Saturday, April 19, 2014

Natural Egg Dye

I have been wanting to try and dye my Easter eggs with natural dyes for a few years now. And every year I chicken out and get the $2 PAAS pack. Nothing wrong with that. I just think its so cool that you can make your own dye using natural ingredients. I decided this was the year. I looked up how to do it and found good old Martha was the one who had the best recipe. She made it pretty simple and once you have the basic recipe down, you can experiment with pretty much anything. I wasn't sure how this one was gonna work out. So I did buy a backup plan PAAS pack, just in case. Although it was time consuming, it was really cool to see the colors come out of all the random things. Red cabbage? Tumeric? Weird! But cool too!

Here is the how to.

You will need:
Wide mouth jars or bowls
Large pot

In a large pot boil 1 quart of water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Add any of the following for your different color choices.

4 Cups of chopped red cabbage= Blue
4 Cups onion skins (Seriously, who would have ever thought you could use these things?)= Sienna
3 Cups blackberries or blueberries= Pink (*NOTE this one did not work!)
3 Tablespoons of Tumeric= Yellow
4 Tablespoons of coffee beans or grounds =Brown

* Make sure that your ingredients are completely covered with water. If you need to add another quart of water, that's fine, just be sure to add another 2 Tablespoons of vinegar.

* Once the ingredients are boiling, lower to a simmer and simmer 1/2 hour. Allow to cool then strain out the dyeing agents. It helps to strain it through cheesecloth as there is a lot of sediment in the coffee and tumeric ones especially. Then its ready for dyeing! Be aware that this dye may need the eggs to sit longer than traditional dye, so leaving some in the jar with the dye in the fridge overnight is a good idea. Just pop em in the fridge then see what cool colors you get the next morning!

From left to right: Red Cabbage, Tumeric, Coffee, Onion Skins, Blackberry/Blueberry combo.

Here is what my eggs looked like the next day.
The Blue one is from the red cabbage, the orange-y one is from the onion skins, the yellow one is from the tumeric and the brown one is from the coffee. Pretty cool huh! My blueberry/blackberry concoction didn't work out. Not sure what went wrong with that. The egg came out and had a gross grey film on it. Yuck. I'm pretty excited that my other ones turned out though! Now I want to see what other colors can be made. I wanted to try beets, but the grocery store was all out. I'm assuming they would have made a cool pink color.

One thing about dyeing them this way is that its definitely not kid friendly. It just takes too long for a little one's patience. The great thing about the PAAS dye is that it dyes the eggs almost instantly. Yes, I used the backup plan. As Princess sat there staring at the jars full of dye, eyes full of excitement and anticipation I realized we would need a much quicker version for this to be fun for her. Oh well. It was fun for me!

Happy Easter everyone!!!

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