Somewhere along the way, Easter became synonymous with dyeing eggs, a tradition many families have embraced, mine included. But did you know there is an alternative to buying the typical dye kits every year? All you need is some crayons and a few ingredients from your kitchen. This Easter, give making your own dyes a try by using these simple recipes.
Start by boiling your eggs beforehand and letting them cool completely. Next, grab six bowls. You’ll be using these for each color of dye. For the dyes themselves, you’ll need:
– 7 cups of water, divided
– 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
– 2 cups of grated beets
– 3 handfuls of yellow and/or brown onion skins
– 1 pound of frozen blueberries, crushed
1. Take the 2 cups of beets, 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and combine all in a small saucepan. Boil the mixture for about 15 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a strainer, allowing only the liquid to go into one of the bowls. This is now your red dye.
2. Take the onion skins, 3 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and repeat the boiling process you just did with the beets in another saucepan. (You can use one saucepan, just be sure to clean after each color to make sure they don’t mix)Pour the mixture, again using the strainer, into another bowl. You just made yellow dye. If you don’t have all of those onion skins by the time you’re ready to make the dye, you can use 3 tablespoons of ground turmeric instead.
3. Take the blueberries, the remaining 2 cups of water, and the last tablespoon of white vinegar and boil together. Pour through the strainer into another bowl.
Since you now have the primary colors, travel back to your school days and start mixing to create the rest of your palette. If you need a crash course in color mixing, mix red and yellow to make orange, blue and red to make purple, and blue and yellow to make green. You can adjust the shades by playing with the amount of each color you’re adding, filling the remaining bowls. Now it’s time to start decorating.
Using the crayons, your kids can draw on the eggs first. The white crayon works the best. The dye will only color the part of the shell without the crayon on it, since the wax in the crayons prevents the dye from sticking to it. The same rules apply to using your homemade dye as it does for the store bought kind. The longer you leave the egg in one color, the darker the color will be on the egg. All that’s left is to decorate egg masterpieces with your kids!