Tuesday, March 30, 2010

natural easter egg dyes

I have tried natural egg dyes in the past, and it always seems hit or miss.  There are a few things that work really well, and a lot of things that are rather iffy.  This year I experimented with whatever I could find in my kitchen that might work as a dye, and the results were much the same. 
Blueberries seemed like a sure bet-they always seem to stain things that you don't want them to stain, right?
The color was a rather nice shade of blue, but spotty and inconsistent.
Dandelion tea produced a nice shade of pale brown.
Considering that I can easily buy eggs of this color, it seemed like wasted time and resources-hmmphh.
I bet that you will never guess what produced this moonscape of a green egg....
cranberries. yup.
I know, it shocked me too.
I pulled it out of the dye with visions in my head of a pale pink beauty.
Chemistry types, please feel free to offer up explanations
of cranberry and egg reactions.
Yellow onion skins were my fallback, because they have always produced beautiful eggs for me.
This year was no exception.  Eggs with a rich and wonderful orange-yellow coating.
For all of these dyes, I started with about a cup of my dye materials in heat proof bowls.  I then added
about 2 cups of boiling water and 2 T of vinegar.   Let the eggs soak until the water cools a bit, then move them, still in the dye, to the refrigerator overnight.

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