Making naturally dyed Easter eggs is a fun process for kids of all ages. You can experiment with simple ingredients mixed with water and vinegar to create the hues. We used red beets for an earthy red, purple cabbage for bright blue, matcha tea for light green, golden beets mixed with turmeric for gold and we made an orange dye by mixing the red beet dye with the golden beet dye. See the step-by-step directions written below.
My girls and I love to do science experiments together. Making naturally dyed eggs felt like an experiment! It allowed them to make observations, guess, test (even taste test), and experience delayed gratification. They did not believe that the purple cabbage would make bright blue eggs (I was skeptical myself), the look on their faces when we pulled bright blue eggs out of the dark purple dye was priceless! There is plenty of opportunity to talk about the ingredients and what colors the eggs may turn. Waiting to see the results was fun for them. They popped the eggs into the dye then checked to see the progress after about and hour. We saw light shades of color so we put them in the fridge and waited overnight so the eggs could soak up the color.
Step 1: Make 12 hard-boiled eggs
Try this recipe for easy-peel hard-boiled eggs (less work when you are ready to eat them). While your eggs cool you can work on making the dyes.
Step 2: Make the dyes
- 4 small saucepans
- 12 tbsp. of white vinegar
- 1/2 of a head of purple cabbage (also called red cabbage) for blue eggs
- 2 red beets for earthy red eggs
- 2 golden beets mixed with 2 tbsp turmeric powder for gold eggs
- 6 tbsp matcha powder for light green eggs
Cut the cabbage in half, put it in a saucepan and cover the cabbage with water. Boil for 30 minutes to extract the color. Turn off the stove and add 3 tbsp. of vinegar to the dye.
Cut the red beets in half, put them in a saucepan. Cover the beets with water and boil for 30 minutes to extract the color. Turn off the stove and add 3 tbsp. of vinegar to the dye.
Cut the golden beets in half, put them in a saucepan. Cover the beets with water, add 2 tbsp. turmeric and boil for 30 minutes to extract the color. Turn off the stove and add 3 tbsp. of vinegar to the dye.
In a saucepan add the matcha and 4 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the stove and add 3 tbsp. of vinegar to the dye.
Step 3: Cool the dye
Pour the dyes into mason jars on a heatproof tray and let them cool for about an hour. You can put them in the fridge to speed up the process if needed.
Step 4: Dye the eggs
Once the dye is cool you can begin adding your eggs. To make orange dye, mix some of the red beet dye and the golden beet dye. Let your eggs sit is the dye until they reach the desired color. *Tip if you want to enhance the color of your eggs and give them a slight luster, you can coat them with a small amount of coconut oil.
Enjoy your naturally dyed eggs! Click here for more natural dye color ideas!
- Written by Megan Young, Social Media Manager, Once Upon A Farm and mother of 2.