Coloring Easter Eggs is always a fun project to do with the kids and I like that we can create natural egg dyes. I wish I’d known how to dye eggs using natural colors when the kids were little. Splashing the old style food coloring that seemed to instantly stain everything it touched, mostly kids, counter tops, and clothing, always tried my patience just a little.
Last year was the first year we used natural egg dyes and experimented with using red cabbage and turmeric to produce amazing blue and mustard color eggs. I was so excited about the colors created, that I thought about painting our bedroom those colors! We also had fun experimenting with the red cabbage color. If you change the pH by adding a little baking soda, the water changes color. We all thought that was pretty interesting, although the baking soda prevents the eggs from picking up the color and leaves the eggs a bit speckled (the light blue egg). I guess that’s why most egg dyes use vinegar to adjust the pH. Science can be so much fun! 🙂
I like to use hard-boiled eggs for dying eggs. I’ve found the best way to make hard boiled eggs is to put the eggs in a large pan. Cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil then turn the heat off and let the pan set for about 12 minutes. Drain off the water and cool by running cold water over the eggs.
To make the Red Cabbage dye (pretty blue color), chop a handful of red cabbage (approx 2 cups) and add 2 cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar.
Let this come to a boil, then turn on low for about 15 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a bowl (non-staining). I like to use recycled yogurt or sour cream containers and if they stain, I can just add them to the recycle pile.
To make the Turmeric dye (pretty mustard color), mix 2 cups water, 2 Tbsp. turmeric, and 1 Tbsp. white vinegar in a pot. Bring to a boil, then turn on low for about 15 minutes. Pour this into the egg dying container.
We added about a teaspoon of baking soda to one of the containers of red cabbage dye and it instantly turned blue!
Add the eggs to each of the dyes and let them set until the desired color. I like to let them sit about an hour or so in the fridge for a nice deep color. In the picture below, I let these eggs sit for about 2 hours in the refrigerator. I love the deep blue color that the red cabbage makes.