This year’s Easter DIY project for naturally dyed floral Easter eggs was suggested by a friend of mine last year. She showed me a photo of naturally dyed Easter eggs with various silhouette of plants on them done by bigsislilsis. I fell in love with the idea especially consider in my long years of dying eggs, I had never used homemade dyes for Easter. Of course you could do this project with store bought / traditional dyes as well but I liked how the more earthy tones go hand in hand with the foliage. For my project I am using blown out Easter eggs instead of hard boiled eggs (tutorial here) and the brightest of natural dyes – turmeric, beets, red cabbage and blueberries. This project is very easy to do and can be enjoyed by anyone, the hardest thing for me at least was finding the foliage at this time of year. I also experimented a great deal, and it can be really fun to try your own combinations and see what works.
- panty hose (1 pair per a dozen eggs)
- twist ties / pipe cleaner
- plants & flowers
*that you are not afraid to stain, glass works great
- pot & strainer
- 1/2 head of red cabbage
- 2 cups of beets (4-6 beets)
- 2 cups of frozen blueberries
- 4 tablespoons of turmeric
Under $15 for all the ingredients to dye a dozen eggs.
- Blow out your eggs if you’d liked to keep them forever.
*keep in mind if you are using natural dyes, your eggs will take on the flavor of the dye so you probably don’t want to eat them anyway.
- Cut the pantyhose into 3 inch squares and cut vertical so it’s no longer a tube shape. If using pipe cleaner cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Spread a piece or pieces of foliage over the egg and place the panty hose over top and pull all the corners in until the panty hose is taut. Using a pipe cleaner or twist tie secure the panty hose. Repeat until you’ve completed all your eggs.
*you can use fresh or dried foliage. Keep in mind dried is more brittle and can break. It’s been snowing here on and off so I didn’t have much choice in the matter and had to use dried for most of the eggs.
*make sure the foliage is pressed tightly against the egg to get a full design.
- Prepare your containers, if doing several colors you may want to label which is which.
- Make your natural dye by boiling each ingredient for 10minutes (except cabbage – 30min) and then straining before placing in a container.
*I used recipes from Martha Stewart for the dyes. However I did half it as I only needed enough to fill quart jars and half the amount of salt as I didn’t think that much salt was required)
*if you are interested on finding out other natural dye recipes check out this great website.
Yellow: Turmeric Dye
4 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of turmeric , 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt.
Blue: Purple Cabbage Dye
4 cups of water with half a head of cabbage cut into slices with 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt.
Pink: Beet Dye
4 cups of water with 4 cups of chopped beats with 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt for 10min.
Purple & Blue-berry Dye
4 cups of water with 2 cups of frozen blueberries (mash before or during cooking) with 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt for 10min.
- Place the eggs in each container, if you are using blown out eggs they will float. For a container without a lid I find placing a heavy spoon (ice cream scoop works best) over top of the egg to keep it submerged works best. For containers with a lid you can simply fill the liquid to the top and seal so there is very little room for the egg to float in.
- Take the egg bundle out of the dye and unwrap each egg. I like to wash under cold water to make sure all excess dye is washed off and then place back into an egg container with the hole at the bottom as any liquid inside the egg can leak out.
- For a lightest color leave in for 5 minutes and for the darkest leave in over night.
(Each dye except beets shows a 20 hour egg, a 4 hour egg and a 5-10min egg)
*Apologize I took the last photo while still recovering from a concussion, the beet jar should be switched with the purple cabbage jar to align the eggs correctly.
What I Learned:
- Beets don’t make pink eggs. I feel lied to, haha. Mine all turned out brown which I’m not into very much.
- However I did try making the dye again as I had leftover beets so what I did is boil the eggs and beets together for 10minutes. It’s probably one of my favourite eggs and is slightly more pink?
- Don’t submerge eggs into the dye when it’s still boiling hot, it will cause the egg to pop and break.
- It’s fun to dye eggs a starting color and then add foliage and re-submerge, into the same color or another! Also you can reuse the same flowers and plants multiple times.
- Natural dye doesn’t blend together like I thought it would using general color theory. The below egg is the purple cabbage and turmeric dye which should make green – instead we get just a subtle hint of greenish blue. BUT dying an egg one color and then placing the foliage on top of that does work.
- Some foliage will allow the dye to leak in, not fully but enough that you will not have a white silhouette.
- If you scrunch up the panty hose and tie it off like I did, mostly likely your eggs will get this star-ish pattern. The folds of the pantyhose mean not all the dye can get through.
- Sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple, too many plant types can cause just too much mish-mash.
- Laying various flowers on top of each other will work.
- You can reuse the dye over and over again hot or cold and it doesn’t appear to lose its vibrancy. Only exception is turmeric which separates back into powder overnight and it’s better to make a fresh patch.
- If using a medium to large jar you can make multiple eggs at once. My jars fit 2 eggs are a time and the recipe I’ve posted make enough for 1 jar each and enough to fill one small cup as well for extra.
- Worried about these dyes staining your house? You can lay down plenty of paper towel and newspaper and wear plastic gloves to protect your hands. I didn’t have much issue as long as I wiped up any spilt dye right away – except turmeric which is very potent and required bleach to remove. Lesson learned.
Hope you liked this year’s Easter DIY. I’m obsessed with making these and have already made more than the dozen I had intended too. I can’t wait to try these again in the future with more varieties of plants and flowers. This year I was limited since it’s still cold and snowing here but I’m still really happy with the results. So much so I couldn’t stop taking photos of these unique eggs. If you want to see all my designs there will be a post of all of them in their glory tomorrow. You can check it out, here! Oh and leave me a comment, including a photo if you make your own. As I’d love to see you take on these, you can also let me know what you normally do for Easter!