Natural Egg Dye

I decided this year that I would try dying eggs without commercial dyes.

After all, Martha Stewart can do it.

This alone should have been a clue that it was beyond our reach.

We started with some red onions and cabbage from the store. Then I had the children out hunting for violets. This was actually the most pleasurable part of the process, in retrospect. We also grabbed some azaleas (after all, they stain your clothes) and dandelions too.

I poured boiling water over the violets, dandelions and azaleas and added a dash of vinegar. To the violets I also added a dash of lemon juice. For some reason the latter step was recommended on one of the sites I checked.

Here are the violets. Notice they’ve started losing their color:

Our eggs. Some from the store (the boring white ones) and some from our friends at Camp Topisaw. I blew out some of the green ones and left them as they were.

Boiling the cabbage.

Here it is after boiling down for a while:

Well, we put the eggs in and nothing much happened. For a long time. Finally I drained the azaleas and suggested the girls crush the blossoms over the eggs directly. It did produce a dye which colored the eggs slightly.

The eggs in the onions and cabbage did a little better. The onions turned the white eggs approximately the same color as the brown eggs I already had. The cabbage turned them a kind of grey, but if you let the egg dry there were dark blue streaks where the drops dried unevenly. The girls were unimpressed.
They looked pretty in the dye. The one on the right had a pretty leaf held against it with a bit of old stocking tied around it. This should have worked in theory, but didn’t.

I can’t believe I don’t actually have any pictures of the finished products. But, trust me, you’re not missing anything.
I know people do this successfully. I need to do some more research and try again next year.

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