Eggs To Dye For

Do you just love that little play on words for the title of this post? I do! Well, let us get down to the business of dying eggs.

First, a little history lesson. Ancient Persians and Egyptians used to trade decorated eggs the early part of spring annually to celebrate fertility. Neat!

So, this is about the basics of dying eggs with some tips. Nothing fancy. I will leave that to your creative juices. This is just to help anyone that has not dyed eggs before, needs help remembering or just wants the simple elegance of understated decor of simple dyed eggs.

First of all, make sure you protect your work surface unless you are trying to get dye all over the place. Old clothes, aprons, smocks, etc. are also a good idea.

You will need as many hard-boiled eggs as you/your family will eat that have been cooled completely. Try not to go overboard otherwise you will start to look at eggs the same way you look at turkey after Thanksgiving!

Make sure you have some food dye on hand. See below for making your own food dyes, naturally. Any type will do, just follow the directions if using anything fancier than the old-fashioned drop food coloring first. See tips below.

You will also need a cup for each color you are going to create along with vinegar. A tablespoon of vinegar for each cup should do. Plus some metal spoons. We use our coffee cups and everyday soup spoons.

To dry your eggs once they are dyed, try using the egg carton, a wire cooling rack (cookie rack), newspaper or even simple paper towels. Be careful of that dye, it will really dye nearly anything!

Finally, you will need enough water to submerge your egg unless you are planning on doing partial dying for a faded effect on your eggs. If you are doing this, add your water to the cup first and test with an egg to see how much it covers, then remove a tablespoon of water to compensate for the vinegar that will be added. Remove the egg and let dry. Then mix your food coloring and vinegar in.

Some optional additional things you may want for some simple effects are sticky tape, stickers, rubber bands, etc. These can be placed on before dying to leave a non-dyed area which can be left as is for a simple elegance or removed and the egg placed into another dye to make a tie-died/layered effect. As I said, optional.

Everything assembled? Great! Let us get down to the business of dying.

So, your eggs are hard-boiled and cold/cool. Your cups are all in a row with water, vinegar and dye. A spoon for each color. Your drying situation is set up and in reach. Excellent!

Now, this is where you get creative. Start the dying by gently lowering your egg with a spoon into the dye. The longer it rests in the dye, the richer the color will be.

If you are going for an area to be dyed, say half, simply hold the egg on the spoon in cup half-way.

Once you have your egg how you want it, set it to dry. Leave your little masterpiece alone for at least 10 minutes.

Once they are dry, keep refrigerated. I prefer a pretty clear bowl and display them in my refrigerator. It adds a touch of cheer when the door is opened.

  1. Always ensure that you are using food grade dyes, paints, etc. when dealing with hard-boiled eggs. Otherwise your eggs may not be safe to eat and thus wasted.
  2. Use round stickers before dying to make cute polka dotted eggs.
  3. To make a marbled effect, add about a teaspoon of oil to each cup of prepared dye.
  4. You can make your finished eggs shine by gently wiping the dye-set eggs with a bit of veggie oil on a paper towel.
  5. If you are a hands-on person, use rubber gloves to keep all those dyes off your fingers.
  6. When using natural dyes, it is best to hard-boil the eggs in the dye materials and yes, the teaspoon of vinegar is still needed to set the dye.
  7. This is a great activity to do with kids!

Natural Food Dyes
  1. Grape juice will make a purple. More juice makes a deeper purple.
  2. Red wine will make a reddish-burgundy color. Depends on the color of the wine.
  3. Boiled spinach leaves make a green.
  4. Boiled yellow apple peels make a greenish yellow.
  5. Boiled lemon peels make a yellow.
  6. Chamomile tea makes a yellow.
  7. Cappuccino makes a brown.
  8. Instant coffee makes a brown.
  9. Cooked carrots make an orange.
  10. Pickled beets juice makes a pink.
  11. Pomegranate juice makes a red.

How did you decorate your eggs this year?


Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Stay frugal!