For thousands of years, humans have been celebrating Spring by decorating – and decorating with – eggs. The phenomenon has been found across countries and cultures, as far back as 65,000 years ago. Plant-based dyes are coming back into fashion but are nothing new, and I bet you have all the ingredients for this Easter craft in your kitchen cupboard or fridge. I have fond memories of decorating eggs with my Gran, who used to dye hers with onion skins. These pale green ones were dyed with spinach as I had some past its best in the fridge – naturally dying eggs is a great way to combat food waste!
It’s best to use white eggs if you can get your hands on them, here’s what to do. Place the uncooked eggs in a pan and add water up to 5 cm above eggs. Add your natural dye ingredients and 2 tablespoons of vinegar per litre of water. Simmer the eggs and dye ingredients for around 30 minutes, checking on the colour of the eggs. Once it reaches your desired shade, remove from the heat and allow the eggs to soak in the dye for at least 30 minutes, or longer for a deeper shade. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and dry (the egg carton is good for this).
Natural dye ingredients you can use:
Pale green (as above) – a bag of spinach, chopped.
Pink – a bunch of beetroot, chopped.
Blue – red cabbage grated/ finely sliced.
Lilac – punnet of blackberries.
Yellow – 2-3 tbsp ground turmeric.
Red (rusty colour) – 6 onion skins (yellow or red give different results).
Have you dyed eggs before?