I have wanted to try making dye for easter eggs for the past few years, but it always seemed so time consuming so I passed on the idea. This year it happened spur of the moment. I found myself with a relatively free Friday, and plenty of eggs from our little herd of backyard Bantam hens. It did take a good few hours to prep, but the results were well worth it!
First I popped over to Winco for some plain white vinegar, red cabbage, tumeric, beets, and red and yellow onion skins. I also used saffron as an experiment which I already had at home. As I approached the check out with my bag of onion skins, and prepared to explain what the heck I was going to do with them – the cashier said “Oh, you’re making dye!”. Turns out she is from Romania and grew up dying eggs with onion skins. This was handy as she gave me some tips on how to do it properly. Delightful lady.
The basic recipe is 2 cups of water, 2 cups / TBPS dye ingredient, and 2 TBSP. Simmer ingredients for 30 minutes.
I boiled my eggs with the rest of the ingredients, but they still had to sit in the dye overnight. If you would prefer to pre-boil your eggs, I think that would work just fine.
I started with the onion skins. I did a batch of red onion skins and yellow onion skins. As you can see they turned out almost the same. The red being a bit brighter. So I would suggest skipping the yellow and just using red skins.
Next up was the turmeric. I used roughly 2 cups water, 2 heaping TBSP turmeric and 2 TBSP vinegar. The color of this dye is so bright and vibrant, however the eggs only turned out a soft yellow. I much preferred the golden yellow the saffron produced. But thats an expensive dye to make. I only used 1 heaping TBPS of saffron for this one, but it had a much richer color result.
The cabbage is by far my favorite. How friggin gorgeous is that blue?! I was told they would turn out blue, but wowee! I want to use this dye on everything I own! I used a little more cabbage than the normal 2 cups, which may be why the color turned out so vibrant.
Last, but definitely not least, was the beets! I used light brown eggs for these and got a range of shades. I also noticed that with my fresh farm eggs, some of them seemed to dye way darker than others but scratch easily. Like they had a film on them or something. It gave some eggs a really neat dappled look.
The girls are very confused by the fancy new look their eggs have. Here Molly ponders the meaning of her pretty blue eggs resting on a soft scenic patch of moss.