You know, some projects just don’t turn out like you planned. Like this Easter egg dying DIY project we tried. Unfortunately, it was a total bust! Our goal was to learn how to dye eggs with only natural sources of dye. Since I’m pregnant now (YAY!!) and already dreaming about future kiddy and eco friendly projects I can do with her (it’s a GIRL!), I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. I would avoid exposing my pregnant self to any chemical dyes and see what stunning colors can come directly from Mother Nature herself to dye our eggs.
Here are the food sources we used for the colors we wanted:
Grape juice – Purple
Red cabbage leaves – Blue
Spinach leaves – Green
Ground cumin – Yellow
Beets – Pink
Pomegranate juice – Red
For the red cabbage leaves, spinach leaves, beets, and ground cumin I shredded up the spinach leaves and chopped up beets and cabbage to ensure there was enough surface area to extract all of the color I could. I piled each food in a small saucepan and covered the food with water. I added cumin to the water until I got a dark enough yellow color. I just made sure that when I drained the liquid out that I would have enough to cover an egg or two in a container. Then I brought it up to a boil until I saw the color I was looking for. Never quite got the deep dark green color I was hoping for with the spinach after boiling for a while and adding additional spinach! I also didn’t get a very pretty yellow color with the cumin. Joanna’s medical training led her to describe this color as “urinary tract infection” yellow. Hmm…maybe next year I’ll try lemon rinds.
The colors of the cabbage leaves, grape juice, beets, and pomegranate juice were the best: juicy, deep, rich, beautiful color that you almost wanted to drink, but not really because you’ll add a teaspoon of vinegar for each cup of liquid you have. Not so tasty. So we dunked our eggs and were a little nervous from the beginning because the eggs just really didn’t draw in the color like I thought they would. We left the eggs in for over 3 hours and got colors we weren’t that excited about. Bummer!
You can see from the photos that the eggs did take on a bit of a hue, but nothing exciting. Another bigger problem: the color was VERY easily scratched off by a little swipe of the finger or scratch of the spoon we used to take them out of the dye. Dang!
Also, not cool: the eggs took over 3 hours to take on the color they did. What kid wants to wait THAT long to see their egg lookin’ pretty? A really patient one, I guess. I was hoping for a fun egg dying project that wouldn’t take all day from start to finish. Oh well.
This game isn’t over yet. Next year we will surely give this another whirl. Either with another technique or another dye option. Maybe we’ll try dunking the eggs in the liquid while it’s hot. Maybe we’ll try other food choices to see what kind of color we get? Maybe we’ll use some actual food coloring dye that has been made from real plant extracts that has a bit more color concentration?
So, moral of the story…this particular technique didn’t work for us this time. But I know its worked for other people before, so we won’t give up! My future kiddies will be dying beautiful Easter eggs sans chemicals in the future. Just gotta perfect this process.
Has anyone had success with dying eggs with color they’ve extracted from food? We welcome the tips and tricks!
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