Dying Easter eggs is one of my favorite springtime crafts. There is something both relaxing and exciting about dying eggs with friends and family. It's exciting, mostly because the eggs always come out a little differently, and in my case wonkier, than planned, but pretty nonetheless. This year I decided to mix things up a little and try my hand at naturally dying eggs with fruit and vegetables rather than use the store-bought droplets and pills I grew up with.
You can naturally dye your eggs with many ingredients like purple cabbage (makes blue on white eggs, green on brown eggs), red onion (makes lavender or red eggs) or tumeric (which makes yellow eggs). There are tons of combinations you can do to create all sorts of colors, but I chose beets and blueberries as my natural dyes of choice which made blue and pink eggs.
Many people warned me that it isn't easy to dye eggs naturally and that the results aren't worth the effort, but I disagree. While my naturally dyed eggs didn't look like Martha's, I thought they were surprisingly easy to make and that they came out beautifully - yes the perfectionist in me cringed at the splotchiness of the dye - but Jamie reminded me that it only made the eggs look more natural! Plus, we gave the eggs a more modern and unnatural twist by lightly spraying them with gold spray paint, which hid some of their imperfections and created a really cool and pretty effect.
How to Naturally Dye eggs with Beets and Blueberries
- Take a dozen eggs and hard boil them. Let them cool while you make your dye.
- Chop up beets to make 1 cup (around 2 beets), add the beets and 1 cup of water to small pot and bring to a boil.
- Mix 1 cup blueberries with 1 cup water in a small pot and bring to boil.
- The dyes are ready when the water reaches a deep color blue or red color, a few shades darker than your intended color. Remove the pot from heat and let cool.
- Strain the mixtures into bowls and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per bowl.
- Put eggs into each dye. You can either leave them out on the counter or put them in the refrigerator overnight. The longer you leave them the darker and more vibrant the color. I found soaking the eggs in the blueberry dye for 30 min to an hour worked well, while the beet dye required more soaking time and worked better in the refrigerator.
- Remove eggs with spoon, pat dry with paper towels, and let dry ideally on a wire rack. Kitchn gave me the trick of massaging a little oil on each egg, which helped the beet eggs retain their color, and they tended to dry less uniformly than the blueberry eggs. I didn't have a wire rack though so I think that could have helped the drying process!
Next time I might try boiling the eggs and the dye together, as according to Martha it creates a more intense and uniform color.
The best part is that you can't mess this up! Because they are naturally dyed eggs- they are supposed to look natural! Which means they aren't supposed to look artificially perfect. It's fun to experiment with boiling and soaking times -there is no right or wrong way to do it! I have a feeling each and every batch comes out differently anyways, so have some fun with it!
When the eggs were fully dried, we simply lightly sprayed the eggs with gold spray paint and let them dry again. We used this gold spray paint, which we liked the best out of a few others we tried.
These eggs would look beautiful in any basket or tabletop display and would be perfect for any Easter egg hunt - they would look magical hidden amongst the grass outside! Happy Easter!
(all photos Jamie Grill Photography)