Friday, April 3, 2009

Frugal Friday---Color Dying Eggs

With Easter right around the corner, it is time to decorate those eggs!  You could go out and buy those dying kits in the stores or you can use items around the house to dye your eggs.  I have found a couple of different ways that you can dye your eggs the natural way.

Pale Red: Fresh beets or cranberries, frozen raspberries

Orange: Yellow onion skins

Light yellow: Orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin

Yellow: Ground turmeric

Pale green: Spinach leaves

Green-gold: Yellow Delicious apple peels

Blue: Canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves

Beige to brown: Strong brewed coffee

One way to get these colors, I found over at Taste of Home

Before you begin, you'll need hard-cooked eggs that are completely dry and room temperature.

For each color of dye, find a container that won't get stained or that you can discard when finished. Make sure it is big enough to completely submerge an egg or several eggs.

Place an egg in the container. Pour dye over the egg, covering completely. Refrigerate until the desired color is achieved. (The longer the egg sits in the dye, the darker the color.) Remove the egg and let dry; refrigerate.

Decorated eggs can be displayed in egg cups or simply set on the table. You can also make a nest egg centerpiece (as in the photo above) by placing the dyed eggs on an excelsior-lined grapevine wreath.

Don't eat hard-cooked eggs that have stood at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If you plan on displaying eggs, it's best to cook extra eggs for eating.

Onion Skin Dye

To make dye from yellow onion skins, place several skins in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil; let cool and discard skins. Based on the number of onion skins used and the amount of time the eggs soak, you'll get warm tones that can range from gold to a rich terra cotta.

Brewed Coffee Dye

Simply brew a pot of strong coffee and cool. The color can range from a light speckled tan to a more solid dark tan depending on how strong the coffee is and how long the egg soaks.

Cranberry Dye

To make a dye from fresh cranberries, boil 4 cups cranberries in 2 cups cold water until the berries burst. Let cool. Drain the mixture, saving the liquid and discarding the cranberries. To create a light blue-toned egg, soak for only a short time. We found that soaking an egg longer results in a dark gray color.  

Another way, I found was in an article called "Dying Easter Eggs--the Natural way!" by Jenny Wanderscheid:

To dye the perfect Easter eggs the natural way, here's what to do:

Put eggs in a single layer in a pan. Pour water in pan until the eggs are covered.

Add about a teaspoon of vinegar.

Add the natural dye appropriate to the color you want your eggs to be. (The more eggs you are dying at a time, the more dye you will need to use.)

Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the substance you used to color the eggs. Put eggs in a bowl.

If you want your eggs to be a darker shade, cover them with the dye and let them stand overnight in the refrigerator. The longer you let them stand the darker the colors will be on the eggs. 

Onion Skin Eggs

One of my favorite egg dyes is with onion skins! Gather lots of onion skins; the dry outer layers. (try to get a good variety of colors--I like plain brown best; red onion also makes a good color) Gently wrap them around*raw* eggs and hold them in place with rubber bands. Hard boil the eggs like usual. Unwrap them and WOW! Beautiful colors and designs! You may polish with vegetable oil for a nice gloss. This is a natural dye and the eggs are still quite edible. Happy eggs-ploration!

Wax Eggs

It's fun to write something on the egg with a light colored crayon - white is the most fun. The dye doesn't stick to the wax crayoned letters and they appear white (or brown if it's a brown egg) after the egg is dyed.

Rubber Band Wraps


Egg dye: For and extra bright color use food coloring paste, available at party supply shops. Dissolve a dab of paste or 6 drops of regular liquid food coloring in a cup of hot water. Stir in 1/4 cup of vinegar

Rubber bands, cut in various length widths long enough go around the egg several times

Wrap rubber bands around the egg, covering it completely. When you dip the covered egg, the dye will seep under the bands in some areas and be blocked out in other areas. Remove from the dye when the color is bright enough. Blot dry with paper towels and remove the rubber bands. If you wish, repeat with a new color. If the rubber bands pop off the egg, try using thicker ones.

Marbelized Eggs


Egg dye

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Lightly stir the oil into a bowl of egg dye. Immediately dip the egg into the liquid. Or stand the egg in a small cup and slowly spoon the oil-water mixture over it. When the egg dries, repeat the steps with another color for an interesting color combining effect. TIP: For cleanup, wash all dipping containers in hot soapy water and rinse with vinegar to get rid of oil.

Fingerpaint Eggs


Paper plates

Tempera paint

Put a few colors of paint on the paper plate. Hold the egg n the ends with your thumb and finger so you can rotate it while you're stamping. Dip your finger in the paint, dab off the excess on a paper towel, then gently press your finger onto the egg.

Crepe Paper Eggs


Boiled Eggs

Tissue Paper or Crepe Paper

Wet the egg and place pieces of colored tissue paper on it. Set it aside to dry. When the egg dries the tissue paper falls off and the colors stay behind.

Polka Dot Eggs

Dip a boiled egg in yellow dye. When dry glue on hole punched dots. Great for improving fine motor skills!

If you want a glossy finish on the eggs, brush them with vegetable oil. 

For more Frugal Friday resources, head over to Life as Mom!


Snow White said...

how fun! makes me want to dye eggs this year :)

newlyweds said...

love the neat natural way, I would have never thought of this.

Shalet said...

So many ideas ... now which ones to try?!!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

We usually do use the kits but I buy them a year or two in advance when they are on clearance.

Last year I discovered we were fresh out so I just used a tiny bit of food coloring in water and vinegar. They weren't traditional Eastery colors but we liked them!