Day 104: Dye Eggs Naturally

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I always loved dying eggs this time of year. As children, the older my sisters and I got, the more creative we became. The same was true with my own kids. We started with egg dying kits from the store and moved to being more and more artsy, using wax crayons and tape to make designs and dipping the eggs in multiple colors. It was too simple to dunk the egg in a single cup of dye and let it just sit there. However, at this stage of my life, a return to simplicity is very appealing to me! My first for today was to dye store bought white eggs naturally, using onion skins and an assortment of herbs and dried flowers.

I haven’t dyed eggs since my grandson was a toddler. So I was excited to try this new experience. Assembling my spring vignette recently reminded me that I had always wanted  to use onion skins to dye eggs. This year is the perfect year to move from wanting to, to doing it. With unseasonably cold temps and even a bit of snow, today was a great day for an indoor first.

This truly was an easy and satisfying project. I bought white eggs and eight yellow onions. As I began to prepare the eggs for dying I decided to see what would happen with a second batch of eggs, using dried green and white sage, loose green tea, dried lavender and dried jasmine. For the first group of five eggs, I separated the dry paper-like skins from the yellow onions and let them soak for a few minutes in a bowl of lukewarm water to make them pliable. I soaked the eggs too. Then each egg was wrapped loosely in pieces of onion skin, covering the surface completely. I found that the onion skins curled when wet and conformed perfectly to the eggs. The wrapped eggs were then placed in a pan and covered with enough water to be completely submerged. The water was brought to a boil and then the pan covered and removed from heat.

In the second pan, I covered five eggs with water and added the dried herbs, green tea and flowers. After coming to a boil, this pan was also covered and removed from heat. I set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and resisted the urge to peek while the eggs cooked and were dyed. When the timer dinged it was time to see the results! I rinsed the eggs with cold water, removing the onion skins. How beautiful! The eggs have a vintage look with their delicately marbled surfaces, in shades of brown and gold. I love them! The eggs in the herbal bath are not marbled but they came out a light, soft brown with a hint of green. Although I have to say I like the onion skin dyed eggs the best, one of the benefits of boiling the eggs with the dried herbs and flowers is that a wonderful aroma filled the house.

This was so fun and so simple that I think I’ll try another batch of eggs later in the week using red onion skins. Although I won’t count it as a first, I’ll be sure to post pics showing the results of that experiment!

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