Rather than purchasing an egg dyeing kit full of artificial food coloring, learn how to dye eggs naturally for a healthy and creative DIY approach to coloring your Easter eggs this year.
Using natural dyes is as easy as choosing fruits, vegetables, dried or ground herbs, and then adding them to room temperature or boiling water in order to create your color palette.
How beautiful and rich are these colors? Once you create your solution, simply soak hard-boiled eggs until they reach the color you want.
The depth of color is determined by how long the eggs stay in the solution.
Once out of the solution and having been dried, it’s also recommended to keep the eggs chilling in refrigerator until you’re ready to display them or add them to your child’s Easter basket.
Natural Egg Dye Ingredients
Depending on the colors you want, mix and match this list of ingredients. But make sure you have the vinegar!
To make naturally dyed eggs, you will need:
- Boiled Eggs with shells on
- Red cabbage (for blue)
- Blueberries (for dark blue)
- Spinach or parsley (for yellow/green)
- Turmeric (for yellow)
- Onion or Paprika (for orange)
- Brewed coffee (for brown)
- Beets (for red or pink)
- Grape juice (for lavender)
- Vinegar (1 tablespoon for each color)
- Water (2 cups for each color)
Tips For Coloring Eggs Naturally
Here are a few tips that will make this process run smoothly.
Boil your eggs first; remove from hot water and let cool.
Then once they cool off, rub the shells with white vinegar. This will help the dye adhere to the egg.
When your dye is ready, place your eggs in deep jars or bowls with the natural dyes and let sit for several minutes or longer.
For deeper color saturation, leave in solution longer or refrigerate eggs overnight.
When color has been achieved, remove eggs from solutions and blot dry with a paper towel.
Remember, these colors will not be the same as eggs dyed with food coloring and that’s ok!
Experiment with both white and brown eggs. The brown eggs will take on a more muted color tone when dyed.
For glossy eggs: After your eggs have been dyed and completely dried, take a cloth and lightly rub vegetable oil on them to create an outer gloss.
When you are done with your eggs, check out our uses for leftover hard-boiled eggs and get the most out of them!
Natural Dye Solution Recipes
To create the dye solution for each color, mix 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and your chosen vegetable or spice, and boil for 20 minutes.
For each natural color, use the following amounts:
Blue: Cut about 1/4 head of red cabbage into chunks and add to 2 cups of boiling water. Let cool to room temperature and remove cabbage with a slotted spoon. Add vinegar.
Muted Blue: Boil 2 cups frozen blueberries with 2 cup water, bring to room temperature, and remove blueberries. Do not add vinegar.
Green: Add a cup of spinach to boiling water. Add vinegar.
Lavender: Mix 1 cup grape juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Orange: Longer soaking of onion-dyed eggs will help you achieve a darker color. Take the skin of 6 yellow onions and simmer in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then strain. Add vinegar.
Red-Orange: Stir 2 Tablespoons of ground paprika into 1 cup boiling water. Add vinegar.
Mustard Yellow: Stir 2 Tablespoons of ground turmeric into 1 cup boiling water. Add vinegar.
Red/Dark Pink: Beet-dyed eggs will darken the longer they sit in the liquid. Cut 1 medium beet into chunks and add to 2 cups boiling water. Stir in vinegar and let cool to room temperature before removing the beets.
Light Pink: Use the same solution as above for dark pink, but remove eggs as soon as they tint to the light pink color you desire.
Brown: Brewed coffee enough to cover eggs completely. Do not add vinegar.
Free Natural Egg Dye Color Chart
Want to save our natural dye cheat-sheet? Click to open and print a PDF.
Print the Instructions: How to Dye Eggs Naturally
How to Dye Eggs Naturally
- Boiling Pot
- Jars or deep bowls
- Paper towels
- Fruits/Veggies of choice:
- Red cabbage for blue
- Blueberries for dark blue
- Spinach or parsley for yellow/green
- Turmeric for yellow
- Onion or Paprika for orange
- Brewed coffee for brown
- Beets for red or pink
- Grape juice for lavender
- To prepare the dye for everything but the coffee, place 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and the selected vegetable, cut if needed, into a medium saucepan. (for spices, add 2-4 TBSP to boiling water)
- Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour the dye through a fine mesh strainer.
- To dye eggs, place two boiled eggs in a jar. Pour the dye over the eggs until completely covered. Cover the jars and refrigerate overnight.
- Carefully remove the eggs from the dye and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow to dry completely before touching to avoid disturbing the dye.
- To dye eggs brown, place two boiled eggs in a jar. Pour the coffee over the eggs until completely covered. Cover the jars and refrigerate overnight.
- Allow children to guess the colors the eggs will be after dying with the different vegetables.
- Expand the activity by purchasing different fruits and vegetables to see which colors can be created!