Natural Egg Dyes

By / Photography By Lexi Mire | March 26, 2018
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Eggs in Natural Dyes
Homemade dyes from food ingredients sit on a counter while hard-boiled eggs soak in color.

As our son grows older, I’ve found myself looking into different activities and crafts. Due to my concern about chemicals and toxins, and because I make food for a living, dyeing with natural products has become a new hobby in our lives. Using things like onion skins, beets, red cabbage and spices like turmeric make not only a colorful plate and tasty meal, but they also provide vibrant tools for making dye. Enjoy, have fun and experiment with foods. When cutting a fruit or vegetable, if it stains your hands, clothes or cutting board, chances are it will make a great dye!  Try this technique for hard-boiled, naturally dyed eggs at home.


Yellow Onion Peels (orange color)
Red Onion Peels (red/lavender color)
Beets (pink color)
Red Cabbage (green/blue color)
Turmeric Powder (yellow/orange color)
White Vinegar

Mariah Goelz of Cultivate Jax and her naturally dyed eggs
Beets stewing in a pot for easter egg dye
Beet dyed eggs in a jar


To Make Hard-Boiled Eggs: Place the eggs in a pot and fill with water enough to cover the eggs completely. Bring the eggs and water to a boil. Once you have a rolling and constant boil, turn off the heat and put a lid over the pot. Allow eggs to sit for 10 minutes. Remove eggs, place them in a bowl of ice-cold water and let them sit until cool. Drain the bowl. Add a little warm, soapy water and gently wash the eggs with a washcloth. Eggs have a natural layer of film coating them to protect from bacteria. This coating also prevents dyes from adhering to the eggs. By washing them, you are removing this layer, therefore allowing your dyes to stick (this step is not needed if you have store-bought eggs).

To Make Dyes: You need 1 cup of water for each 1 cup of vegetable material. I like the dyes to be rich and vibrant. Bring water and dyeing material to a boil. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the liquid into a measuring cup or pitcher. This vessel should be deep enough so the eggs are completely submerged. Add 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained liquid.

To Color the Eggs: Place the hard-boiled eggs in the dye bath and allow to sit for at least six hours or overnight. This should be done in the refrigerator to prevent the eggs from spoiling. Once the allotted time has passed, using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and place on a drying rack. Allow them to dry completely. Once they are dry, you can gently rub a little oil on them (coconut, olive, vegetable) to give them more of a shine.

Mariah Goelz is a busy mom, avid food maker, sustainable living advocate and co-owner of Southern Roots Filling Station and Cultivate Jax in Jacksonville. 

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