Easter Craft – Natural Egg Dyeing

28 March 2018, Joanna Lodge

Nothing says Easter like eggs (besides Spring, new life, fertility… and chocolate).

Bangkok has embraced the western traditions of Easter, and the paraphernalia that goes with it, but it can still be challenge to find decorative Easter fare. In our house, we’ve set ourselves the challenge of making our decorations this year in a bid to be more environmentally conscious (not shipping in plastic eggs from China) and a little bit healthier (steering away from chocolate – much to my own personal heartbreak).

So, in our search we found that it’s easy and very possible to make your own naturally dyed Easter eggs using spices and vegetables as a dyeing agent.

When your eggs are dry they can be decorated with other colours to make additional patterns. Make a twig tree using branches from outside and hang the eggs using ribbon or string. Place the eggs around the house or the garden, instead of chocolate Easter eggs, to make a fantastic egg hunt. Reward with a crafty gift, book or voucher for a fun Easter activity.

Here’s what you need:

  • Hard boiled eggs (as many as you want to dye); handy tip: white duck eggs come out truer to the colour chosen, but brown chicken eggs can be more of an exciting gamble.
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped purple cabbage (or butterfly pea flowers) per cup of water for BLUE/LILAC/MAUVE
  • 1 cup red onion skins per cup of water for MAUVE/PURPLE
  • 1 cup yellow onion skins per cup of water for YELLOW/ORANGE/BROWN
  • 1 cup shredded beets per cup of water for PURPLE/PINK
  • 1 cup frozen spinach per cut of water for GREEN
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric per cup of water YELLOW/ORANGE
  • White distilled vinegar (1 tablespoon per cup of strained dye)
  • Liquid neutral oil, such as vegetable or coconut

And here’s what to do:

  1. Place chopped dyeing agent into a saucepan with 1 cup of water to 1 cut of agent and bring to the boil
  2. Simmer on a low heat until colour is released (around 20 mins)
  3. Strain the liquid into a container and discard the agent
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar – this acts as a fixer
  5. Place boiled eggs into the same container so that they are completely covered
  6. Place in the fridge until the desired colour is reached
  7. If you want a deeper colour, let them dry and then place back in the solution for longer. The more you dip them the more intense the colour will become
  8. Once you are happy with the colour, and they have dried fully, massage some oil into the shells and polish

They’re ready to use!

Tips:

It is also possible to dye the raw eggs, by cooking them in the dye solution with the vinegar but the fridge results tend to be more effective.

If you’re in need of a lot of eggs, maybe make an Easter meringue. Poke small holes on each end of the egg, blow out the contents, and wash and use the empty egg shells.

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