Dying hard boiled eggs is a fun activity to do with your kids to celebrate Spring. We took egg dying to the next level by using homemade natural dyes made from real food! We made pink dye with beets, yellow dye with turmeric, blue dye with berries and lime green dye with spinach. My kids loved learning how to color eggs with natural dyes. This fun science experiment is a great way to learn how color can be transferred from one object to another!
Make Natural Food Coloring
First, you need to make your homemade natural dye. You can make a range of colors using different foods even plants such as coffee and spices. Keep in mind, the longer you leave the egg in the food coloring, the stronger the color will be.
Natural Pink Food Coloring – Mix up homemade natural pink dye in a few easy steps. First, cut up one fresh beet into cubes and boil it in 1 cup of water. Once the beet is moderately soft, pour the beet water and pieces of beet into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the beet mixture through a strainer into a mason jar or glass cup.
Natural Yellow Food Coloring – Homemade yellow dye is easy to make! Simply mix a few tablespoons of ground turmeric into 1 cup of water and mix until smooth. The turmeric may separate and float on the surface of the water. You can occasionally stir the mixture when you are dying the eggs. The turmeric also makes interesting patterns on the egg shells, giving your eggs a unique speckled finish!
Natural Green Food Coloring – Make lime green dye using spinach leaves. You can make homemade natural green food coloring two ways. Either boil spinach leaves in 1 cup of water and blend the mixture in the food processor OR directly puree a handful of fresh spinach leaves in 1 cup of water. Both methods will work, the key is to not dilute the spinach in too much water. You’ll want the green color to be a strong as possible.
Natural Blue Food Coloring – Make your own blue food dye by pureeing 1/2 cup frozen blackberries and blueberries with 1 cup water. Strain the berry mixture through a fine strainer. Natural dye made from berries is easy to make and it’s also the most potent. Be cautious not to stain your clothing or counter tops.
Natural Tan Food Coloring – Brew a cup of strong coffee to use as natural tan food dye! Hard boiled eggs dyed in coffee turn out a smooth light tan color.
Dye Pastel Hard Boiled Eggs
Next, it’s time to dye the eggs! Making colored Easter eggs is a creative family tradition and activity that kids can help with.
- 7-10 hard boiled eggs
- natural food dye
- white vinegar
- 5 glass cups (1 per color)
- egg carton for drying
Fill each glass cup up with a different color of natural food coloring. Each method for making natural food dye explained above will create about 1 cup per color.
Pour a small quantity of white vinegar into each container of natural food coloring. We used the 1/4 cup to pour but didn’t fill it all the way. The vinegar is acidic and helps the dye adhere to the egg shell.
Carefully place an egg into each cup of dye and watch the color magic begin! Periodically check the color shade of each egg by lifting it out with a spoon. Once it’s colored to your liking, gently place the egg in the carton to dry. Wet finger prints will create white spots on the egg shell, so keep contact with the wet egg shell to a minimum.
Dying eggs with natural food coloring is a fun science project for kids! Some of the dye colors will be stronger than others. During our project, the green spinach dye took the longest to color the egg shell and even then the color was a faint lime green. The red beet juice colored the egg shell light pink fairly quickly, which would have likely darkened with more time.
It’s fun to make homemade food coloring and be creative with the egg coloring process. You could try other foods too. Kale would likely product a strong green dye. Red cabbage, carrots and pomegranate would be interesting natural dye sources to experiment with. I hope you feel inspired by this project! Which natural colors would you try?
Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.