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How to make your Easter Egg Dye!

Naturally, Inexpensively, Without Artificial Dyes or Chemicals!

If you'd rather not buy a commercial Paas Easter Egg dye kit to dye your eggs this Easter and are looking for a natural and fun alternative, here's how!  Long before the Paas company and their competitors created dye tablets and packaged egg-dying kits, people dyed their eggs the natural way using extracts they made themselves.

  1. Buy or gather the ingredients
    Color Ingredients Preparation
    Blue Red cabbage (1/4 head or more)
    and/or concentrated grape juice
    Chop 1/4 head of red cabbage, add to 2 cups of boiling water.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, let cool.

    Concentrated grape juice: just thaw it; use undiluted. Or mix both for extra strength.

    Blue #2 1 pound of frozen blueberries Crush the blueberries or puree them in a blender or food procesor
    Brown Ground fresh coffee beans Add 2 Tablespoons of dill seed to 1 cup of boiling water; simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, let cool.
    Brown-gold Dill seed Add 2 Tablespoons of dill seed to 1 cup of boiling water; simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, let cool.
    Green 1 bunch fresh Spinach leaves Chop the leaves and simmer them for 20 minutes over medium low heat in just enough water to cover them  and keep from burning (you want it concentrated).
    Lavender 1 cup purple grape juice
    1 tea bag.
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    Simmer all 3 ingredients together for 10 minutes. Cool.
    Orange Yellow onion skins, add pureed carrot, chili powder and paprika Add the outer skins from 3 large yellow onions to 1 cup of boiling water; add 2 pureed carrots, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 Tablespoon paprika simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, let cool.
    Purple / pink 3 large fresh beets (the roots, not the leaves) or pickled beet juice (borscht works!) I've heard violet blossoms from your lawn also work. Slice the beets and simmer them for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, again with just enough water to keep from burning!
    Purple Blueberries (1 pint) Add one pint of blueberries (fresh or frozen or canned with syrup) to just enough water to cover the berries (and make at least 1 cup of broth.  Boil for 5 to 10 minutes over medium-low heat, let cool, strain out the skins.
    Purple Dark red wine is also said to work  
    Red 2 cups of grated or finely chopped beets. Others that work are cherries,
    pomegranate juice and to a lesser extent, raspberries.
    I use the grater attachment on my food processor.
    Red (dark red) Red onion skins Add the outer skins from 3 large red onions to 1 cup of boiling water; simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, let cool.
    Yellow Turmeric - makes the brightest yellow.  For a pale yellow, try these: Cumin, Paprika  OR Saffron.  Others that work are Orange or Lemon Peels or Green Tea Add 3 tablespoons of turmeric (or other herb, just a few sprigs of saffron) to 1 cup of boiling water.  Simmer for 10 minutes, then stir and let cool to room temperature.

    Note: DON'T use any aluminum pots, pans or utensils!

    You will also need 1 small (pint) bottle of plain white vinegar; any type (apple, or other) as long as it is clear and not colored.

  2. Prepare the dyes!
    The dye baths are made from water (tap, rain, distilled or whichever you prefer), the plant extract (or herbs) and vinegar (it fixes the color to the egg).
    a. You need just enough water to cover the eggs in the container you will use (small coffee cups are perfect!).
    b. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar per cup of water.
    c. Then add the plant extracts you made in step 1. For fruit or vegetable juices, simply substitute the juice for the water using as close to full strength as possible for the deepest colors.
  3. Dye your eggs - either hard-boiled eggs or fresh (I use fresh because I don't eat many hard boiled, and you can use the fresh later - the color doesn't penetrate to the inside). Let each egg soak for 20 minutes to overnight, until you reach the intensity of the color you desire!  Of course, if you want to let them soak for a long time, you should put it in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage!
  4. Pat the eggs dry with a paper towel to avoid staining other parts of your house!


  • For glossy, shiny eggs, rub them with a paper towel or rag with canola, corn or olive oil.
  • You can use a wax crayon to make designs on the eggs BEFORE you soak them in the dye.  Those areas will remain white.

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