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Natural Easter-Egg Dyes

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Does your family dye hard-boiled eggs every year for Easter? This year, look around your kitchen for natural, make-it-yourself colors.
Natural Easter-Egg Dyes

Beets and berries, coffee and tea...Vegetables and fruits as well as everyday drinks can be turned into natural dyes for colorful Easter eggs. Experiment with different foods to get different colors. The peel, skin, or leafy tops of produce can yield rich hues, too. We’ve found that the brown, dry skin of an onion makes a golden color dye, while celery leaves make a yellow dye. The green tops of carrots or beets produce a pale green dye. Coffee right out of the pot makes brown dye, while tea makes tan. For a soft lilac color, use grape juice. Parents should attend to any preparations that require boiling and be sure the mixture is warm, not hot, before allowing kids to begin coloring.

What You’ll Need
  • Vegetables, fruits, or drinks (see above for suggestions)

  • Water

  • Newspaper

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar per color

  • Hard-boiled eggs

  • Spoon

  • Empty egg carton

  • Olive or other vegetable oil

What You'll Do
  1. To make a dye from vegetables, simmer equal parts water and the vegetable material for about 30 minutes. For a blue dye, mash blueberries and simmer them in a few inches of water. Strain the mixture, using the remaining liquid for the dye.
  2. Cover your work surface with newspaper. Fill a cup with the dye (one cup per color) and add the white vinegar.
  3. Place an egg into each cup and turn it over with a spoon to make sure the dye covers all its sides.
  4. Once the egg has reached a shade you like, remove it from the dye and place in the empty egg carton to dry. (You can also leave the egg in the cup in the fridge overnight for a deeper color.)
  5. After drying, if you want your colorful eggs to shine, rub with a few drops of oil. Refrigerate the dyed eggs if they won’t be eaten immediately.

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