Dye Easter Eggs with Herbs
Posted On April 21, 2011
Hello Herb Lovers,
By now you’ll all know that I was raised in Germany. As such I grew up with some very old traditions, one of which was painting Easter eggs. Sure, these days you get commercial colouring kits with which you can create some amazing works of art. Or you can get stickers if you are not feeling all that creative. But in the old days eggs were dyed with herbs and other natural materials.
I have found a lovely article on Pioneer Thinking giving great examples how to dye eggs the old fashioned way Did you know that red cabbage makes a robin egg blue dye?
“Naturally-dyed eggs have a lovely matte finish reminiscent of old milk paint, but eggs can also be oiled to a satin shiny finish. After eggs have dried, rub them with an edible vegetable oil such as canola oil or olive oil using a paper towel. Wipe with a dry paper towel and buff lightly. “
I’ve tried to have a go at making herbal dyes and here are my results.
First I made up 4 different dyes using hibiscus, nettle, elder berries and paprika. I really wanted to use tumeric because it does stain beautifully but as it turns out I was out of tumeric, so I used paprika. Basically I chose bowls that would hold 3 eggs comfortably, added a couple of table spoons of my chosen herbs and added boiling water. The eggs I already boiled but were still hot.
I then experimented with a few basic designs. Plain, pattern drawn on with the kids’ wax crayon and using fresh herbs as a stencil – (wrapped in pantyhose to keep it in place, secured with a rubber band.)
So here are the finished eggs. The elderberries brought on a beautiful reddy brown, the hibiscus a deep dark blue (I expected red), the nettles a lovely light sage green and the paprika….well that was a bit disappointing. It did leave the lightest shade of orange but on my eggs it barely showed.
The eggs I used were the lightest shade of tan as I couldnt find white eggs for love nor money. If they had been white the contrasts I achieved would have been much more vivid.
Overall I am delighted with what came out and will definitely keep exploring natural dyes 🙂
Oh, a tip. when you first remove the eggs from the dye, do so very gingerly, if you rub them the dye will come off. But once you let it dry it will stay on 🙂
Here is another article giving step-by-step instructions.
Have a lovely family weekend and…..