Natural Easter Egg Coloring Dye Alternatives for Popular Easter Egg Colors

Most commercial Easter egg coloring kits contain traditional chemical tablets of food coloring suspected of causing a number health concerns. Luckily, natural Easter egg dyes are readily available in many home kitchens. Check out these six, natural food coloring alternatives for some of the most popular Easter egg colors.  Bear in mind, these natural "dyes" will be lighter and will not be as bright or vibrant as those store-bought tablets or food coloring.   This is also a fun way to introduce a little science and history into your family fun as well!

colored easter eggs
This post has been updated from a 2012 post.    
Many of our posts contain affiliate links.
Should you purchase an item via our links--we may receive slight compensation from an
affiliate partner. 
Red Easter egg dye alternative. True red Easter egg shells are not easily created even with chemical food coloring. Choose fresh fruits such as raspberries or cranberries--or even processed cranberry juice. Boil the berries with a little added water to release the colored liquid. Add salt or white vinegar to fix the color--approximately ¼ cup to two cups of liquid. Allow the eggs to soak in a bowl of the berry liquid for at least an hour. Expect an overnight sitting to generate any true reddish dye results.

All-natural, blue Easter egg dye idea. As with the raspberries, it is necessary to cook the blueberries in water. Create enough liquid in a saucepan to cover a medium to large hard boiled egg. Add salt or white vinegar as for red berries to help hold color. Allow the egg to sit in the liquid until colored desirably.

Yellow Easter egg dye alternative. Add a tablespoon of Turmeric spice to a saucepan of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Soak the hard boiled eggs in the Turmeric solution. Watch carefully as color may progress from a desired yellow shade to orange rather quickly.

Pinnable image for post about coloring Easter eggs using fruits, vegetables and spices

Eco-friendly, green Easter egg dye option. Spinach offers the best green alternative to commercial Easter egg dyes. Simply cook the spinach leaves--or reserve your own home canned or frozen spinach juices and bring those to a boil. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar as a color aid. Soak eggs in spinach juice and vinegar for several hours or overnight.

Natural, orange Easter egg dye alternative. Paprika is an excellent spice to substitute for a traditional orange food coloring. As with turmeric, simply add a tablespoon of Paprika to a few cups of boiling water and simmer until water is nicely colored-sometimes for 15-30 minutes. Add hard boiled eggs and soak until colored as desired.

Simple, purple Easter egg dye alternative. Shades of blue-purple come from from blackberries, mulberries or elderberries. Red-purple hues come from huckleberries or basil leaves. Blackberries are both easiest to find and easiest to use as purple dye-making material. Simply boil as with other berries, add salt, and soak eggs until they achieve desired color intensity.

Remember that part of the fun of using natural, plant based dyes is the creation of unique color shades and hues.  Experiment with various cooking times during dye preparation or try longer egg soaking times to create desired effects.  You can also incorporate many traditional egg coloring techniques such as applying wax or crayon dots prior to dyeing,  wrapping the egg with string or rubber bands to create swirls or dipping the eggs into different dye baths for multi-colored effects. 

Natural dyes do sometimes take longer to yield color changes--so be patient and plan accordingly--especially if coloring eggs with younger (impatient) children!  While you are waiting--you may want to add in some lessons about how natural dyes were used by pioneers or early civilizations.  This Exploring Plant Dyes lesson is one that can be adapted for K-8th grade and may give you some additional ideas to try as you color your Easter eggs!  

Post a Comment



The ZOO banner 3