One of my fondest memories as a child come Easter time was dyeing Easter Eggs with my brother. I remember the glass cups lined up with different vibrant hues, our fingers stained with the same colors that were in the cups. The slight smell of vinegar in the air and the warmth of the eggs still bring up happy thoughts.
I want to show you how to dye eggs without the need for overpriced egg kits. And your kids will carry these happy memories for their lives, and maybe pass the technique on to their kids.
What you’ll need:
• Eggs – hard-boiled. Have at least one dozen per child.
• Egg carton – keep the carton to hold the dyed eggs.
• Food coloring – I like the little boxes with 4 colors.
• Crayons – used to decorate eggs before dyeing. White crayon works well.
• Paper towels – these work best since there is dye involved.
• Small cups – one per color; they should hold at least 8 oz. of liquid. Be sure they can hold hot liquids.
• Metal spoons – these won’t soak up the dye; preferably slotted.
• Aprons – best to use if you have small children unless you don’t mind stains.
Steps for dyeing eggs:
1. Boil a pot of water (parent only)
2. To each of the cups, add: 8 oz. boiling water (parent only), 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar, and 5-6 drops of food coloring.
a. Add more or less color for pastel or vibrant color
b. Mix dye colors together for more colors. For example, add red and yellow to make orange. Most boxes have color recipes.
3. Use crayons to decorate the eggs with names or faces, if desired. These parts will not take up the color. “We always had at least one egg with our name on it.”
4. Using a spoon, gently add an egg to a cup of dye. It’s best to only have one egg per cup at a time.
5. Leave it in until you get the desired color. Check it by lifting it part way out with the spoon.
6. Once you’re happy with the color, place the egg in the empty egg carton.
7. Refrigerate eggs. These eggs are safe to eat, even though sometimes the color bleeds through to the white of the egg.
Happy Easter, and be sure to share comments and pictures of your dyeing adventures.
Carol’s Tip! “Sometimes, at other times of the year, I make a whole carton of hard-boiled eggs and want to distinguish them from my regular eggs. Using a large Ziplock bag, drop 2-3 drops of any food color into the bag, place a couple cooked eggs at a time into the bag, zip and gently squish around. Voila! Instant pastel-dyed eggs. Now it’s easy to tell which are the boiled ones.”
“My brother and I would always make one gross, brown egg at the end of the dyeing fun. We’d take all the colors left in the cup, pour them together, and put one egg in to see what we got. It was always the same muddy brown, but we did it every year!”