Is it even Easter without bright, dye-stained hands from coloring eggs? But this year, it doesn’t have to be the artificial stuff—you can raid your pantry (or maybe you’ll need to hit the store) for the natural kind and dye your eggs with food! There are many different natural dyes that can create egg art, including shredded beets for red, ground turmeric for yellow, and butterfly pea tea for blue and purple. (Get a dye that can do both.)
We have techniques for making all of your favorite colors, plus how to make dreamy, mesmerizing swirly eggs with multiple colors. They’re so pretty you might not want to crack them open afterward—but remember there are deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches in your future if you do.
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
Makes: 12 eggs | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes
6 cups water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
4 tablespoon canola oil
12 hard-boiled white-shelled eggs
For Red: 2 red beets, shredded
For Yellow: 3 tablespoons ground turmeric
For Blue: 5 butterfly pea tea bags (no vinegar)
For Purple: 5 butterfly pea tea bags (with vinegar)
For Green: Soak in yellow dye and then in blue dye
For Orange: Soak in yellow dye and then in red dye
Make the dyes:
Combine 1 ½ cups of water and color ingredient of choice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5 minutes, or until water reaches desired color. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard any solids. Pour the liquid into a bowl, and then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar (except when making purple). Repeat with remaining water, color ingredients and vinegar.
For solid colors:
Using a fork, gently lower 1 hard-boiled egg into the colored dye and let stand until the egg is desired hue, 5–30 minutes. Transfer the egg to a cooling rack set over paper towels to dry, about 15 minutes.
For swirly colors:
Dye each egg a solid color, keeping the shade light so the second color will be visible. Dry completely. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to each dye. Dip an egg in the second color and roll around to create a swirly pattern. Remove from the dye and transfer the egg to a cooling rack set over a layer of paper towels to dry, about 15 minutes.
You can get all different shades and colors by soaking in multiple dyes and/or for different lengths of time. Play around with it! The swirly eggs that get dipped in the oily dye have a shiny film on them, but you can wipe it off with a paper towel for a more matte appearance. The colors aren’t as saturated as artificially colored eggs, but they turn out just as fun and pretty. You can also wrap rubber bands around the eggs to create stripes and patterns.
Fave color combos:
It works best to do a lighter color as the base followed by a more vibrant color, or else the color can get muddy and sad. We love yellow topped with a blue swirl and blue topped with a red swirl (for a purple vibe).