Colouring/Dyeing Eggs

Method 1: Using Food Colouring

For each colour of dye desired:

175 mL (3/4 cup) water
5 mL (1 tsp) vinegar
1 mL (1/4 tsp) food coloring

Mix water, vinegar and food coloring. For brighter color, add more food coloring (picture 1).
Completely submerge the eggs until they are tinted the desired color, from 2 to 5 minutes (picture 2).

Remove eggs from the dye and allow to dry before adding another color or continuing to decorate (picture 3).

Tips:

  • Tongs are a handy tool to use for dipping raw or hard-cooked eggs in water.
  • An easy way to color a blown egg is to thread a length of thin wire through the holes in each end of the eggshell. Bend the wire at one end so the egg won’t slip off. This is a handy tool for dipping eggs in the dye and hanging to dry. A cake rack is also useful for drying eggs.
  • Before decorating, wipe eggs with white vinegar to remove traces of oil from shells. Don’t soak eggs in pure vinegar or shell may disintegrate.
  • To keep eggs longer, use hollowed-out eggs.
  • Egg dipping wires come in Easter egg decorating kits. You can make your own using a 10 cm (8 inch) length of heavy floral wire or coat hanger. Shape 1 end into 3.8 cm (1½ inch) loop to hold egg. Bend straight end of wire up for handle.
  • An egg decorating holder, available in most craft stores, is a handy tool. Or use a popsicle holder or with cardboard tubes, film cannisters or plastic bottle lids.
  • Egg dye can be purchased in craft stores and used instead of food colouring.
  • Colour variations using liquid food colouring: violet = 3 drops red + 3 drops blue; peach = 2 drops red + 3 drops yellow.

Method 2: Using “Natural Dyes”

Natural Blue Eggs:

  • 1 small head of red cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 500 mL (2 cups) water
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) white vinegar
  • 6 eggs

Measure first 3 ingredients into large pot or Dutch oven. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, turning eggs occasionally for even colour. Remove eggs to medium bowl of very cold water. Let stand for about 10 minutes until eggs are cool. Strain liquid in pot into deep medium bowl. Discard solids. Cool liquid completely. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Chill for at least 3 hours or ideally, 8-10 hours, until desired colour is reached. Makes 6 coloured eggs.

Natural Brown Eggs:

  • 500 mL (2 cups) chopped fresh beets
  • 500 mL (2 cups) water
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) white vinegar
  • 6 eggs

Measure first 3 ingredients into large pot or Dutch oven. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, turning eggs occasionally for even colour. Remove eggs to medium bowl of very cold water. Let stand for about 10 minutes until eggs are cool. Strain liquid in pot into deep medium bowl. Discard solids. Cool liquid completely. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Chill for at least 3 hours until desired colour is reached. Makes 6 coloured eggs.

Natural Yellow Eggs:

  • 500 mL (2 cups) water
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) turmeric
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) white vinegar
  • 6 eggs

Measure first 3 ingredients into medium saucepan. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, turning eggs occasionally for even colour. Remove eggs to medium bowl of very cold water. Let stand for about 10 minutes until eggs are cool. Strain turmeric mixture through double layer of cheesecloth into deep medium bowl. Discard solids. Blot eggs with paper towel to remove bits of turmeric. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Chill for at least 3 hours until desired colour is reached. Makes 6 coloured eggs.

Natural Orange Eggs:

  • 500 mL (2 cups) skins from yellow onions (about 2.3 kg (5 lbs) onions needed)
  • 500 mL (2 cups) water
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) white vinegar
  • 6 eggs

Measure first 3 ingredients into large pot or Dutch oven. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, turning eggs occasionally for even colour. Remove eggs to medium bowl of very cold water. Let stand for about 10 minutes until eggs are cool. Strain liquid in pot into deep medium bowl. Discard solids. Cool liquid completely. Fully submerge eggs. Cover. Chill for at least 3 hours until desired colour is reached. Makes 6 coloured eggs.