eco-dyed easter eggs

naturally dyed eggs with flowers and leaves

Last weekend at the art show reception, I was introduced to an elderly woman by a fellow artist who asked me about how I made the art piece that I had on display. After hearing what I told her about eco-dyeing. She told me that she was surprised that people are still doing such things. The brief introduction got into her telling us about her experience growing up in a farm and how they used to dyed yarns and eggs with onion skins for the Easter celebration.

eggs arranged in a row, this one is wrapped with California poppy leaf

Coincidently, Easter is just a week away, and we have plenty eggs from our chickens. I thought this would be nice to post something traditional and meaningful. I am sure most of us know that Easter represents Christ’s rebirth. In many cultures, eggs symbolize life and purity.  The Chinese celebrates birthdays and the full-month of new-born babies with boiled red eggs.

When my kids were little, I used to dye my eggs using store-bought commercial dyes. This time around, I am trying the old-fashioned and natural method of dyeing eggs with colors from onion skins and flowers. The onion skins brew smells just wonderful–which reminds me of French onion soup (link to my recipe for French Onion Soup)

What I used:

  • some old stockings, eggs (white or brown), vinegar, flowers/leaves for design, a bag of onion skins (you need a lot of it to get color)and rubber bands to hold things in place.

Here’s what I did:

  • Make the dye with onion skins in pot by adding enough water to cover the skins, and a tablespoon of vinegar in the water. Bring to a boil and lower heat and simmer until you get a deep reddish brown color dye. I let mine simmer for a good 45 minutes and then removed it from the heat to cool.
  • Wrap leaves/flowers around the egg and gently tie it with a rubber band.
  • Put finished eggs in stockings and make a knot before putting in the next egg. Continue in this manner with the rest of the eggs.
  • Add the stocking eggs into the dye bath and cover with a layer of extra onion skins. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove eggs from stove and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, gently remove the eggs and lightly brushed with oil.

wrapped eggs in various leaves and flowers from my garden

ready to go

egg into one end of the stocking, followed by the rest.

eggs inside stocking, with tied knots between each egg

color test

eggs tucked inside stocking, and into the dye bath

set cooked eggs out to cool

hmm, shall I hide them in my strawberry bush?

stockings-before and after dyeing eggs in onion bath.

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melinda Tai and Obovate Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you for visiting, I welcome all your comments.

“A smile is worth a thousand words, live happy, dye happiest”.

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2 Responses to eco-dyed easter eggs

  1. Marilyn says:

    Very beautiful, thanks for taking the time to share Melinda xx


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