Why use artificial dyes when everything you need to make beautiful Easter eggs is already in your pantry? I don't know about you, but one of my favorite childhood memories is dyeing Easter eggs with my mom. We would make two batches - one, hard boiled and the other, I would watch her blow out to create delicate, hollow shells - and every year, we would try something a little bit different. One year, we did relief designs with wax pencils, another year, we dipped and dried until we had a basket full of plaid-patterned eggs. Regardless of our technique, we would always save one hollow egg each year until we had a crate full - 12 years of memories, neatly and carefully packaged in a cardboard house - ready to form the brunch-table centerpiece. What you'll need... Natural dyeing agents (red cabbage, turmeric, onion skins, beets, and coffee) 3-quart (or larger) pot White vinegar Colander or strainer (for the dyes) Small bowls (for the cold-dipping method) Eggs, raw Large metal spoon Dye Recipes Choose a dyeing agent from the list below using the Color Glossary and place ingredients in the pot. Add 1 quart water (except for coffee dye) and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to pot; if more water is necessary to cover ingredients, proportionally increase the amount of vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a bowl, discard solids. Red-cabbage dye 4 cups chopped cabbage Turmeric dye 3 tablespoons turmeric (maybe not Archer Farms) Onion-skin dye 4 cups onion skins (skins from approximately 12 onions) Beet dye 4 cups uncooked beets, chopped Coffee dye 1 quart strong black coffee (instead of water - Cold-Dipping Method) Cold-Dipping Method Producing more delicate, translucent colors, the cold dipping method requires you to boil the eggs and dye separately. While the colors may not be as vivid, you can still start off with the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg! But be careful - eggs can dye unevenly unless routinely rotated. *Blown-out eggs should be dyed first (raw) and blown out after they have dried* Boiled Method For more intense, uniform color, boil the eggs in the dye. Begin with room temperature liquid. Place the eggs in the bottom of a pot and cover with the dye. Bring to a boil for the amount of time indicated by the Color Glossary then remove to air dry. Optionally, (in a well-ventilated area) finish with a spray varnish to prevent fading over time.
Color Glossary Deep Gold Boil eggs in turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Sienna Boil eggs in onion-skin solution, 30 minutes. Dark, Rich Brown Boil eggs in black coffee, 30 minutes. Pale Yellow Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Orange Soak eggs in room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes. Light Brown Soak eggs in room-temperature black coffee, 30 minutes. Light Pink Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes. Light Blue Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 minutes. Royal Blue Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution overnight. Lavender Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 seconds. Chartreuse Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 5 seconds. Salmon Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes. Photos by SMercury98 and Martha Stewart. Source Martha Stewart