It is easy to make custom dyes from common plants or vegetables. These homemade paints aren’t always as bright as those created from synthetic materials, but their deep earth tones are unique and delightfully pleasing to the eye. Plus, they’re a great activity to keep your Easter fun and colorful at home without a trip to the store. Dipping eggs in one color, letting them dry, and then adding a second color often creates unique and attractive patterns.
Using these methods will bring you a variety of colors.
Dark purple and indigo colors
Some of the richer colors like reds, deep blues, and especially dark shades of indigo or purple can be more challenging in the garden. Concentrating or increasing the amount of ingredients you use as well as increasing the soaking and boiling time can give you different colors.
How to get the best yellow color
Onion: Remove the outer brown skin of the onion and cut it into smaller pieces. Add these pieces to a pot of water and let it boil. Check the water for your desired color and strength. Onion skins usually develop an earthy yellow color that can turn more of a shade of orange if you keep the skins longer.
Chamomile: This common herb is useful for dyeing and also in tea and sleep. In fact, if you don’t have access to fresh flowers, chamomile tea bags work just as well. The more bags are immersed in hot water, the deeper the yellow color is produced.
Fennel: All parts of the fennel plant can be used to create this earthy yellow color. Floral tops are the best option for color, but experiment with other pieces to see color variations.
Chamomile flowers make a great tea and color your eggs too.
Rudbeckia: Commonly known as black-eyed Susan, the heads of this flower are a great natural dye for yellow, and if you don’t want to splurge on the garden and reuse all your garden scraps, the outer leaves of the plant will work. For creating a natural green color, rhododendrons like these are useful even when they are not fresh, as using dried flowers will also give you color.
Yellow Marigold Petals: Separate the petals from the yellow marigold. Place these in a pan of cold water. Boil the water until it turns lemon yellow. Look at the vase and notice its color change. When you have a color that excites you, draw the water.
Orange Marigold Petals: These petals produce a yellow color.
Still no marigolds in your garden? You can buy a bag of dried petals that will dye your eggs and make great tea.
Shades of blue in natural colors
Bachelor’s Buttons: These common garden flowers produce a perfect cobalt blue color. Collect and dry the flowers for Easter use. These flowers add a stunning blue color to your eggs.
Blueberries: These berries produce a purple-blue color. Rounding out the available color wheel options for Easter egg selections.
Red Cabbage: Commonly grown in the garden, this cabbage produces a purple-blue color. Chop the cabbage and add it to the water in the pan and let it boil. Boil it until you get the desired color. Add a tablespoon of alum to help set the paint.
Raspberries: For a variation on the blues spectrum, add raspberries to hot water to create a pale lavender color. To create a darker and deeper color, keep the eggs in the dyed water longer.
Black beans: Take black beans and soak them in water before cooking. This is your dye bath for the egg. This light blue or light bluish purple color is an option for choosing your colored wheel eggs.
Blueberry: This berry works wonders when boiled, producing a pale gray purple color. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the bath to help color the eggs.
Have a bag of black beans handy. Not only do they color the eggs, but they are the main component of the shorts.
Easy green egg colors from container gardens
Peppermint: Peppermint has a very uplifting scent that is delightful for your Easter decorations. Overwintering mint in a pot gives an early start to spring. Chop the vegetables and boil them until the desired color is obtained.
Spinach: A common salad green from your growing garden or store-bought is another idea for a green bath for your eggs. Chop a handful of vegetables, put them in a pot and boil.
Spinach and mint are both hardy plants that can be grown indoors or in the cold weather many areas are experiencing this Easter.
Beetroot: If your beetroots have overwintered, they are perfect for the color bath. Add the chopped beets to the pot, bring the water to a boil, remove the beets and color the eggs. These will be so dark that it is difficult to paint other colors over them. Another option is to paint your eggs with oil pastels and then dye them red in water. Stenciling eggs and coloring them leaves a beautiful effect among deep and delicious colors.
Red Onion Skins: These skins produce a softer, brighter red color. Peel the outer skin of the onion and cut it into small pieces. Put these chopped skins in cold water and boil the water. This rusty red color is a great earthy addition to an egg dye palette.
Berries: If you want to use fruits, crushed and boiled blueberries and raspberries will create shades of red and pink.
Oil pastels are a great addition to anyone’s craft supplies.
Carrots: Overwinter carrots from your garden or use store-bought carrots. Add them to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Remove the carrots and add the eggs to the bath until it turns a nice orange color.
Turmeric root or powder: For a strong golden orange, grind turmeric root or add some turmeric powder to water. Bring to a boil, then add the eggs. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to keep the color on the eggshell.
Turmeric is also a healthy addition to your diet that is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Mordants are substances that help the color last on the fabric or in this case the egg. Easter egg dye kits often recommend adding apple cider vinegar to your dye bath. Cider is not a drink, but it changes the pH of the water and helps the egg keep its color better. Some recommend cleaning the eggs with apple cider vinegar before dyeing them to remove the wax from commercial eggs.
This Easter, have fun coloring eggs with your new earthy colors!
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