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Did you know that you probably have everything you need to dye Easter eggs naturally, right there in your kitchen cupboard? Vegetables such as red cabbage, onion skins, and coffee can be used to color plain white eggs and turn them into beautifully muted, soft pastel colors - Easter treasures! Kids really enjoy figuring out what color different materials will produce -- pretty much the same way our foremothers did when they were experimenting with homegrowns! *Vinegar acts as a dye mordant or dye set. Vinegar works best with spices such as turmeric or beans such as coffee. You do not need to add vinegar to dyes made with berries or herbs. It may morph your color to grey or brown.
- 1 dozen white egg
- 1 -4 quart white vinegar (optional)
NATURAL COLOR SOURCES
- 1⁄2 cup paprika (PEACHY SALMON)
- 1 cup lavender flowers (LIGHT GREEN)
- 1 cup canned cherries in syrup (RED)
- 1 cup frozen strawberries (PINK)
- 4 cups chopped red cabbage (BLUE)
- 1 cup canned blueberries, with syrup (BLUE)
- 1 teaspoon blue chamomile essential oil (ROBIN'S EGG BLUE)
- 3 ounces dried safflower oil, petals (BRIGHT YELLOW - DARK GREEN)
- 3 tablespoons turmeric (YELLOW)
- 1 1⁄2 cups calendula flowers, and heads (YELLOW)
- 12 medium onions, skins only (YELLOW to ORANGE)
- 1 (2 ounce) can beets (PURPLE)
- 1⁄2 cup purple grape juice concentrate (PURPLE)
- 1⁄2 cup green tea, plus
- 1⁄2 cup ground rubbed sage (LIGHT GREEN)
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves (GREEN)
- 5 tablespoons very strong well regular grind coffee (TAN-BROWN)
- Other items you will need:-MATERIALS NEEDED: three-quart pot/s (or larger), slotted spoon, small bowls- for cold process, paper towels drying rack DYE PROCESS.
- Select a natural dyeing agent, and place the recommended amount in the pot.
- Add 1 quart of soft or purified water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar* per pot.
- If you are making larger lots of eggs, increase the vinegar at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 16 oz.
- Bring everything to the boil, then lower the heat.
- Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain dye into a bowl, and let cool a bit.
- HOT PROCESS EGG DYING:.
- This method involves boiling the eggs in water with the natural colorant.
- The heat forces the color into the porous egg shell and allows the dye to saturate it thoroughly.
- This gives a really intense and completely uniform color to the shells.
- Vinegar fixes the color.
- Vinegar can"morph" certain colors, such as berries and herbs.
- Place raw eggs in a pot of strained dye; bring to a boil and allow eggs to cook in the dye-water for the amount of time required to get the color you want, up to 20 minutes.
- You can allow the eggs to sit in the dye water off the heat for as long as you wish, but place the eggs and dye-water in the refrigerator.
- Remove eggs, pat dry with paper towel and allow to thoroughly air dry on a drying rack.
- COLD PROCESS EGG DYING:.
- This is the method I use most with my kids.
- First, we boil our white eggs, remove from water and set aside to cool.
- With the slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the bowl of strained dye and allow to soak for 20 mins to overnight, til you reach the color intensity desired.
- Follow drying technique for hot process egg dyeing, above.
- You can, of course, mix colors.
- First, dip or soak your egg in color#1, then remove soak in color#2, til you reach the desired shade.