Everywhere I look lately I see pictures of eggs dyed with natural materials. This is something I really wanted to try. So, I emptied out the egg shells (this is something we always did so that we could keep the eggs for next year) and prepared to dye them. Now, my chickens lay brown eggs, which doesn't really work that well for dyeing, but I thought I would give it a go.
I decided to use red onion skins for my natural dye. I boiled and simmered them in a pot of water (with a bit of vinegar) for 25 min, and then added some of my eggs to boil for another 30 minutes. It turned the eggs a deep earthy red-brown. Unfortunately, some of that colour scratches off when they are wet, so my eggs had marks all over them. But that did give me an idea. I scratched a couple of pictures into the eggs to fancy them up a bit. I'm not sure it worked. When my husband saw my egg-dyeing results, he asked me what had happened to the eggs. I don't blame him, they did look a little disturbing.
Next, I decided to dye some eggs with food colouring and vinegar. Again, because they are brown eggs, the colour comes out different, but it is fun to experiment. On one of the eggs, I added dots of wax to make a speckled look. On another, I covered it with elastic bands to give it stripes (all but one of the elastics popped off when the egg hit the water though!). I re-dyed one of the onion skin eggs in blue, and then scratched a picture of a chicken on it using a toothpick. All-in-all it was a dismal result.
Here are the onion skins simmering.
The eggs in the foreground have been dyed with onion skins.
Well, they certainly are not the most beautiful Easter eggs, but they have a "rustic" feel to them, and they make a "nice" Easter display sitting in my home-made basket.
Maybe next year I will try again with some white eggs.