Want to know how to dye eggs for Easter with simple ingredients in your pantry? It's quick and easy and you don't need to buy a kit to do it. This is a fun project to do with kids, or just go wild and let the kid-in-you enjoy it. (Skip to method.)
When I was a kid my mom always bought those little flat boxes of Easter egg dying kits that came with a couple wire egg holders, a few tablets of food colouring, and some plastic sleeves with Easter pictures to stick around the eggs. I used them for a few years with our kids, and then realized I could do it just as easily myself with a bit of white vinegar (to set the colour) and a packet of food colouring tubes (inexpensive to buy in any grocery store, by the baking supplies), which I could use for years, or use for other craft projects (like this whimsical and delicious cookie painting activity).
If you don't already, why not start your own egg decorating tradition with the family?
Colouring Easter Eggs is as Easy as 1-2-3
Just set out some small jars or mugs. Add a splash of vinegar to each, then some boiling water, and squeeze in the colouring to get it to your liking. Have fun mixing colours to get new shades.
Lower a cooked egg into each (use this method for cooking your eggs so they peel perfectly every time). You can even add fun designs to your eggs (see suggestions in the recipe, below). Leave the egg for however long you like to get the shade you want.
Pop the eggs onto a cooling rack to air dry.
And invite the Easter Bunny over for dinner!
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Kitchen Frau Notes: It's best to use white eggs for clear pastel colours, but if you want deeper, earthy, natural looking colours, use brown eggs. Rub the eggs with a bit of oil, after they are dyed and dry, if you want a shine on them (nicer on the brown eggs).
How to Dye Eggs
- boiled eggs in the shell (see how to do it so they peel easily here)
- white vinegar
- boiling water
- food colouring - liquid or gel
Equipment needed: small (250ml/1 cup) mason jars, empty jam jars, or mugs; soup spoons; cake drying rack
- Attach shaped stickers (foam stickies work great) to the eggs before dying, then peel them off after the colour is dried to see the shapes in white relief form.
- Or wrap elastic bands around the eggs before dying, either in stripes or plaids, or randomly, then dye the eggs and remove the elastics after the eggs are dry.
- Or dye the eggs a light shade, then affix the stickers or elastics, and then dip the eggs again into a darker shade or complementing colour so you have coloured designs showing when you remove the stickers or elastics.
- Or hold the eggs halfway into a colour, so that the egg is only half dyed. Allow to dry. Then hold the other end into another colour, allowing the colours to overlap just a bit to produce a different coloured band in the middle. Allow to dry and you'll have a two-coloured egg.
- use a white or pastel-coloured wax crayon to draw designs or pictures before dipping the egg. The wax will resist the dye. You can leave the crayon on, or when dry, gently heat the egg with a blow dryer to melt the wax and wipe it off.
Instructions: Boil (or steam) the eggs ahead of time, then cool them in cold water and let them dry. White eggs will produce clear pastel colours, brown eggs will produce darker, earthy colours.
For each colour you wish to have, set out one jar or mug. Put 1 teaspoon of white vinegar into each jar. Then add ½ cup (120ml) boiling water.
Add 10 to 20 drops of liquid food colouring, depending on how intense you want the colour to be, into each jar. Remember that yellow + red = orange, yellow + blue = green, and red + blue = purple/violet. Depending on what proportions of each colour you use, you will have varying shades of the mixed colours.
If using gel colours, you will need to put in a small dollop and then stir to dissolve it, and keep adding more until it is as intense as you want to have it.
Lower a cooled, cooked egg into each colour carefully with a spoon, wiping the spoon clean before submerging it into another colour.
Leave the eggs in the colour for the time needed to get your desired shade. Turn each egg carefully during it's submersion time so that it colours evenly. 5 minutes will produce a medium shade of each colour. Less time will produce a lighter shade and a longer time will produce a darker shade.
Remove the eggs with the spoon and put them onto a cake cooling rack to air-dry. You can use the dyes repeatedly to colour more eggs in the same liquid. As the dyes cool, it may take longer to colour subsequent eggs.
Store the eggs in the fridge. Freshly cooked eggs will keep up to a week in the fridge if not peeled, and 5 days if peeled.
Eat the eggs for a spring/Easter breakfast, or use them in your favourite egg salad or egg dishes.
Happy Egg Dying!
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