Did you know you can color eggs using natural dyes? We took egg dying to the next level by making our own concentrated food coloring. We made pink dye with beets, yellow dye with turmeric, blue dye with berries, and green dye with spinach. My kids enjoyed learning how to color eggs using our homemade food coloring. Additionally, this fun science experiment was a great way to observe how color can be transferred to an egg shell.
Make Natural Food Coloring
To color eggs using natural dyes, first you’ll need to make your homemade food coloring. You can make a range of bright colors by boiling different foods in a small amount of water. Furthermore, you can boil coffee grounds and individual spices to produce a range of natural colors. To make any color of food dye, prepare the veggies, berries or leaves by chopping them into small pieces.
- Mix 1/2 cup of chopped food into 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil, to create concentrated dye.
- Once the water appears to be colored to the desired shade, allow the liquid to cool.
- Blend the liquid and chopped food in a food processor, then pour the mixture through a strainer.
- Pour the colored liquid into a small jar.
- Place a hard boiled egg into the jar, allowing it to receive the dye.
- Keep in mind, the longer you leave the egg in the dye, the darker the color will be.
Natural Pink Food Dye
Mix up homemade natural pink dye in a few easy steps. First, cut up one fresh beet into cubes (about a half of cup) 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. Finally, pour the beet mixture through a strainer into a mason jar or glass cup.
Natural Yellow Food Dye
Homemade yellow dye is also easy to make! Simply combine 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 dye the eggs. The turmeric also makes interesting patterns on the egg shells, giving your eggs a unique speckled finish.
Natural Green Food Dye
Learn how to make green food dye using spinach leaves. Incidentally, you can make homemade natural green food coloring two ways. One way is to boil spinach leaves in 1 cup of water and blend the mixture in the food processor. Alternately, you can directly puree a handful of fresh spinach leaves in 1 cup of water. Both methods of making green dye will work. The key is to not dilute the spinach in too much water. You’ll want the green color to be as strong as possible.
Natural Blue Food Dye
Make your own blue food dye by pureeing 1/2 cup frozen blackberries or blueberries with 1 cup of water. Once blended, strain the berry mixture through a fine strainer. It turns out, natural dye made from berries is easiest to make because it’s the most potent. Be cautious not to stain your clothing or counter tops with homemade berry dye.
Natural Tan Food Dye
Last, you can brew a cup of strong coffee to use as a natural tan food dye. Hard boiled eggs dyed in coffee turn out a smooth light tan color.
Dye Pastel Hard Boiled Eggs
Once we’ve made our homemade food dye, it’s time to dye our eggs! Making colored Easter eggs is a creative family tradition and activity that kids can help with. My kids enjoyed carefully placing each egg into the dye and watching the color transfer to the egg shells.
- 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 try not to touch the wet egg shells too much.
Color Eggs Using Natural Dyes
We discovered that dying eggs with natural food coloring is a fun science project for kids! We also learned that 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 a faint lime green. In contrast, the red beet juice colored the egg shell light pink fairly quickly, which would have likely darkened with more time.
It’s fun to color eggs using natural dyes and be creative with the egg dying process. You could try to make homemade food coloring with other foods too. Kale would likely produce 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 dye colors would you try?
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, creative projects, taking photos and traveling. I’ve previously worked as a web designer, journalist and barista. I hope you enjoy our creative projects and family adventures!