Cheddar Bay'S Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Vegetable-Dyed Easter Eggs

The rich colors of natural dyes can be coaxed from the most unassuming items in your vegetable bin or spice rack. Humble ingredients--such as red cabbage, onion skins, paprika and coffee--can produce elegant and often unexpected colors when used for dyeing.

Dye Easter Eggs with vegetables and spices and the colours are more on the earth-tone side than on the pastel. The marble ffect is GREAT. Because the eggs are all pierced before cooking them (and because some crack), some of the colour and flavour of the vegetable they are cooked with gets inside the eggs. When peeled, the eggs are also marbled inside. With the colour and the extra flavour, they are great on salads.

Color Source (These amounts will color approximately 6 eggs):

Orange: Paprika, 4 tablespoons per quart of water

Blue: Red cabbage, about 4 cups, shredded, per quart of water (can also use blueberries or grape juice concentrate)

Light purple: blackberries, grapes, violets

Red: 4 cups red onion skins. beets. paprika or Pomegranate juice in place of water

Pink: Cranberry juice in place of water OR 4 cups shredded beets per quart of water

Green: Spinach (fresh or frozen), 4 cups per quart of water

Yellow: yellow onion skins, turmeric (1 tsp. per cup water) celery leaves

Ocher: Onion skins, 4 cups of the dry outer skins

Mocha: 1 quart of strongly brewed coffee in place of water

Taupe: Beets and cranberries (they are actually slightly pink).

The orange and yellow ones can be dyed by wrapping them in onion skins (tied on with string) and cooking them that way.

Hard boil eggs with 1 tsp. vinegar in the water. Place dying ingredients in non-aluminum pans, cover with water and boil 5 minutes to 1 hour until desired color is achieved. Use enough material to make at least 1 cup dye. Crush ingredients as they boil to extract as much dye as possible. Strain the dye. Most dyes should be used hot. Let each egg sit in the dye until it reaches the desired color. Some dyes will take longer than others to make the desired colored on the egg. Remove the egg and let dry.

How To:

There are two ways to color eggs with natural dyes: boiling and cold dipping. Boiling allows dyes to penetrate the eggshell and results in darker, more even colors. The cold-dip method can be better if you want to eat the eggs and safer if children are helping out.

Boil Method:

Place 6-8 eggs in a single layer in a large pot and add enough water to cover eggs by one inch. Add some white vinegar (2 tablespoons per quart of water). Add dye ingredients (up to 4 cups vegetable solids or 3-4 tablespoons of a colorful spice, like paprika or turmeric, per quart of water or replace water with any all-liquid ingredient) and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The motion of the eggs in the boiling water ensures that the color will be even on the egg. The resulting egg will be very hard-boiled and inedible, as it picks up the flavor of the dye.

Cold-Dip Method:

Combine dye materials, vinegar,and water in the same proportions as the boil method above, in a large pot. Simmer 20-30 minutes, then strain and cool. Dip hard-boiled eggs in cold dye until desired color is achieved, soaking anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours in the refrigerator. Turn eggs occasionally to ensure even dyeing. Dry on paper towels or in egg cartons.

SPECIAL EFFECTS

Glitter Eggs- Place 1 tablespoon each of glue and water in a cup. Stir the mixture and then paint the eggs with it. Sprinkle with glitter. This can also add sparkle to already dyed eggs!

Crepe Paper Eggs- Wet a white or dyed egg. Dab torn pieces of colored tissue paper or pieces of pretty colored napkins on the eggs. When the paper dries, the paper falls off and leaves the color behind on the egg.

Decoupaged eggs - Tear small pieces of wrapping paper, napkins, stickers, or clip art. Mix equal amounts of glue and water. Paint egg with glue mixture. Place paper on top and then cover with more glue mixture. Let dry.

Spotted Eggs- Place 1 tsp. of cooking oil in dye. Dip the egg. The oil will cause the dye to make an irregular pattern on the egg.

Waxed Eggs- Dip a portion of the eggs in melted paraffin or candle wax. Then dip them in the dye. Remove from dye. Dry and peel off the wax. The egg will be white on one half and colored on the other half. You can also dip in dye before waxing to get two colors.

Hollow Eggs- Poke a hole in one end of an egg with a very small needle. Poke another slightly larger hole in the other end. Then blow on the small end and the egg will come out the other side. Decorate as desired.

SWIRLED EASTER EGGS

Craft paints in pastel colors
Boiled eggs
Paper towel
Cooling rack or film canister lids
Wax paper
Tulip 3D Paint in various colors
Fine glitter, optional

Dry off the eggs thoroughly before starting.

Have paper towels handy in case of a spill.

Tear off a piece of wax paper about the size of a piece of paper.

Scrunch the wax paper, then open up.

Squirt two different colors of paint on the wax paper.

Scrunch the wax paper again to slightly mix colors.

Hold the wax paper in one hand.

Place an egg in the wax paper.

Use your fingertips and pick up the egg out of the paint.

Turn egg and place back on wax paper. If desired, you can just turn the egg around and around on the wax paper to coat.

Repeat until all of egg is coated.

Sprinkle with glitter, if desired.

Let dry on cooling rack or use the lid from a film canister.

Write recipient's name on the egg using the Tulip 3D Paint.