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All Natural Easter Egg Dye with Botanical Prints

Inspiration

When I was about nine years old my great grandmother used to send me out to pick the prettiest leaves and herbs. I would carefully stack them in my palm and run back to show my findings with pride. She would then carefully place each of my findings on separate eggs, press them well so they stuck and wrapped the egg in old nylons. This was our Easter tradition.

It has been at least 15 years since the last time I’ve done this. She used to dye our Easter eggs with onion skins. I’ve decided to try red cabbage and onion skins this time. There are plenty of other natural dyes you can use: turmeric, beets, tea, coffee, berries etc. Naturally, most of these items are things you’d most likely have around the house: old nylons, thread, some form of dye or another, vinegar and eggs.


I feel pretty fortunate to remember my great grandmother, a woman who has raised 5 children and survived two wars. She would wrap the raw eggs and then place them in a pot with onion skins and boil them until the dye started to color the eggs.

I boiled two pots of dye first (onion and red cabbage) and then soaked the pre-boiled eggs in the dye overnight. White eggs would give more contrast to the leaf print but most (if not all) NZ eggs are brown. I always remember brown eggs on Easter with a deep brown onion dye. I think my grandmother uses a little vegetable oil to rub them afterwards and it gives them a shiny look. I left mine as is.


I would definitely advise using a little vinegar in your dye (about 1 tbsp per cup). There are tons of tutorials online. You can experiment with different spices and fruits and veggies. You could press flowers, make patterns with grass blades, leaves and so on. It’s a fun activity for adults but also great for children.