Dying eggs is just so gratifying, especially with natural dyes. When my children were young, it was overwhelming to use natural dyes and the best that I could do was a kit. As they have gotten older though, I am able to spend the time making the dyes, usually the night before. This year was maybe our best year in our egg dying adventures.
We used Sophie’s, from @goldnuss on Instagram, tutorial to do the wax resist technique. Her tutorials are clear and wonderful, and though it took a little bit to gather all the supplies needed for the wax resist, the implementation of it was easy. It required
- a spoon that could be bent
- beeswax (we used pellets that we make our candles from)
- a potato to hold the spoon
- a candle to melt the wax
- a feather for geometric designs
- a ball-tipped sewing pin
- a pencil
After placing the wax on our eggs in our desired designs, we dyed them. I’ve used several different items for dyes over the years and am slowly learning what works best for us. We have never had any luck with beet roots or spinach, but some dyes are tried and true. Red cabbage, turmeric, blueberries, and yellow onions skins always give great results. Red onions skins work particularly well if you boil the eggs with the skins, but we could not do that with this technique. The dyes must be cold so they don’t melt the wax. This year we tried hibiscus which rendered a beautiful baby blue, annatto which gave no color at all, and coffee which gave us a light brown. I obtained the green by first dying an egg in red cabbage juice and then in the turmeric dye. I am hoping to use madder root next year for a pink color that I felt was missing in this year’s egg adventures. I usually purchase it from Dharma Trading Company. We also experimented with adding borax, which has an alkaline ph, to the turmeric, which gave us another beautiful orange color.
They dyes were simple to make. I chopped the material if needed, and placed it into a pot, covering the material with water. I tried to keep the water at just a little over my mason jar amount (2 cups). This allowed some extra so the water lost from the plant material absorbing some of the water and with evaporation still left us with plenty of dye. I simmered them on low for maybe 15 to 20 minutes, strained the plant material, and then poured the dye into a mason jar. I added a teaspoon of vinegar to each jar. We made two of the tumeric and added borax to one of them in place of the vinegar. The results were very gratifying.
Let me know if you are dying eggs this year. I’d love to hear what you use and what has worked best for you. If you are on instagram and post, tag me. I’d love to see them. Happy Spring to you.