Want to have some fun with food and take a natural approach to dyeing Easter eggs this year? If so, here are instructions to make your own dyes at home using vegetables, spices, and white vinegar—that’s it! This is cooking with kids meets science at its best.
Use the following instructions for each dye you want to make. We chose to make pink (beets), blue (red cabbage), and yellow (turmeric) at our house. This allows you to make not only pink, blue, and yellow, but also green (blue+yellow), orange (yellow+pink), and purple (blue+pink) eggs as well. If you want to expand your color palette, there are instructions across the internet for a variety of other colors, though I don’t find them to be as vibrant as the ones shared here.
How to make homemade dyes for Easter eggs:
- Prepare coloring ingredient (1-1/2 cups grated beets for pink, 1-1/2 cups shredded red cabbage for blue, 3 tbsp dried turmeric for yellow).
- Boil 2 cups of water, then add one coloring ingredient, and stir.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes (add a bit of water if it looks like you’ll end up with less than 1 cup of liquid).
- Strain the liquid into a 3-4 cup canning jar, top up to 1 cup mark with water if needed, and cool to room temperature (about 2 hours).
- This is a good time to hard-boil eggs if you haven’t already. Place large eggs with white shells (brown won’t dye well) in a pot of water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, set a timer for 8 minutes and reduce heat to a simmer. When time is up, drain out the water and then add cool water to the pot to stop the eggs from cooking further; soak for a few minutes, then remove eggs from water and refrigerate until ready for coloring.
- Once the jar of liquid is cool, stir in 2 tbsp white vinegar.
- Add 3 hard-boiled eggs (must have white shells), screw on the cap, and refrigerate overnight or until eggs are the color you want them to be.
(Optional) If you want to mix colors, you can remove the eggs from one jar and put it into another until desired color is achieved. For example, an egg soaked in blue and then yellow dye will become a greenish hue.
- Remove eggs from jar gently with a spoon and place on a wire rack to dry (don’t rub with a towel or the color will come off). If you want to make them shiny, rub dry eggs with a little vegetable oil.
- Refrigerate eggs until ready to be eaten.