An Easter celebration just doesn’t seem complete without an evening spent dyeing Easter eggs in preparation for the Easter Bunny’s arrival. As a little girl I used to love competing with my brother and sister to see who could create the brightest, most beautiful egg. Of course, the dyeing process was easy with the PAAS brand egg-decorating kits you could find in any American grocery store this time of year. Since moving to France in 2008, Ihave foregone this springtime tradition, but this year I decided I am determined to bring it back despite the lack of those trademark PAAS tablets. Who needs them when you have everything you need to make beautiful, naturally-dyed Easter eggs with ingredients readily available in your own kitchen?
Below is a non-exhaustive table detailing different natural dye stuff:
1. Except for spices (approx. 6 tablespoons), put two or three handfuls of dye stuff in a saucepan.
2. Add enough tap water to cover the dye stuff by at least one inch (approx. 1 cup water for 1 handful of dye stuff).
3. Bring the water to a bowl, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes–1 hour or until you reach the desired color, keeping in mind that the eggs will be lighter than the color of the dye. Remove from heat.
4. Pour mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar and salt for each cup of strained dye liquid. Pour the mixture into a bowl or jar that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs you want to dye.
5. Gently lower your hard-boiled eggs into the dye with a spoon and let sit until they obtain the desired color. You can even leave them overnight; just be sure to keep the dye and eggs refrigerated.
6. Gently remove the egg(s), and let them dry on a rack or drainer. The original egg carton also works well as a drying rack.
7. Your naturally-dyed eggs will have a matte finish. If you wish, you can use a soft cloth to rub cooking or mineral oil on them togive them a soft sheen.
The sky is the limit with these naturally-dyed eggs. Let your imagination run wild and get creative. Use a clear or colored wax crayon to make designs on the eggs before dying, or dab the still-wet eggs with a sponge for a more textured look. One of the best things about these homemade creations is the anticipation. You never know what you’re going to get! The one thing that doesn’t change, is the great tradition of hard-boiled eggs on Easter morning…
For more egg decorating ideas, be sure to check out ourEaster board on Pinterest! Do you have any techniques or ideas for decorating Easter eggs sans PAAS tablets?