Natural Egg Dyes

by Trisha

Herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables can yield unique and attractive natural colors for dyeing Easter eggs. These one of a kind eggs are fun and easy to make. Almost any plant material will yield unique colors.

Use the following as a guide and enjoy experimenting!

  • Yellow – onion skins, turmeric, chamomile, sage, annatto, zinnia, marigolds, safflower
  • Orange – carrot peels, beet juice, goldenrod
  • Green – spinach, kale, parsley, red onion skins, rosemary, thyme, carrot tops
  • Lavender – blackberries, red cabbage, blueberries, grape juice concentrate
  • Brown – black tea, coffee, pine cones, acorns, pecans, tea leaves

Boil eggs with 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the water. Allow eggs to cool at room temperature. Chop or crush dyeing material and place in a non-aluminum pan. Cover with water and boil for five minutes or more to achieve desired color. Strain and place eggs in dye while liquid is still hot. Remove egg when it reaches the desired color.

For a marbled effect wrap the dye material around the uncooked egg and wrap it in aluminum foil. Boil the eggs as usual for hard cooking. Leave the egg in the foil after cooking to allow color to set.

Finished eggs may be polished with a light coating of oil.

For decorative herbal patterns, cut pantyhose into 6-to 8-inch squares and collect intricately patterned leaves and flowers from the garden. Wet the eggs and place the leaves on the eggs. Wrap the eggs with the hose fabric or with cheesecloth and tie with a twist tie. Dip into desired color and allow to cool before removing the fabric and plant material. The pattern of the leaf or flower will be left on the egg. You may dye the egg one color, apply leaves and dye another color. Salad burnet, Italian parsley, dandelion leaves and flowers and many other weeds and wildflowers make beautiful patterned eggs.