A few people have been asking me for this naturally dyed Easter egg tutorial so here it is! Creating naturally dyed eggs is a fun & satisfying project to do with kids. It involves taking previously boiled eggs, (if you have the time you could blow the yolk & white out), creating a natural dye bath, decorating the eggs, then adding them to the dye bath & simmering in the dye. Before you start you will need to do a small bit of preparation, but the project itself is straightforward.
- The tutorial below is for dying 6 eggs. The more eggs you dye the more plant material you will need. Use at least 100g of dried material for 6 eggs.
- I used yellow onion skins & dried hibiscus flowers & but you could also try making a dye from red cabbage, red onion skins, turmeric powder, coffee granules, black tea or blueberries.
- Before you cut the tights, use an egg to measure & see how much length you will need to wrap the eggs & tie them securely.
- I gathered small weeds, daisies & shamrocks, to make my patterns. If look for the smallest plants growing, they should give you some nice patterns.
You will need:
- Wooden spoon
- Previously boiled Eggs
- A selection of small leaves or flowers
- 1-2 pairs of nylon stockings
- String or elastic bands
- Dye material. I used yellow onion skins from 10-20 onions
- A small bowl of water (for wetting the flowers or leaves)
First, let’s make a dye bath:
- Take the onion skins & place these in a medium-sized pot.
- Cover with hot water & simmer gently for 45-1hr.
- When the water changes to a yellow-orange colour, your dye is ready.
- Turn off the heat, strain out all the skins & set the pot aside while you work on your eggs.
To create your patterns:
- Take your egg & carefully place small leaves or flowers face down on the surface. You can use your fingers to apply a little water to help them stay in place.
- Take a section of previously cut tight, tie a knot in one end then carefully wrap the nylon around the egg, keeping the leaves or flowers in place & secure with a knot, string or elastic bands. The stocking should wrap securely around the egg to keep the foliage in place.
- Repeat this will all your eggs.
- Once all your eggs are decorated & wrapped, gently place them in the onion dye.
- Return to the heat & simmer very gently for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the dye bath overnight for a more defined pattern.
- The next day, remove the eggs from the dye.
- Remove the tights & very carefully peel the leaves from the shell then leave them to dry.
If you’d like another fun naturally dyed project to do with kids my botanical inks & paintmaking tutorial is a little more involved but also straightforward & enjoyable. If you’ve tried to make naturally dyed easter eggs before let me know how you got on. My first attempt wasn’t as successful as the second so be patient with yourself if your eggs don’t turn out great the first time. x Kathryn