These natural dyes are food safe and work great for other natural tie dye projects!
Thank you to Nellie’s Free Range for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone.
I’ve always wanted to experiment with using natural dyes to dye our hard boiled Easter eggs, but I’ve also been a little intimidated by the idea.
Over the last few years we’ve made the switch to exclusively using Nellie’s Free Range Eggs. Since their eggs come only from Certified Humane Free Range hens that live healthy, happy lives, I feel better about serving them to my family. So, it only seemed fitting that we would go the more natural route for egg dye this year.
But the big question was…can you dye brown eggs? The answer is, yes! It creates even deeper natural tones, and I’m going to show you how!If you’re looking for detailed instructions and a lot of information on the topic, head over to Nellie’s Free Range Eggs blog.
In this post, I’m going to share the least complicated way to naturally dye Easter eggs.
So, to make a beautiful natural blue hue, add 3 cups of shredded (or roughly chopped) red cabbage to your water and boil for 30 minutes, covered.
I found that if you really want to get this amazing deep blue hue, it helps to gently place your hard boiled eggs into the jar and let them sit refrigerated overnight.
In the morning, your eggs will look like this. Red cabbage creates gorgeous blue eggs, and beets create eggs with an earthy red tone.
Red onions create rich chocolate brown colored eggs, and yellow onions create pretty burnt orange eggs.
Blueberries create deep purple hued eggs, and turmeric creates mustard yellow eggs.
I regret not trying a green dye for this experiment, but I’m so happy with this beautiful rainbow of gorgeous colors!
Now, after all the work of creating these pretty dyes – I couldn’t let it go to waste!
The girls and I wanted to find out if we could create natural tie-dye t-shirts. And guess what? Some of these dyes totally work on cotton fabrics! All EXCEPT the blueberries and beets.
It probably goes without saying, but these dyes WILL stain. So, we put on some old clothes, placed our jars of dye in the sink, and the girls twisted and dipped their t-shirts, jar by jar, until they were just right.
We placed them on plastic garbage sacks to dry, then we transferred them to the dryer to dry on the hottest setting to set in the color. Once dry, we ran it through the wash on cold, then again in the dryer on the hottest setting. I’m not sure if you need to take all of these steps, but we wanted to be careful not to stain the inside of the washer or dryer.
The result? A tie dye top with muted color, that is very similar to a top we paid a lot of money for at a popular teen clothing store. The girls are so happy, and I’m glad we got multiple uses out of this natural Easter egg dye project.
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- 1 Fresh Beet
- Skins from 2 Yellow Onions
- Skins from 2 Red Onions
- 16 oz Blueberries (I used frozen)
- 3 C. Shredded Red Cabbage
- 3 Tbsp. Ground Dried Turmeric
- Medium Saucepns (1 per color)
- Jars to store dye and eggs
- Add 4 C. Water, 2 Tbsp. Vinegar and the desired dye ingredient (i.e. shredded red cabbage) to a medium sauce pan
- Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer 30 minutes
- Strain liquid into a glass jar and let it cool slightly
- Gently place hard boiled eggs into dye
- For deepest hues, place in refrigerator to let set overnight
- Store in refrigerator until serving
If you like this post, you might also like this kid-friendly watercolor craft: