I found this knowHow feature in the Grow Magazine Spring 2012 edition from University of Wisconsin-Madison – College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Communication Program: http://grow.cals.wisc.edu/food/knowhow-how-to-dye-eggs-naturally and set it aside to try out with my niece Kelsey.
We tried it today and had a lot of fun. We made all 5 of the colors from the article: Blue from red cabbage, Yellow from Turmeric, Orange from yellow onion skin, Purple from grape juice and Pink from canned beets. I thought the Yellow, Orange and Purple were fantastic, but was less than impressed with the Pink and Blue. If I try them again, I will reduce the dilution.
In the upper left of the photo are the results of the red cabbage blue – not very impressive. To the right are the grape juice eggs – I’m thrilled with the intensity of the color! The lower left are the pink from the beet juice – I was really surprised by how little color transferred to the eggs. The lower right are the orange from the onion skin – incredible! My mom was inspired by seeing these to try some quilt fabric experimentation. The yellow in the middle is from the turmeric – again, very nice coloration. Note that my hens lay a rainbow variety of colors, so some of these eggs began as white eggs, some were brown, some pinkish and some greenish.
We dyed 24 eggs. There was plenty of liquid left to dye many more. I recommend doing this for a pre Easter party.
We generally have all the necessary materials on hand – water and white vinegar, of course. The onion skins came from my own homegrown onions and the grapes for the juice were picked at our friend’s lodge, the beets and red cabbage are readily available at the grocery store, but I also intend to grow both this summer. And, the turmeric is always on had at our farm for its antibacterial effect. I sprinkle a bit over the feed while my chicks are in the brooder to keep them healthy and help them avoid coccidia.
We enjoyed this fun experiment and will continue to dabble in natural dyes.