Naturally Dyed Eggs
I love dying eggs with plant and herb matter and am happy to share my simple method here for anyone wanting to give it a try. This year I tried making designs with leaves, flowers and ferns from our garden too. The internet is rich with natural dye recipes for clothing, eggs and almost anything you can dream up. Here, I will share 4 simple dye baths you can create for your eggs with ingredients found at your local grocery shop or garden. I learned this simple technique from an old Martha Stewart magazine years ago.
you will need:
-1 to 2 dozen hard boiled white eggs (there is probably enough dye for much more than that)
-one head of purple cabbage (about 4 cups chopped)
-4 cups yellow onion skins (i dig them out of the bins at the grocery shop + they will usually give them to you for free!)
-3 Tbs powdered turmeric
-4 cups chopped beets
for the flora/fauna designs, you will need:
-flowers, leaves, ferns, clover… whatever you think will make a nice design. I used daisies, clovers, ferns and rosemary from our garden.
-nylon stockings cut into 4 inch squares
1. To each pot add 4 cups of water, 1 TBS salt and 2 Tbs vinegar along with your dye agent (beet, onion skin, etc).
2. Bring the pot mixture to a boil and lower heat. Simmer 30 minutes and cool.
3. Strain the dyes into their own bowls and discard or eat the plant matter.
****if you are wanting to try the designs, take a cooled egg, place your plant or flower material on it as you’d like it to appear and gently stretch a cut square of nylon around it, securing tightly at the back with a twist tie. Trim the excess. note: i removed some of the daisy petals so there was more space for the dye to get in and make a design.
4. Once they are cool, lower your hard boiled eggs into the solutions. Natural dyes take much longer than the synthetic/store bought dyes to achieve a deep, rich color. You may even need to leave them overnight. You can experiment with color combos by leaving the eggs in one color for awhile and switching them into another dye bath afterwards.
5. When your eggs have achieved the desired color, remove them with a slotted spoon and allow to dry on a rack or back in the egg carton. If you have made floral designs on them, wait until the egg, nylon and plant material is COMPLETELY dry to remove the matter and nylon or the dye will leak into your design. This may take several hours.
Eggs fresh out of the dye bath, nylons and plant material still intact.
Starting to undo the nylons to expose the designs.
Rosemary, fern and daisy eggs soaked overnight in beet dye. You can take them out after a few hours for a lighter pink color.
Daisy eggs dyed with (from top) beet, onion skins, turmeric + cabbage.
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