Monday, April 14, 2014

Mindful Monday: Homemade Easter Egg Dye

With Easter sneaking up on us next Sunday, I thought it would be nice to forgo the "traditional" tablet dying technique for our dyed Easter eggs.  Since I'm trying to go as all-natural-homemade as I can in my own household, I wanted to add Easter eggs to the "recipe box." (This will be the first year we've done this, and we dye our eggs the day before, so I haven't tried this yet.  I will update after we've done it to give our personal experience with the process.)  

If you search "homemade Easter egg dye recipes" online, you will get something like 162,000 results.  I  looked at a few of these and a couple from chicken sites I trust, and found that most of them are the same.  

You now by now that I'm a farm-fresh egg girl, but the eggs I get are brown.  White eggs really work best for dying--although I'm sure the lighter brown eggs would do fine--so we will be using store-bought eggs for Easter.  

Here's a quick science lesson about egg dye:

  • Vinegar is used to create an acidic environment in order to activate the dye (essentially).  The dyes are acid dyes, and rely on hydrogen bonding which only works in an acidic environment.
  • The warm/hot water (140-180 degrees) also aids in dye absorption.   
So, without further ado, I give you . . . dun-da-da! . . . 

    Homemade Easter Egg Dye!

  1. Use 1 tblsp white vinegar in a coffee cup (or similar sized glass)
  2. Add about 3/4-1 cup warm or hot water  (Hot tap water is fine.)  You want to be sure you can put a hard-boiled egg in the mug without overflow.
  3. Add 7-10 drops of food coloring  (The more drops, the more intense the coloring.  Also, this is where DIY dye can get fun because you can make your own colors.  Most boxes come with red, yellow, blue, and green.  Mix 'em up and create fabulous new colors!  Blue and green will make teal or turquoise.  Red and yellow make orange.  And so on.  Most boxes also have color mixing recipes on the back.)
  4. Place your hardboiled egg into the dye and let it sit until the color is what you want.  (You should also move the egg every so often, or you will get a spot in the color where it sat on the bottom.)
  5. When the desired color has been achieved, remove the egg form the dye, dab on a paper towel and replace it in the egg carton.

A few other tid-bits:

  1. I have read that gel dyes, such as you get from a cake specialty shoppe, or craft store) work better than regular food coloring.
  2. 1 tsp of light cooking oil in the egg dye will give a tie-dye effect.  You can make all of your dyes like this, or you can pick a few.  You can do solid colors then add tie-dyed effects on top, but make sure your first color is dry first.
  3. Splatter your eggs by taking a clean toothbrush dipped in a desired color and using your finger to carefully flick the bristles, creating  paint-splattered effect.  Again, you can do this in a clean white egg or an egg already colored and dried.  (Please don't use a toothbrush someone needs to brush their teeth.)
Personally, I can't wait to try some of these.  I promise to post pictures of our homemade egg-dying adventures after Easter.  Until then, I leave you with a picture of an egg left for me on Palm Sunday by the hen I have come to call "Boo-boo."  

Happy Hens Lay Eggs!

Happy Egg Hunting!

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