Saturday, March 31, 2012

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Magellan at 7 months old. I could not keep him away from the eggs.

This little Pumpkin has a fascination with eggs, cooked eggs that is. Actually Magellan's fascination is with colored eggs. Every time I dye eggs he wants to lick them. The Pumpkin jumps on the table and tries to steal my omlette in the morning. I am not sure if she thinks it is alive, however she hisses at it before attacking it. If I grab it from her (yes I did let her take it once to see if she was going to eat it-not sure what was going through my mind on that one) she gave it the extra special hiss-how dare you retreat from me when I have you between my teeth.

This morning I took out the garbage to realize it was drizzling. Oh well, maybe I have to call off my ride. Okay, now what. I decided to get a head start on dyeing my Easter eggs. Which led to this pot. A few years ago, I started coloring my eggs naturally. There are two methods I use, everyday food and silk ties. Both are beautiful and neither involve any chemicals.

Depending on what color you want here is a breakdown of what foods you can use.


Canned Blueberries
Red Cabbage Leaves (boiled)
Purple Grape Juice

Brown or Beige-Strong Coffee
Instant Coffee
Black Walnut Shells (boiled)
Black Tea

Brown Gold-Dill Seeds

Brown Orange -Chili Powder


Green-Spinach Leaves (boiled)
Liquid Chlorophyll

Greenish Yellow-Yellow Delicious Apple Peels (boiled)

Grey-Purple or red grape juice or beet juice

Lavender-Small Quantity of Purple Grape Juice
Violet Blossoms plus 2 tsp Lemon Juice
Red Zinger Tea

Yellow Onion Skins (boiled)

Cranberries or Juice
Red Grape Juice
Juice from Pickled Beets

Pomegranate juice
Canned Cherries (with syrup)
Lots of Red Onions Skins (boiled)

Violet or Purple-Violet Blossoms
Hibiscus tea
Small Quantity of Red Onions Skins (boiled)
Red Wine


Orange or Lemon Peels (boiled)
Carrot Tops (boiled)
Chamomile Tea
Celery Seed (boiled)
Green tea
Ground Cumin (boiled)
Ground Turmeric (boiled) or Saffron

Directions: From MommyPotams Blog

Directions For Making Dye

If you’re using different ingredients here are a few rules of thumb: Use about ½ to ¾ cup of the natural dye ingredient per one cup of water (except spices . . . you’ll need a lot less!). The water should come to ½ – 1 inch above your dye material.
Bring dye matter and water to a boil.* Turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15-60 minutes until desired color is reached. Keep in mind that the eggs will be several shades lighter so it’s best to go for deep, rich hues.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
Pour dye through a mesh strainer into bowls/mason jars and add 3 teaspoons of vinegar for each cup of dye liquid
Add hardboiled eggs and place in fridge until desired color is reached (I started mine in early afternoon and let them set overnight)

If you’re using juice skip the boiling. Just add the vinegar and get started.

Directions For Eggs:

In a medium pot cover eggs in cold water. Bring pot to a boil. Once it’s rolling turn off the heat and cover the pot, After 10 minutes, place eggs in a bowl of cold water and let sit until they’re cool to the touch.
Drain bowl and replace with warm, soapy water (I used castille soap). Gently rub eggs with a washcloth or your thumb to remove oils that prohibit natural dyes from adhering as effectively to the egg shell.
Lower egg into the dye and place them in the fridge. Soak until your desired color is reached.
When the eggs are ready scoop them out with a spoon and place on a drying rack or an upside down egg carton.
Naturally-dyed eggs have a matte finish. If you’d like to add a little lustre rub with coconut our olive oil and polish with a paper towel.

These silk ones may be my favourite. They are so different and pretty.

The materials are quite simple, a dozen or so eggs, a few silk ties from Goodwill, an enamel pot, twist ties, white cloth and some vinegar. Two important steps are an enamel or glass pot and silk ties.

Head over to Goodwill or another thrift shop and pick up what you consider to be uglied pattered ties. The deeper the color the better. Do not worry about the pattern being something you hope your date would never be wearing. The pattern will transfer on to the egg and end up being quite pretty. Colors also come out different onto the egg, so do not fret about using a black or dark blue tie. You should be able to do about three eggs with one tie. Just remember that you want the ties to be silk.

1. Cut the tie open and taking the silk squares wrap the square around the egg. You want the patterned side of the tie to be wrapped around the egg. Cut out a piece of white cloth and wrap that around the silk. The white cloth may prevent other eggs colors from coloring your egg. I used an old t-shirt. Apparently, cheesecloth does not work. Tie these off with a twist tie.

2. Fill your enameled pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Add 3 tablespoons vinegar to the water and bring the eggs and water to a boil. Use a ladle or tongs to place the eggs in the water.

3. Simmer the eggs for 20 minutes. Simmer them longer if you want to eat the eggs.

4. Remove the eggs from the water and let cool.

Let me know how you colour your eggs.

This is my contribution for Beth Fish Reads, Weekend Cooking and Saturday Snapshots hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books and Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Sidewalk Shoes.


Darlene said...

The picture of the kitty licking the eggs in that last one is priceless. How adorable! The silk eggs are beautiful. I haven't colored eggs since I used to them with my Baba when she was alive.

Uniflame said...

This is such a nice post! I have never tried any of this, but I don't really do much about Easter anyway. But this does sound fun!

Libby Rodriguez said...

The silk tie idea is so cool! I have never heard of this! I am going to see whether my dad has any old ties :)

Libby Rodriguez said...

The silk tie idea is so cool! I have never heard of this! I am going to see whether my dad has any old ties :)

Beth F said...

These are so beautiful Wow. And I love all the natural choices. I have never heard of the tie idea. I think I'm going to have to give it a go.

Kay said...

OK, that silk tie thing may be the most creative Easter craft I've ever heard of. I did know about using natural things to get color - like the coffee and blueberries. But the ties. Wow!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Too funny, guess he never saw such gorgeous eggs before, maybe he thinks he can hatch one LOL

Ingrid King said...

Beautiful post! That one photo looks like Magellan is hatching the eggs!

Carole said...

Lovely post. Great ideas for the colours.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

Beautiful eggs, thanks for the suggestions to make natural dyes.

Old Kitty said...

Oh the eggs look beautiful!! They are absolutely a work of art! Brilliant! No wonder gorgeous Magellen is fascinated by them - they're so pretty and organic! Yay!! Love too how amazing Penelope attacks your omellete! LOL!!!

Happy happy Easter!! I don't colour eggs but I do bake a simnel cake! Yay! Take care

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

how adorable and luv your cat! so sweet and seems to be having so much fun! Congrats again on winning the chocolate cake mix!

Kaye said...

Wow, those eggs from the silk ties are beautiful!!! How clever!

Trish said...

These are beautiful! Thanks for the instructions . . . I knew a couple of them but had no idea there were so many options!

vicki said...

Oh my gosh- your silk tie eggs are fabulous-- I just have to try this! I love the photos of Magellean and Pebelope- they are SO adorable!!

I totally liced this post!

vicki said...

Good grief! How did that happen? I meant- totally loved this post!

Alyce said...

Your kitty is so cute! Maybe it likes them because of the natural dye scents? :) I've never thought of using food dyes - that sounds like a fun experiment to try.

Kris said...

Gorgeous eggs. To think you can do this with silk ties!

Eva @View from the Hillside said...

She looks like she has a great time. And thanks for all the egg coloring tips.

Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous said...

These are beautiful! And I love the story of your cat's egg-fascination. :)

Judi said...

How beautifully creative! Magellan seems to agree that they are quite tasty, too.

Joy Weese Moll said...

Fun! Who needs an Easter Bunny when you have an Easter Cat?

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Your eggs are beautiful, but your cat steals the show. Love it.

bermudaonion said...

How funny! I love the photo with his tongue out.

Pam said...

I have a picture of Patchouli smelling some eggs. Kitty cats love them!

And thanks for all these great ideas for natural dies. I'm thinking turmeric for some golden eggs.

Cathy said...

I love how you combined all the memes into one post-- great thinking!

Marg said...

I had never heard of the silk ties idea. So clever!

Fun post today.

caite said...

they are lovely, the color must more vibrant than I would have thought.

gautami tripathy said...

Beautifully done! I so enjoyed looking at the photographs!

Here is my Saturday Snapshot post!

Heather said...

The cat photos are priceless. They are curious creatures. I had forgotten about using the silk to dye the eggs. They look so fancy.

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