Here is a simple, all-natural way to dye your eggs this Easter! And it can be done with things you already have around the house. Start a new, beautiful tradition as you follow these steps:
1. Start with a dozen of your sister-in-law’s fabulous “home-grown” eggs. (Well, at least my sister-in-law’s. I’m lucky.) Aren’t they pretty? If you don’t have a family member who raises chickens, you can most certainly get a dozen eggs at the grocery store.
2. Take out a pile of onion peels from standard, yellow onions. Just save the skins of the onions you cook with (like I do) or go to a grocery store and ask if you can clean out their onion bins. They’ll be happy to help. Here I have the skins of about a dozen yellow onions.
3. At this point, you may wonder what kind of hippie eggs I am making here. They’re not hippie, they’re Romanian, (or Polish, or Bulgarian, they make these too) but I can see where the confusion lies since we’ll be using a completely natural dye derived from boiling regular ol’ yellow onion skins. On that note, throw that pile of skins into a deep pot of water and bring them to a slow boil.
4. Now send your kids outside. No, not to get rid of them and have a moment of peace and quiet, though that’s a bonus. Send them to pick the most interesting leaves they can find. Tell them to look for pretty shapes like clover. These have to be smaller than an egg. Once they’re collected, do your best to keep little hands like this one away from your fragile leaves.
5. Now in the spirit of working with what you have, I hope you have some old, torn stockings lying around forgotten, and you magically remember where they are. But if you’re like me, head to Walmart and buy those $0.33 ones from those side bins. (Preferably before you boil your skins or send your kids scavenging.) And, while you’re there, grab some twist ties or those small, thin rubber bands. Or, if you want to go old school, test your dexterity by using good ol’ string. Any of these will work, but I tend to prefer the twist ties.
6. Take out a stocking, a twist tie, an egg, and a leaf. Wet the leaf in a cup of water. This will help the leaf stay on the egg while you wrap the stalking around them. Speaking of which, place the leaf on the egg and stretch the stalking around it taking care that the leaf doesn’t bunch up. Pull it tight and use a twist tie to secure it and repeat with the rest of the eggs and leaves. I usually fit about three eggs per knee high stalking so I end up using two pairs for a dozen eggs.
7. Head over to your pot of boiling onion skins. The water should be a very rich, dark brown color. Remove the onion skins. Add two tablespoons of vinegar to the dye and stir. This will help the eggs take the dye better and will result in a deep, rich color.
8. Now take this oddity you have assembled and gently place it in the pot of dye. You can put in however many eggs you want as long as they are fully submerged in the dye. Boil your eggs in this dye for 20 minutes and leave them in, off the heat, for another 10 to make sure they really absorb that gorgeous color. If you don’t want to boil yours for that long, boil for 10 and leave them in for 30. Really the longer you allow them to soak, the better they’ll turn out (but don’t soak longer than an hour.)
9. Now get really excited! Your masterpiece is almost done. Carefully remove the eggs and unwrap them. Peel off the leaf. Do this in front of your kids. They will love seeing this part. If I didn’t completely screw up these directions, you should have a beautiful leaf imprint on a gorgeous reddish brown egg. I like to let them dry and cool before I softly wipe an olive oil soaked napkin over all the eggs. A little goes a long way and it gives the color more depth and the eggs a beautiful shine.
Last step, show them off! I guarantee your eggs will be the talk of this Easter weekend, beautiful and natural!