White eggs can be dyed using all sorts of vegetables and fruits. As a rule the longer the egg is in the dye bath the deeper the colour achieved. White eggs can be difficult to come by, but many Asian stores sell them or you can use white duck eggs.
Use yellow onion-skins to make various shades of terra cotta. The best blues came from red cabbage, the results ranging from lilac, to French blue and lavender. Beetroot gives a pale pinky fawn colour and for a yellow use turmeric.
Instructions for preparing the eggs for dyeing:
- Place the eggs in cold water and bring to the boil, simmer for at least 6 minutes or until they are hard-boiled. Leave them to cool.
- When the eggs are cold rub their shells with kitchen roll dipped in vinegar.
TO MAKE NATURAL DYES FOR EGGS
You will need:
Jam jars (3 for each batch of dye)
Spoon for stirring
Bicarbonate of soda
Master Recipe for Making Natural Dyes
- To make the blue dye chop up a medium head of red cabbage. Put chopped cabbage into a large pan and add enough water to cover by 1cm, then boil for 40 minutes. Strain the coloured water into a jug, then pour 150 ml of dyed water into each of the three jam jars.
- To the first jar of dye add 3 teaspoons of white vinegar.
- To the second jar of dye add 3 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda.
- To the third jar of dye add 3 teaspoons of salt.
- Add the egg to the dye and agitate it frequently so that you get an even coating of dye over the egg.
- The 3 mixtures produce different varieties of blues and mauves.
- When the eggs are the colour you want remove them from dye and leave to dry in an egg carton.
To make terracotta from onion skins, use the papery skins from five large onions then follow steps1-7 of the master recipe.
To make yellow dye using turmeric:
- Put 6 tablespoons of turmeric in a medium pan and slowly stir in water until you have a thick yellow brew which is deep enough to cover the eggs you are dying, add 3 dsp white vinegar.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, then leave to get cold. Add the eggs and follow steps 1-7 of the master recipe.
LEAF PRINT EGGS USING NATURAL DYES
You will need:
Saucer of water
Dye solution (see natural dying)
Freshly picked leaves
- Cut a square of mesh from the tights a bit larger than the egg, remember it is stretchy so it doesn’t need to be over large.
- To help the leaf curve around the egg dip in the water, then press it onto a white egg.
- Holding the leaf in place, wrap the piece of mesh from the tights round the egg and the leaf, then stretch tight and knot at the back.
- Place the egg in the dye solution and agitate it regularly to get an even coverage.
- Once you have the depth of colour want remove the eggs from the dye bath and carefully cut away the tights to reveal a beautiful leaf imprint. Leave to dry in an egg carton.
You will need:
Polystyrene eggs in a variety of sizes
Found images you want to use in the decoration
Small paper cutting scissors or a craft knife
Dress makers pins
- Rip up newspaper into very narrow strips cover each strip in glue and stick it onto the egg.
- Lay the strips next to one another until the whole of the egg is covered. Leave to dry on a radiator.
- Cut out the feature motif to place on the egg and glue this onto the dry newsprint covered egg.
- Cut a piece of string and make a loop. Pin the loop into the top of the egg and hang from a twig or branch.