Dyed of Natural Causes

Hanging out with kids gives childless adults a good excuse to get crafty.  This weekend, I had lots of time with my littlest sister and even-littler brother, and in order to take full advantage of kid time, I made it a priority to come up with an Easter project.

Enter natural egg dyes:

I remember enjoying the result of egg dyeing adventures of my childhood… but I don’t seem to remember the actual process of dyeing them.  Hopefully, as Littlest Sis grows up, the sweet aroma of boiling cabbage, hardboiled eggs, and onion skins will bring a wash of memories (if not nausea) over her.

Red cabbage, which is actually purple, produces blue dye. Color confusion!

To achieve this remarkable blue, we chopped and boiled a head of red cabbage in 3 or 4 inches of water for a good 20 minutes.  Strained it, added a couple glugs of white vinegar, added hard boiled eggs, and left it in the refrigerator overnight.  For orange, we did the same as above, only substituted skins from a couple yellow onions for the cabbage.  For a mottled grey-brown (which I had expected to be pinkish-grey), we emptied a bottle of cheap red wine along with some white vinegar into a bowl and added eggs.  I wonder if vinegar is necessary for the wine dye… a weird curdled-looking film gathered on the eggs dyed in wine, and I think it may have been the addition of the vinegar that caused this.

As an egg dye, I give wine a two thumbs meh. Although I love the way this particular flower turned out.

For the super-awesome shell-tattoos, we “borrowed” a pair of my Not So Little Sister’s stockings, some flowers and confetti, and string.  We placed the flower / confetti against the undyed egg, put the egg in the stocking (after cutting the stocking so it will stretched tight around the egg), and tied it off.  The stockinged egg went into the dye and WA-BAM:  overnight eggshell excellence.  (Littlest sis had the great idea to try the confetti.  Way to go, smartie pants!)

The most impressive color came from the unassuming yellow onion skins.  Who knew yellow = orange?

Cuteness overload. This is Littlest Sis and Even-Littler Bro. Awww!

Craft-time success!

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7 thoughts on “Dyed of Natural Causes

  1. DeadlyInlove says:

    omg, your eggs are soo cool! (weird senctence :D). I was so proud of mine but yours are professional!

  2. Little siblings are the best!

  3. Val says:

    Really lovely eggs!

  4. thanks, val! i reallu love your rhubarb crumble!

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