Plants & Kids
Coloring Eggs with Natural Dyes
Mary Jane Frogge, Nebraska Extension Associate
Coloring Eggs with Natural Dyes
Eggs colored with natural dyes from plant material. Picture by Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate.

This year, plan to have nature help color your Easter eggs with natural dyes. Collect plant material listed below for a variety of shades. Experiment and have fun with this project. The result will be beautiful and unique eggs for your egg hunt.

Dye Materials & Color Produced

  • Dandelions - Yellowish
  • Red cabbage leaves - Robin egg blue
  • Walnut shells - Dark red-brown
  • Orange peels - Light yellow
  • Carrot tops - Smoky grey-green
  • Fresh cranberries - Dark green
  • Yellow onion skins - Dark yellow or orange
  • Spinach - Light gold-green
  • Red beets - Light pink
  • Blackberries - Purple
  • Raspberries - Pale red
  • Strong brewed coffee - Light brown
  • Grape juice - Light purple

Important - If you use any plants from a lawn or landscape, make sure they haven't been treated with any chemicals like pesticides or fertilizers. Use only untreated plants and flowers for your eggs.

Picture of eggs dyed with onion skins. Directions
Take a small amount of food material and place it in a pan, filled with 2 cups of cold water. Bring the water rapidly to a boil and allow to simmer 10 minutes. Turn off heat and cover, allowing dye to steep for 30 minutes.

Remove food material and place dye into containers and refrigerate.

When dye is cold, place hard-cooked eggs into dye. Leaving the eggs in the dye overnight in the refrigerator will give the deepest colors. Experiment to see what tints and shades are best. Remove the eggs from the dyes and dry on a metal cake rack.

Place eggs in refrigerator until it is time to use or hide them.

Image lower right from

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