Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dyeing Easter Eggs with Homemade Dye

We have had a busy week of trying to stay busy while my son is home sick and it is pouring rain outside so one of the projects that we took on was to create our own Easter egg dye out of things we had around the house already. Obviously not everyone will have all of this laying around we just happened to but there are other options for creating the colors listed at Peaceful Parenting. 

Here is what we used and what we found worked and didn't. 

 You can see here in the picture above that the egg coming out looks purple. Just wait until it dries it will end up blue!!!

Red/Pink: Beets-I did not have a ton they were in my garden from last year so I am not sure if this did not really achieve what we expected because of that or because it just didn't. The color was more a burnt purple, very light though. Really should use a lot more next time (this will be my mantra for this post).

Orange: Paprika. Again I found out that my supply was very low so this one might have worked better if I had more to add to the water during the boiling process. Really after letting the egg sit for about 30 minutes we could hardly see an orange hue, we ended up using the yellow and red to try and achieve orange which went a little better, it was still very light. 

Yellow: Turmeric. Worked like a charm. Nice yellow color, worked quickly. 

Green: Spinach. This was the worst of all. Also waited 30 minutes and really did not achieve much. I added some green plant juice from Trader Joe's and that helped a bit. But let me ask you, if you look at the horizontal picture with the eggs in the egg carton. The green one is just left of the top yellow egg. Can you tell it is green? I can not. 

Blue: Frozen Blueberries. Amazing! We started out thinking there was no way these would end up blue and not purple...boy were we wrong. Even when they came out of the dye and were still wet they looked purple but as they dried they became more and more blue! Total surprise. Success!

Purple: Hibiscus tea. Fail. This one did not work at all again I probably did not use enough during the dye making process. 

The basic method for this goes like this. 

Get the material you are using for the dye (beets, blueberries, etc). Add a whole lot (except for the herbs), like a hand full or more per cup of water and boil for 60 minutes. Add 3 tsp vinegar to a cup and 1 cup of the dye. Place hard boiled eggs, that have been washed in warm soapy water and well rinsed, into the dye of your choice and let sit until the color comes out as you wish. In our experience this took a while. 

Conclusion. This was a fun experiment with making dye but it was definitely about the process. Since you don't eat the egg shells I am not sure if it is worth it and I will probably go back to using normal old food coloring, but maybe not it was a fun process. The other option might be boiling the eggs directly with the coloring agent and using a LOT more of the dyeing agent...

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