely homestead bed and breakfast in Brainerd Minnesota, and she has dyed them that way
(click the link under the photo for her instructions).  Check them out!

Now we're not talking the PAAS kits or using food coloring but using food products around your house to dye your eggs?  It's so much fun.  If you have kids, it's a great way to expose them to something cool that nature does, if you don't have kids, well, do like we do and bring some boiled eggs to work and have people ask you "where did you get that color?"


The process is pretty simple.  Here is a chart I've used for a few years with the list of colors and the products that create them.  It's one I started with (and can't remember the original source), but then along the way I just added to it or edited it along the way.  When you see the word "boiled", it just means that the ingredient MUST be boiled in order to extract the color.


Color
Ingredients
LavenderSmall Amount of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Flowers + 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea bags (Celestial Seasoning brand)
Violet BlueViolet Flowers (no lemon juice)
Red Onion Skins (boiled)
Red Wine
Hibiscus Tea
BlueCanned Blueberries
Large Amount of Purple Grape Juice

Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
GreenSpinach Leaves (boiled)
Fresh Basil (boiled)
Greenish YellowYellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)
Fresh Parsley (boiled)
YellowChamomile Tea
Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Celery Seed (boiled)
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled)
Green Tea

Carrot Tops (boiled)
Golden BrownDill Seeds
BrownStrong or Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea
OrangeYellow Onion Skins (boiled)
Carrots (boiled)
Paprika
Chili Powder
PinkRed Grape Juice
Fresh Cranberries / Cranberry Juice
Raspberries
Beets
Juice from jar of Pickled Beets
Red
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Canned Cherries with Juice
Pomegranate Juice
Raspberries

Wash hard boiled eggs in warm water to remove any oily residue that can affect the color dyeing process and let cool.
There is no exact amount of each of the above ingredients to use.  I usually put a couple of handfuls of each of the bigger items, the spices I just use a few tablespoons.  You can let the water boil for awhile and just see how brightly colored the water is.  Put the color stuff you choose in a saucepan and cover with water by about an inch, and add 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar to each batch.  FYI, it could end up being about 2 cups or so of each dye item, depending on what you use.  You don't need to use all of each one for the color, those are just different ingredients that produce the same color hue. 
Bring to a boil the water and the dye product you are going to use, then reduce heat to low and let simmer anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour or longer, until you like the color you see in the water.  That's really all it comes down to, just get the water a color/shade you like and try it out.  
Pour liquid through a coffee filter or you can use a mesh strainer, and into a bowl or jar that will be deep enough to put your eggs in.  I sometimes use a Mason or Kerr canning type jar.
Don't forget the vinegar, this is to help the dye absorb into the eggshell and is important.  Some people even add another tablespoon to the 'dye' before they put the eggs in.
Use a slotted spoon (or tongs) to put the eggs into the hot liquid.  The eggs will need to sit for quite a bit of time to get a good color.  You can take them out anytime you like the shade they have reached, I sometimes even wait for the liquid to cool and then move it into the refrigerator overnight to let them soak that way.  If you are going to eat them, be SURE to refrigerate them.  You will get a lighter color the less time you let it sit, and a darker color for longer.
Did you know that these very same techniques are used to dye fabrics, yarn and wool?  That's one of the craft projects I hope to be able to work on later on down the road when the farm is up and running.  I want to make our own home dyed yarn that we can eventually sell.  A dear friend of ours does some great crochet work and I am hoping we can talk her into an afghan or throw made from yarn that has been dyed with things from our farm.  I think that would be very cool.
This is a great tool for kids to learn a little history as well; remember that the early settlers used similar techniques for all their homemade clothing. 

Naturally dyed eggs, image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
Enjoy your Easter holiday,
whatever you end up doing!

153 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are many items in certain colors, do we use every item in each column?

Serra said...

This is so very cool! LOVE!!!!! Thanks for sharing! :)

lindasloan said...

Can't wait to do this ! Have you tried using parsley, sage or chives?

1st Man said...

Hi! thanks for asking! I need to edit this post, I can see where that might be confusing. In answer to your question, no, the items in each column are just the types of things that will produce the same color, in case you can't find one in particular or maybe already have one of the others on hand. I've known some people to use two or three of the same items in a color group to get a very rich color, but it's not necessary. Some items will produce a stronger color than others in the same group. It's sort of trial and practice and use what works best for you. Thanks for visiting, I hope you'll come back!!

1st Man said...

Awww, thanks!!! Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comments. We hope to have alot of useful postings like this in the upcoming months. The farm has taken a bit longer to start up and we're still far from it being finished, but I'm going to start blogging about craft things we do soon, farm finished or not, ha. Thanks again! Please come back. And I hope you enjoy!

1st Man said...

You know I haven't used those. My herbs weren't up and running when I tried this last year but I would think they'd work great. I remember boiling some water and using parsley once to try a homemade cleaning solution and that water was a nice shade of green. I might just have to try that!! Thanks for visiting, please keep in touch!

More Like June said...

Thanks for this list! I'd prefer to dye eggs this way but didn't even know where to start. My son is old enough to do this with now!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is a silly question - do you still eat the eggs after you've dyed them? (my mother used to not let us eat the PAAS ones because of dye leaching, but if this is all natural, I don't see why you couldn't!...unless there's another reason I'm not thinking of!)
FANTASTIC post! Excited to try it this year!!

Rebecca said...

Does the flavor of the dye product transfer to the eggs?

1st Man said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting! I hope this works out for you. It's really fun to experiment and see what you come up with. Good luck!!

1st Man said...

Welcome!! Not a silly question at all, in fact I will update the post to reflect this. It's a great question I left out! YES, you can absolutely eat them. If you are going to eat them be sure and refrigerate them. If you are doing the long term dyeing process where you let them sit for a long time in the liquid, they must be refrigerated.

Enjoy!!

1st Man said...

Not that I've ever noticed. With a couple of the stronger colors, I've see a faint color after peeling but have not noticed any flavor at all. Hope you try it!!

Blueberry Bog :: Becky Lee said...

Hi there!

You were pinned on Pinterest, that is how everybody is finding this post! :-) Awesome!

1st Man said...

Wow, I had no idea!! Thank you!! And thanks for visiting, please come back, the best is yet to come...

mama mia said...

Yes ,I repinned you and have had quite a few pin's from mine:) lol... I love this... my two yr old is gonna go nuts cooking eggs for easter this year... SUPER THANKS ... I'm now following your blog as well.. good luck on the farm... and I love the idea for fabric... my mom is an avid fabric dyer... and we are quilters... so I'm going to have to talk her into the all natural dye's for a new quilt:) LOVE IT

1st Man said...

Well thank you for that!! I need to check out pinterest! It's a fun project. Just keep in mind it's not as 'fast' as PAAS or using food coloring and they will be a duller color. But the best part is that they are all natural, and seeing them change color from using some other food product is pretty fun. LOVE the idea of a quilt made using that. You'll have to keep us posted. I'm goign to go check out your blog, thanks for stopping by!!

Anonymous said...

I have been dyeing my eggs for many years, using the papery onion skins from regular onions. I just put the skins in with the eggs when I hard cook them and they come out a deep golden orange. Easy to distinquish the hard cooked eggs. If I am going to make deviled eggs, I will crack the shells and put them back into the cooled cooking liquid which will give the whites a crackled dyed color. Then peel. I have never noticed an onion flavor to the eggs nor have I suffered any illness from eating them. Hope this helps some of your readers. Thanks for the additional color recipes. I will be using them for Easter and when just making hard cooked eggs. Don't want to be anonymous but don't have a url, I think. My name is Cynthia Macri. God bless.

1st Man said...

Welcome Cynthia! I love that you took the time to write such an informative comment. We love it!! Awesome to hear someone else doing the same thing. Thank you SO much!!!

Anonymous said...

hello, love your natural dyes! I dye wool with natural plant materials and am going to try some of your mixtures! your colors are awesome. vickie

Kelly said...

Found you thanks to a pin on pinterest. We've been making changes over the past couple of years to being a more natural family. I love the natural dyes and can't wait to do them as a family this spring. Thanks for sharing. I've also repinned this. :-)

MommaMonster said...

Thank you so much for posting this! As a parent of a child with allergies it can be hard to find a craft where I have control of all the ingredients! This is going to be so much fun and I look forward to checking back to your blog. I shared this on pinterest and with all of my momma friends :)

1st Man said...

I've never tried any of this with wool (though as i mentioned I'd like to) so if you do it, please come back and let us know how it worked!

1st Man said...

I hope you have fun. You might want to do a trial run ahead of Easter, just to get the hang of it. Some take much longer to soak than others. Good luck and THANKS!

1st Man said...

Thank you! It's been working for me for a few years, so I hope it works for you as well! Happy Easter!!

Sara said...

Love this. I can't wait to try this with my kids. I've wanted to for years, but was always a little intimidated. Not anymore! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I just recently move to a farm/ranch and I am in the process of setting up my hen house, alpacas, clearing for an orchard etc... so I will be watching your site. I have been using the onion peels (love the red ones) for years to dye my eggs but I'm so glad to find your list. I have 5 new grand babies in the last 4 years so I will be sure to use this with them this year. Thanks so much for your list!
Crazy Yia-Yia

1st Man said...

Awww, thanks so much! I hope the kids enjoy it. It might "seem" intimidating because of the steps and the pans and jars and such you need to use, but it's really pretty easy. I might suggest starting with a few of the ingredients...maybe make some red onion skins for the red, some spinach for the green, and maybe the hot teas or the turmeric? Hope you have fun.

1st Man said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting and commenting, we appreciate it! We're doing this slowly, on weekends and spare time, so it will be a process, that's for sure. Do you have a blog? Hens and Alpacas? That's awesome! We'd love to have hens, but for now, being out there part time we can't do that now. But an orchard? Oh, I can't WAIT to get our fruit trees in the ground. Fingers crossed, ha! Please come back soon!

Traci Johnson said...

I found this post on Pinterest and just re-pinned it myself. Thanks for all the informative "recipes". I'm a mixed media artist, with a focus on fabric art, and can't wait to try some of these dyes for different fabrics and papers. It will be fun following your blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm the famous deviled egg lady around here, so i thought i'd share. I make colored deviled eggs for all the holidays--boil and peel the eggs, cut in half, remove the middles to make the stuffing, THEN dye the egg halves. I do red and green for Christmas; pastels for Easter; red, white, and blue (arranged like a flag) for 4th of July; even "black" (turns a deep purple) and orange for Halloween. I usually use candy/icing coloring for the darker colors. I'm eager to try all these natural colors--have done so before with pale results, but your recipes/techniques will help me get better colors, i'm sure. Thanks! I also plan to try some tie-dye with these recipes.

1st Man said...

Thanks! I'm so glad everyone is enjoying this post. I love the idea of fabric dyes. I've never done that, I don't see why it wouldn't work, but I'd love to hear how it works! Please come back and let us know if you do it. And thanks for following the blog, once we're out there more often, we'll have lots more fun crafts and projects. Thanks again!!

1st Man said...

Now that sounds awesome! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE deviled eggs, one of my favorite things. I never thought about coloring the whites. That's so cool. And you do them for each holiday? Way cool! Let us know if it works, have no idea how it will turn out but would love to hear! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and make a comment, we appreciate it!!

Lindy said...

Wow, going to try this for Easter. My grandmother did the onion eggs. She covered raw eggs with the skins and then wrapped the egg in cheesecloth. (make sure to tie the cheescloth with string or a rubber band) Boil as usual. when you unwrap them they are marbled, orange and brown. No onion taste at all.

Elizabeth said...

This looks so fun! Can't wait to try it!

Angela @ Green Thumbs and Mucky Paws said...

I have been looking for natural dyes like this. Thanks! Hoping to experiment with using them as wood stains for natural garden signs.

Just Another Mom's Dot Com said...

Hi! This sounds awesome! I assume it would be fine, but I'm not sure... would it be ok to make these dyes days in advance before I plan on actually dying the eggs? It seems like it would be a time savor for me to maybe start a week in advance and make one color a day during dinner or something, and then we'd be able to dye the eggs all on the same day. Do you know if this would be ok?

Thank you!

lois said...

I remember doing this with my mom as a kid! Thanks for the list of other ingredients besides cabbage and onion.

Estela said...

super excited about this post! My kids are allergic to food dyes and so we have never dyed eggs before! I knew there had to be a way to do it naturally but never wanted to waste eggs to try it out! My daughter just the other day asked if we could dye eggs (then asked for egg salad in the same breath) Now I can say yes to both! Thanks so much!

1st Man said...

I like that method! I bet they make a really pretty egg! Thanks for sharing!!!

1st Man said...

Awww, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Hope you have a great time!

1st Man said...

Wow, I'd love to see how that comes out. Please keep us posted!!

1st Man said...

Hmm, you know, that is a great question. I really don't see why it wouldn't work. Just make it and take out/strain out the stuff and keep the "dye liquid" refrigerated until you need it. I would think it would work. I might have to try that myself.

1st Man said...

No problem! I hope you enjoy! Thanks so much for commenting.

1st Man said...

Awww, now that means a lot to us. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it works for them and they have a blast!

Angela Elledge said...

Thank you so very much for sharing your recipes for natural egg dying. I have very fond memories of my little grandmother dying Easter eggs with natural materials from the farm. I do remember her telling me she wrapped onion skins around the eggs and tied string to hold the skins onto the eggs. There were other materials she used, but do not remember if they were anything from your list; sadly, none of us ever thought to record how she did it. So, thanks again for this sweet memory of my little grandmother; I cannot wait to give this a try!

1st Man said...

Wow, what a nice memory! Hope you have fun with this and it brings back more memories. We didn't come up with these ourselves, just a collection of stuff from various sources that we have used and it's nice to see that they are part of a long history of people using natural ingredients for stuff like this.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly what I was thinking! I imagine it would work fine - just reheat the liquid and add the vinegar when ready to go. It might even yield a darker color if the ingredients sat in the water for a while but that would be an experiment for sure (may just turn to yuck!). Here's to great experimentation!

Fire Wife Katie said...

Thank you for putting together this chart, I appreciate the effort it took to compile everything!

Anna said...

Found you through Pinterest and your blog looks really interesting. Can't wait to keep reading what other great things you have here. I am really excited to try these dyes too, with our 4 and 2 year old girls, this Easter.

Carrie Grant said...

It's always a good day when you come across a new favorite blog. Can't wait to catch up and keep up! Thanks for sharing.

1st Man said...

You are quite welcome. I hope you enjoy.

1st Man said...

I hope it works for you!! We don't have as many other 'crafty' things yet, the closing for the farm took longer last year than expected then the remodeling, which is still ongoing, took more time. Once we have it all fixed up where we can start doing more stuff, we'll put up some more fun things. Until then, enjoy what we do have!

1st Man said...

Awww, what a nice thing to say! I hope you enjoy what we are doing! Thanks so much!!

Ambrosia's Creations said...

Thank you SO much for this post! I absolutely cannot wait to try this out and hopefully make it a new tradition for Easter and dying eggs!

Canadian Designer said...

Another great one is onion skins which give you a colour similar to turmeric. And if you leave the onion skins in with the eggs while they're dyeing, you get some really nice mottling effects.

fromhereyoucanseetheocean said...

Perfect! I never dye Easter eggs because I can't find chemical free kits. So excited to do it this year :) Thanks!

barefoot mama said...

This is fabulous!! thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this! ~ Brooke

julieshepler said...

I have a weird question... since you need to boil the eggs anyway, could you boil them along with the dye and do it all in one step? Love the recipes and looking forward to giving them a try.

1st Man said...

You probably could...the only thing I would wonder about is that a few of the ingredients have to be boiled for a bit to get the richest color extracted, and the eggs might tend to overcook. But hey, I haven't tried it so I can't say for sure. It would be worth trying. I hope it all works, let us know!

1st Man said...

Thank YOU! I hope it works for you! Happy Easter!!

1st Man said...

I love that idea! Will have to try that!! Thanks so much.

1st Man said...

That would be awesome!! I love traditions. Hope it all works for you. Thanks for visiting and commenting, it means alot!!

Dancing Raven Design said...

Awesome! I found your blog through Food Revolution Snohomish County (via Facebook) I've been coloring eggs with natural dyes off and on for years--what a great list of materials you've got here. If you haven't already tried them on brown and blue eggs, you'll love the subtle shades the natural dyes produce. Thanks!

1st Man said...

You know, until we recently had more access (via the neighbors down the driveway) to the brown and blue eggs, I've always done them on white eggs. I will have to try that. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for following us. I will do the same!!

susan said...

Hello - cool idea. I am doing this with a kindergarten class of 25! Can I prep the dyes in advance and then have the kids dye their eggs at school? I was going to test a few this weekend and then save the dye to take to class. I am sure it is a trial and error thing, I was just wondering if you had any insight! Thanks for inspiring a very creative project! Happy Spring.

Monica said...

We do Ukrainian style Easter eggs, and I've been wanting to try out some natural dyes with those. Have you ever used more than one colour on an egg? Do you think some of the darker colours would "cover" the lighter ones? If I try it I'll let you know how it goes!
Thanks :)

1st Man said...

Hi! 25? I don't envy you there, ha. I've never done it that way, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I wish I knew, please let us know how it comes out!! Fingers crossed for you!

1st Man said...

I've read other articles where they make the basic colors, like red, yellow, blue and then mix them to produce other colors like you would for green, purple, etc. Those Urkrainian style eggs are beautiful. Please keep us posted! THanks for stopping by!!

citylightscountrycharms said...

I found this pinned on pinterest. This new site has been so wonderful for small-time bloggers. Congrats on such a jump in your readers, that I am sure you are seeing, from this post. I love the idea of naturally dying eggs. I love finding new ways to do things naturally, and this is fantastic! I grew up dying eggs for easter, and it was a very big thing in my house, it brings back a lot of fond memories. Now that I am grown up and doing this with my 'family', I can't wait to try it naturally, and without all the paper waste that comes with purchasing the store bought kits. Thank you so much for your list!

Teri said...

I love this craft, but most of all your kindness and enthusiasm in responding to those who've been fortunate enough to find your site. It's a light in the world...inspiring and truly special. Bravo! Thank you for sharing and I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

Great information. I love being able to go to my cabinet to get what I need to dye my eggs. I posted a link to this blog on the Facebook page of a co-op I am a part of (Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op).

Here is a link: http://www.facebook.com/BountifulBaskets?__adt=4&filter=2

1st Man said...

Yes, I love that we are getting new visitors like you! I hope you come back. I hope it works out great for you. Easter egg dyeing is a fun project that kids remember always.

1st Man said...

WOW! Those are some very kind words. I don't know what to say, other than thank you! I've always said that if people take the time to comment, I owe it to give them a personal reply. It means alot to us that you stop by and enjoy it enough to comment. Thank you again. Today was my birthday and your comment is a great present! Please come back soon!

1st Man said...

Thank you!!! We have a facebook page for the farm, though I haven't updated in awhile, need to do that. But I'll stop by your page!! Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it and it all works out for you.

Jules said...

my creative mind cannot figure out what else i could use these fabulous dyes for..... thinking something same size but hmmmmmm ideas thoughts?!?!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic-- such a fantastic resource!
m

LittleWing. said...

After the color is dried, you can put some olive (or other type of) oil on the egg, it will give a nice shine!
In my family we always color our Easter eggs that way!! Nice to see that is popular in America, too.
Kisses from Italy!
(Sorry for the bad English :*)

1st Man said...

I was hoping that this Easter we'd be in the farmhouse more often and be able to do some fun crafts but, as you may have seen on the blog, we don't things finished like we had hoped. As for other ideas, I've wanted to dye some pieces of fabric and have a quilt made. Also thought of some dyed yarn. I'm open to suggestions!! :-)

1st Man said...

Thank you! Appreciate the comment!

1st Man said...

First of all, your English is just fine, don't worry at all. Welcome to "our farm"! I love the idea of the olive oil on the eggs, great idea. I can imagine that makes them a beautiful deep color. Glad to hear that you and your family have always been doing this. Great! Kisses back from the US! ;-)

BoysMom said...

Ooh, I'll try that with red onion skins...

Kasia said...

In my opinion the nicest color comes from regular onion peels (boiled) it is a rich brown color!

1st Man said...

Thanks for that tip! We appreciate it. I hope you have a great Easter. :-)

Keri S said...

We just did this last weekend. You're right it's best not to wait until Easter cause it does take some adjusting to the way we used to do it, but we couldn't be more pleased with the results. We used spinach leaves and it made a great green, and then red cabbage which does come out bluish (kind of weird how that works) and then coffee for a deep rich brown. Thanks again. We hope to try some more before this weekend so we'll be "old pros" at it.

Rebekah said...

Thanks for all the recipes! I've never seen so many in one post! :) Did you use white eggs or brown eggs?

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, clear, helpful post. My family thanks you! You've spared little growing hands from a chemically-stained holiday! The natural way is better for so many reasons. Many, many thanks. -- Texas Mom

Kara @ June & Bear said...

found you through pinterest and i really hope we get to try these this weekend. thanks so much for the chart and directions!

1st Man said...

Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you tried them and they worked out for you. You're right it's not as easy as "old school" dyeing, it needs a bit more time, not something you could do the morning of, ha. But it's so rewarding in the end.

1st Man said...

First, thanks for visiting! I've only used white eggs, but I'd like to try it with brown (or blue/green) eggs sometime. I hope it works for you!! :-)

1st Man said...

Awww, thanks for that. I hope you have fun and you're right, natural is the best way to go. Happy Easter and thank you again for the kind words.

1st Man said...

I love Pinterest! I'm glad you found us. Please come back, we'll have more stuff like that soon. Happy Easter and thanks again.

Courtney said...

One of the best recipes around! Thanks for sharing these tips. I just featured you on my blog: http://cstarevents.blogspot.ca/2012/04/natural-easter-egg-dyes.html

Shawna Neuner said...

I love the idea to dye the eggs when you boil them to help identify boiled eggs in the fridge! We use brown eggs, do you know of anything that would work to add color to those?

1st Man said...

Oh, wow, thank YOU! Awesome post and I'm honored to be included. Thanks again!!

lo said...

Hi there!
I manage a Farmers' Market in Tacoma, Washington, and I love these ideas for natural egg dyeing (so many ingredients can be found at our market!). Is it okay if I use your recipe? I will link back to your blog! Thanks in advance and thanks for the great info!

1st Man said...

Absolutely no problem. I have used my recipe from some other source a few years ago, and just added to it and tweaked it here and there. I'm more than happy for anyone else to do the same. Thank you so much!

And by the way, LOVE Farmers' Markets, we have a couple here in Houston that we try to frequent as often as we can. I love what you all do. :-)

Valerie said...

Ok...I was so excited about trying this...the results after the eggs sitting in the dyes for 2 hours is very mixed. The spinach was a total bust, the orange from the carrots needed help from chili powder, the blueberry juice looks more purple, the raspberry is pink not red as is the grape juice. We didn't get the intense colors like in the picture.

Could you please provide better quantities of ingredients for 2 cups of dye? Is frozen spinach better than baby spinach? Would like to try it again but I would like to be better assured of better results. Thanks.

1st Man said...

Valerie, so sorry it didn't come out. I noticed in my post i didn't mention chopping up the spinach leaves. When we used green we used probably 2 packages of the spinach, and chopped it up. Not sure how frozen would work. Now the green we came up with was a pale green. I did leave one in overnight and got a darker green. Be sure to add 1/4 cup vinegar to the boiling liquid. Vinegar helps the dye soak in, giving a darker color.

I had planned to update this list this year with more ingredients and quantities that worked best but didn't get to it with the house not being finished and all.

I feel bad you didn't have a good result. Hmmm...let me research a little (there are a lot of blogs with naturally dyed egg recipes listed) and see what I can come up with. :-(

Krista Montalvo said...

I put this on my blog! Can't wait to try it out.
http://www.amarmielife.com/

Valerie said...

Thanks...The blueberry did go blue and the orange (carrots and chili powder) and yellow (cumin) turned out nice. I'm leaving them in the fridge overnight...will be almost 24 hours in the dye by the time I get back to them. I had chopped the spinach but didn't use that much. The liquid that is drained from frozen spinach is much greener...would be worth a try. Will see how the colors look tomorrow. Will try it again...a small batch at a time and 1 color recipe.

Will keep an eye out for an updated list...love the colors in the egg carton...want to achieve those as well.

Thanks

Laura said...

We are preparing to dye our eggs and have used natural dyes for years. I use grape juice concentrate (instead of juice) for our blue/lavender color. Figure the color will be more intense that way. Your color-coded list is visually appealing, thanks for sharing!
Laura
Synergistic Acres - Kansas City Natural Farm

1st Man said...

You know, the frozen spinach might work. You're right, the liquid is very green. Just add some vinegar. Someone a few comments above posted a link to her blog where she linked to this one, and there are a few more links to other places for some natural dyes. Also, Mother Earth News website has several articles about naturally dyeing eggs. That photo of the eggs in the carton was scanned from the original book I had that showed me some things about dyeing eggs. I have come up with eggs in almost all those colors (various pale shades of color) except the darkest blue. My dark blue was in between those two blues. Naturally dyed eggs will be a bit lighter overall than PAAS or something like that. Or maybe I guess it's a more natural color. I still feel bad you aren't getting the color you want.

Jamie F said...

We've been dyeing eggs naturally as well for quite a while. You're list is pretty spot on. I think most people want them to be like the eggs we grew up with, but they will be a little lighter. Although we have come up with dakrer ones by leaving them overnight in the dye liquid with a little vinegar. I got a dark blue once with the red cabbage leaves and just let them soak in the fridge. To the person asking about spinach, frozen might work, that liquid is very green. I do the same, just google "natural dye for easter eggs" and there are lots of ideas out there. Good luck to everyone.

Tammi L said...

Also found you on Pinterest. We tried this today and love the results. We experimented with the following: Dandelion, coffee, cumin, red lettuce, grass, strawberries/blueberries, carrots, blackberries, spinach/rosemary/basil. Thank you!

perija said...

I just dyed some eggs, I used red onion skin, tea bags....black tea, zinger, added a little turemic. for designs I used maiden hair fern, spanish moss and white oak leaves....they did not turn out as colorful as your post mine were more muted, but they are always pretty ....Will work harder at getting the darker colors in the future...thank you!

Veronica Malvez said...

We did this as well and it came out great. I don't know what I did different but we got some realy dark colors. We used several green herbs and some spinach, pureed in the blender and boiled in some water. Put some vinegar in there, and then let the eggs soak in it for several hours. Got a deep green color. I used organic eggs, could that make a difference? Thanks for the info, it was fun, next year we'll try more stuff. Hope you guys had a wonderful Easter. Love your blog, keep up the good work.

1st Man said...

Thanks for posting that, love your blog by the way, thanks for sharing the link. Hope you had a great Easter!

1st Man said...

Will definitely try the concentrate, makes sense to me! Thank you for taking the time to comment and for sharing the link to your blog.

1st Man said...

Yes, sometimes they come out darker, and other times not as dark. It's weird, not sure what causes that. Thanks for the input on the stuff that has worked for you. It's nice that you took the time to share and comment!

1st Man said...

Wow you tried alot! Awesome. Hope they came out for you. Appreciate you letting us know. I'll need to update this for NEXT Easter, ha.

1st Man said...

I think it's just trial and error. I wish I could post something that makes them always come out dark. You tried some really cool things, I'll have to do that too. I was just mentioning that next year I need to update the list. They do always come out pretty, just something so natural and subtle about them. Thanks for commenting.

1st Man said...

Veronica, thank YOU for sharing your experience and for the nice comments about our blog. The puree sounds like a great idea. It might concentrate the color more. Not sure if organic makes a difference but if it did for you, it's worth trying again and seeing if they come out deeper. Yes, next year, I'm sensing a new update. Might work on that over the summer. Thanks again, please come back!

Anonymous said...

I too, have been using natural dyes for eggs and fibers. Dark Alpaca with blueberries makes navy blue. I like wrapping leaves or teas on the egg with cheesecloth. Love the patterns. Dandelions, blossoms and leaves, make a bright yellow-green. Kale and pumpkin and sweet potatoes are all fun, too.
Happy dying. Marsha

1st Man said...

Hi Marsha! Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing other experiences! Thank you so much for adding some more info. I love it!!! Can't wait to try your ideas as well. Again, thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, i am unsuccessfully trying to find a greyish/blue dye for some sea fan coral. Any suggestions to how your options might take to the coral? Thanks in advance =) -Kim

Anonymous said...

my grandparents used onion skins to get a rich mahogany brown color and then rubbed the shells with lard to make them shiny. I'll have to try some of these other colors

1st Man said...

Sorry for delay, this comment got buried down my list of comments to reply to. I'm not sure what would work best for that. Not sure how the coral would react...Hmmm....for the eggs, I got the best blue from blueberries. But a grayish blue I'm not sure about. I've heard hyacinth flowers can give a blue color that I've yet to try. Maybe a mixture of that or blueberries and one of the brownish ones like the black walnut shells?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain this process, and the chart of what makes what colors! I'm SO looking forward to trying this. I think I might try to suspend an egg so only part of it gets dyed then flip it to dye the other side another color...or leave part of the egg exposed by lowering the liquid level? We'll see what happens...Would it be possible to identify which item you used to establish the results in the pictures? Have you ever tried writing/drawing on the eggs with a white crayon before dying like this? (found you via Pinterest, too).
~Elizabeth

Sorta Crunchy Jenn said...

This post is making its rounds on pintrest again! All of the pastured eggs around here are brown. Do you think these dyes will work on the brown eggs? Has anyone tried it?

Anonymous said...

If you want to add a texture to the eggs, wrap in onion skins and use a elastic band to hold in place. Boil the eggs with the skins wrapped around and they take on a look of being made from wood or wood grained. I did this with yellow and red onion skins and they turned out amazing.

1st Man said...

Oh, I love the idea of texture. I have never tried this, but we definitely will. Thank you for the tip. We have some silicone bands for baking, that would work perfect for the skins. Thanks!

1st Man said...

Thanks for stopping by! I like the idea of half and half. I have never tried using a white crayon, but I can totally see how that would come out. The picture at the bottom is from marthastewart. I had a picture of mine but about a year or so ago but google had a glitch and I lost a bunch and didn't have back ups (I do now). I found this one and replaced it. I was going to update this year but there is so much going on at the farm, I'm not sure I'll get to it (Easter seems early this year!). I'll see what i can do. Thanks again for stopping by.

CJG said...

Could you do this on blown eggs? As much as I love eggs, I don't know that I could eat so many boiled eggs. With the blown eggs, I could make a quiche or a frittata (and also use up some of the onions, and maybe some spinach), and then freeze up some slices for later.

Thanks so much for posting such a great list of natural ingredients to use. I'm definitely going to give this a try (I think I'll start with onions, red cabbage, spinach and blueberries)!

1st Man said...

You sure could. I haven't done it, but you could make them up and plus they could theoretically last year and year if taken care of. That's a good idea actually? I might try that this year. Onions, cabbage and spinach were what I started with too. Hope it comes out. Remember, patience is the key they take time to soak. Thanks and happy Easter!!

Anonymous said...

If you want a darker shade, some of the natural dyes react well to a teensy amount of pickling lime added to your batch. First you have to disolve the pickling lime in a little boiling water, then add it to the batch. (just a pinch). Pickling lime may also change some of your shades altogether and you may discover new shades of dye. For instance, you can get a dark blue to purple from Dark Plum skins, yet if you add a pinch of pickling lime and leave it sit over night you will have an intense green! And pickling lime is a food additive used for centuries to preserve home canned pickles and keep their color and crispness. Ergo, safe to eat.

Anonymous said...

I added that last comment as annonymous because my account type was not available.

Crystal@SewCreativeBlog said...

I can not even begin to tell you how fabulous this project is. Dying eggs from natural ingredients takes "Handmade Easter" to a whole new level. Bye bye PAAS.

I featured this post on my blog in my Weekly Inspiration: Easter Projects post. I'd love for you to stop by and take a look if you have a moment.

http://www.sewcreativeblog.com/weekly-inspiration-easter-projects/

Best Wishes,

Crystal

moms dish said...

I shared your link with my readers, thank you so much for sharing :)

1st Man said...

That's a great suggestion. Thank you thank you for the info!!

1st Man said...

Totally understandable! It will let you put a name (and you can make up a name, ha) and you don't have to put a website even though that's listed. I may have to stop anonymous comments because there are 50 spam messages a day coming in and I don't want to miss valuable comments from people like you. Thanks again!!

1st Man said...

Thank you so much for the link up. I am stopping by tonight. Thank you so much

1st Man said...

Thank you, thank you! I'm off to visit your blog as well. Happy Easter!

✿ Karyn said...

I am excited to try this, and you provided very helpful information! Thank you! Growing up, my dad would always use red onion peels to dye his eggs. Recently I've noticed that when I am working in my flower bed - specifically with my deep purple irises - if they are wet, then they drip beautiful purple drops and can dye the sidewalk (or my hands!) a really neat color! So, I have been eager to try dying eggs with the petals from my iris. I hope it will work! Thanks for the tips. :)

1st Man said...

Well first of all, thank you for the kind words and the great info. I haven't done the Iris dying yet but it sounds lovely. I'll have to try that. thank you for that tip!

Faroleco said...

Excellent idea!
I'll try it in the next Easter.

Thanks,
http://faroleco.blogspot.pt/

Lina said...

Thank you for posting these fabulous ideas! Would the dyes work on unfinished wooden eggs?

1st Man said...

Hmm, I'm never dyed wood in this manner. It would be worth a try? I'd LOVE to know how they come out, if they do of course, please let us know. Thanks for stopping by!!

K kay_can said...

Hi
I just came across your blog! Love it. The eggs look wonderful; I will have to try them with my grandkids. I have been using kool-aid and I have to say it does a great job, also safe for the kids. Thanks for posting the pictures.

heather at wordplayhouse® said...

This was a wonderfully informative post. The first image you shared with your information is from one of my favorite bloggers. I blog too, so I know how much it is appreciated when credit is given. I am sure she would love the image and a big link below the image to her own post added (you may find it here http://www.whiteleycreek.com/queen_of_the_meadow_bloom/2012/04/natural-egg-dye.html). I know sources often get separated from the original creators, so it's always nice to get them connected again:) As a blogger yourself you know how much work and love you put into your own posts, so thanks for sharing that work and love of another blogger too. I am glad to have stumbled upon your space here! Warmly, ~heather

1st Man said...

Hey Heather!! First, thanks for stopping by, I'm going to have to check out your blog as well, I love finding new stuff! I had to check and when I hover over the caption on that photo, I have the place where I originally got it. My post was from 2011, I see your friends is from 2012. My original source was from a blog that used it in 2009 and I'm not sure if it was theirs originally. So I'm not sure where the credit goes. I figured 2009 trumped the others, ha. I'll definitely link to where it goes but I'm thinking the 2009 one might be the original? Check with her (or I'll send her a note) and make sure. I want to get it right. Thanks again!!! Happy New Year! :-)

1st Man said...

I just found your Mom's original post from 2008. So the place I got it 2011, and had it in 2009, didn't post where they got it. I have corrected the link and given your Mom a shout out and link back to her post. Please tell her I'm sorry for the initial error and I love her beautiful photo. If she needs it removed, I will do that, just let me know. :-)

heather at wordplayhouse® said...

Lovely! Thanks, 1st Man! ~heather

Adrienne said...

I love roads that invite wonder. That beckon. The long driveway leading to your little farmhouse is that. No matter the years, may your heart always quicken every time you reach the end of your country drive... knowing that you are developing your dream to live peacefully and self-sufficiently while honoring our environment and living with less. One day, you will gather eggs from your own hens. You will snip chamomile and basil from your gardens. You will harvest red cabbage and spinach. You will dye beautiful eggs in the springtime. Your "shout out" and link is immensely appreciated, 1st Man. Thank you. ~Adrienne, Whiteley Creek Homestead, Owner/Innkeeper

1st Man said...

Wow, I never thought a comment could make me teary eyed, but yours did. How very sweet of you to leave such great and inspiring comment. Thank you so much. You made our day. All our best always! :-)

Anonymous said...

The spice Turmeric would make a pretty color, too Be careful though. It really stains!

Bethany W said...

Hi, can I feature your post on my blog? Would all link back to your blog....

1st Man said...

Yes absolutely!

Bethany W said...

Thanks, I'll let you know when the post is up...

Raisa Stone said...

Hi,

I was wondering if I could borrow your wonderful color chart for my "Easter Eggs for Ukraine Project." I will be posting the event on Facebook and on my website. The idea is for people to make and give away as many eggs as possible, to ward off evil. This is the traditional purpose of these naturally dyed eggs.

Thanking you in advance.

1st Man said...

Yes absolutely you can.

1st Man said...

Oh and what a great idea we have all of our support for the Ukrainian people.

Bea said...

The problem with blown eggs is that they don't submerge in the dye. The bob on top of it. I had to keep them down with a couple of spoons until all the air had bobbled out. But the colours turned out nice. Different then the one on your photo. I wondered if "commercial" eggs get a "coating" to keep them fresh longer?

Bea said...

Did my first comment come through? Well, I try once more. Blown eggs have to be pushed manually under water until all air has bobbled out. Otherwise they won't submerge into the dye. They just will swim on top of it because they are filled with air.