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All Natural Egg Dyes: Have an Eco-Friendly Easter!

Ah, Easter memories. I remember those brightly colored plastic dye sets. You know the ones. All that packaging, plastic parts, and chemical dyes. The cute little bunny labels and little plastic egg dipping spoons.

They are still available, of course. And for busy working mother types, this is tempting. Especially for the craft and creatively impaired such as myself. But they are essentially the opposite of what I believe in: made from chemicals, created and shipped from China (can you say carbon footprint), and packaged in and made from gobs of plastic.

So I was happy when my mother in law passed along a clipping from none other than Ladies Home Journal. Not exactly the site I’d go to for green advice, but they had this short article about how to dye eggs naturally with ingredients found in your kitchen. How cool is that?

Here are the directions:

“For all dyes, bring the dye mixture to a boil, remove from heat and cool and strain liquid into a medium bowl. Submerge 4 to 6 hard-cooked eggs in dye for up to 30 minutes, depending on how deep you want the color to be. Remove from dye and place on a cooling rack to dry and drain. Store in the fridge until ready to use.”

And the colors. I have most of this on hand except for the fresh beets!

“Orange: 2 tbsp paprika

Blue: 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Pink: 1 cup chopped fresh beets

Green: 1 cup blueberries and 2 tbsp turmeric”

From there you can let your children decorate them with markers, paint, or stickers for younger ones (although this will make them harder to compost at the end!).

No more plastic dye sets + happy kids engaged in green Easter craft = a happy, green parent!

image: Easter eggs by jmurawski on Flickr under Creative Commons

Comments

  1. I think this is great – it reminds me of when artists used to use their natural surroundings around them in order to create paints for their masterpieces.

    As a painter – I think it is wonderful that you are showing that paint can be done in a natural way – as painting is a natural expression of ourselves.

    I know that dyes can be EXTREMELY toxic – and I work specifically with dyes in terms of organic cotton at http://www.samababy.com – we use all eco-friendly dyes that are all natural and non-toxic.

    It’s great to see you talk about dyes in relation to Easter – very creative – and I don’t think many people even think twice regarding dyes!

    Not to mention – much more affordable, and easier to make in abundance for a nice large Easter party!

    -Neha

  2. Growing up I used to spend easter with my grandparents in France. There was no food coloring there, so my grandmother would collect the dry outer skins of onions (brown ones work best). We would then wrap the skins around the raw eggs before boiling them all together. The results were beautifully textured eggs. We would water color a few to have some contrast, but for the most part we had naturally dyed eggs.

  3. I have to add (and brag) that my chickens lay green, blue, and pink eggs! Can’t wait ’til Easter. :)

  4. wow great – at my kids’ waldorf school they also use colored tissue paper which leaves almost a batik pattern on the eggs = they are so beautiful – the egg blowing part though is the part that kills me. Thanks for these tips on where to get the natural colors – might try that myself this year!

  5. Great way to make easter a little greener, thanks for the dye recipe!!

  6. Richele says:

    How much water/liquid do you use?

  7. Karen Farnham says:

    The directions for making dye do not indicate how much
    liquid you should use..also I would like to use these
    dyes in finger paint and wonder if any one else has
    used them to make paint.

    You can also boil the skins from onions (the outer layer that you normally throw away) and you will get
    a brown color…

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