Brighten Up Easter With Naturally Dyed Eggs


The egg, an ancient symbol of rebirth and new life, has a long and storied history tied to holidays around the world, including Easter.
The egg, an ancient symbol of rebirth and new life, has a long and storied history tied to holidays around the world, including Easter.Credit…Christine Chitnis for The New York Times

Using ingredients straight from your kitchen, these dyed Easter eggs make a fun and festive way to celebrate.

Egg decorating is a festive activity that celebrates the arrival of spring, a season of renewal. The egg, an ancient symbol of rebirth and new life, has a long and storied history tied to holidays and seasonal celebrations around the world, including Easter. In fact, if you’ve hand-dyed eggs, then you have, perhaps unknowingly, participated in one of the oldest known decorative art forms. In 2010, archaeologists in South Africa discovered engraved ostrich eggs dating back around 60,000 years. Since then, eggs have been decorated in every way imaginable, including traditional pysanky (Ukrainian Easter egg decoration) and arts-and-craft inspired decoupage eggs.

This tutorial keeps things simple and relies on natural ingredients, which result in rich, jewel-toned dyes that cover the egg in a wash of color but also let the shell’s speckled beauty show through. Drawing on spring’s color palette for inspiration — from robin’s egg blue to daffodil yellow — the dye recipes shared here require little more than a few kitchen ingredients and a bit of patience.

These dyes are not fast-working like their commercial counterparts; the eggs need to soak for a few hours at a minimum. To achieve the vibrant colors shown here, you must soak your eggs overnight. If you prefer more pastel tones, a shorter soak is effective. Keep in mind that this is not an exact science — colors will vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the color of your eggs’ shells and the amount of time you soak them for.

Christine Chitnis for The New York Times

Materials

Natural dye ingredients, such as

  • 3 cups of yellow onion skins from roughly 8-10 onions
  • 3 cups of red cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 3 cups of beets, chopped
  • 3 cups frozen blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons hibiscus loose-leaf tea
  • 1.5 quarts water per dye ingredient
  • 12 tablespoons white vinegar

Resources: By Christine Chitnis New York Times

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