Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Egg Experiment ~ Natural Dyes

The end result:  very natural looking!

Happy Easter! This year we decided to have a little bit of an experiment with using natural dyes right out of the frig and pantry. Having recently finished a handmade paper project dyed with food such as spinach and beets with my second graders, I was ready to move on to dying eggs. I came across an article on natural dyes for Easter Eggs here that intrigued me with the use of coffee grinds and red cabbage. So, my stepson (and partner in crime in all creative endeavors) and I chose coffee grounds, red cabbage, turmeric, & beets seen below:
Boiling for 15 minutes first to release the color; then add eggs for minimum 30 minutes or until desired color is achieved.

Boiling beets

Rubberband wrapped eggs
The biggest surprise was that the red cabbage actually turned the eggs a deep teal blue! What was also unexpected was that the beets only turned the eggs a pale peach with small spots of pink. I ended up leaving the eggs in the water all night because after 45 minutes of boiling, they still were very pale in color (although the red cabbage eggs were a lovely shade of a bright robin eggs blue at that time). In the morning, the coffee grounds did turn the shell a strong brown although the color seemed to flake off more easily than the other colors. All of the eggs seemed to have a crystallized finish to them.

Next year; silk-dyed tie eggs!


  1. Wonderful idea, Shaun! The eggs look like very pretty rocks -- very natural. I wouldn't have thought the color would go through to the inside. How do the eggs taste?

  2. The color really didn't go through; in fact, some of it such as the coffee, comes off rather easily.
    I have not put them in the frig so I'm not going to eat them! Just for decoration.


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