Egg Dyeing with Natural Dyes – Food & Spices

Last year I did a few of these dyed eggs really last-minute, with no planning, after being inspired by Emily Weaver Brown’s blog post.  I REALLY like dyeing things, and for the most part, I’ve just done fabric.  I discovered my enjoyment of fiber arts in college (a little too late to change majors, sadly, but oh well, I finished my art education degree for a reason that only made sense 2 1/2 years ago!)  Right after I was linking to Emily’s page, I just noticed her year one and two attempts.  I am almost jealous!  Her first attempt looks better than my second one.  🙂  BUT if it weren’t for the grape juice & the cabbage one, I would be pretty sad – those turned out amazing!  So here’s what I did:

Bring the eggs to a slow boil in a pot with a splash of vinegar (I think this made the color better than putting vinegar in the dyebath later on). Once they reach the boiling point, remove from heat & let sit for 12 minutes. Plunge them into an icy cold water bath to stop the cooking (this is how you get a better texture & prettier color to the yolk rather than the overcooked, powdery middle with the gray ring.)

Assemble your dyes (not pictured: red cabbage)


Bring spices & produce to a boil in 2 c of water. (For grape juice dye, I just poured 2 c. of cold juice into a mason jar & put the cooked eggs in it.)

I’m just including this one because I had fun playing with my off-camera flash.  It lit the steam up really well in the normally dark corner of the kitchen.  Flash was set to 1/64th power with a diffuser (made from that padded packaging stuff!  Best – and cheapest – diffuser I’ve ever had!)


After the liquids cool to a safe temperature, pour them into jars or bowls & put the eggs in them.  I put one brown & one white egg into each jar.

(Clockwise from the yellow one on the left): Turmeric – made a great yellow.  Beet powder – made pink…ish.  Red cabbage – made blue.  Grape juice – made awesome purple!  Blackberry puree – made brownish-speckled-pink.  Paprika – made interesting speckled light orange.  Red onion skins – made a great deep orange.

I put extra eggs in the turmeric/yellow to try making green later because I heard a short cabbage dip after creating yellow works….but that didn’t work this time.

The finished eggs!!  The grape juice (my fav) made both purpley ones at the top.  The [brown egg] one on the left had its protective coating wiped off after being boiled, & the dye stuck better.  The one on the right was left alone & it made speckled bubbles due to the coating, which I really liked!  The pale blue was a white egg in the cabbage, the yellow ones were tumeric, the pink speckled ones on the bottom right were blackberry puree, and the ones underneath were red onion skins.


Excited boy!

(That’s his favorite)

Tasting…I don’t think the dyes tasted good.

Little fingers poking…made the dye rub lighter but still looks interesting!

My favorites!


So this is what I would do next time: Use all white eggs (ours are from a friend’s backyard chickens, so we get what we get, but if I’d asked ahead of time, I’m sure she would have given me more white ones).  Use a splash of vinegar in the egg boiling pot.  When cool, wipe the coating off (except maybe a few that I was going to put in the grape juice).  Also, I did *not* add vinegar to the grape juice this time, and I would do it the same way again.  I didn’t add vinegar to the blackberry puree so I might try doing that next time.  I would also not add vinegar to the cabbage concoction, in order to get a deeper blue.  There was an obvious color change in the cabbage water when I splashed vinegar in – it was cool!  But it shifted more to fuchsia & I wonder if that affected the color.   I will also try wrapping some eggs in plastic wrap with the cabbage leaves & see if that gets a deeper color like in Emily’s posts.

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