Freitag, 3. April 2015


Dyeing eggs naturally was on my "DIY projects I wanna try" list for a looong time. I saw such nice images of wonderfully colored eggs all over Pinterest. So this year I offered to bring eggs to our family easter brunch.

I read about it so much on other blogs, and it seemed like a simple project. Oh, I was so wrong. It'll be easy, they said. They'll look pretty, they said.

Honestly, it took me all afternoon yesterday, and I just found out what the eggs really look like NOW. Let me walk you through.

You hard boil eggs. You chop veggies and then add water, heat it up, let it simmer and then it cool to room temperature. You add vinegar. You add the eggs, and let them sit in the liquid for a couple of hours in the fridge.

I purchased 30 white eggs at the farmer's market. There's this nice lady at my local market who sells eggs from various chickens in various sizes and colors. When I point my finger at a certain pyramid of eggs she says "Oh, Berta's / Henriette's / Susi's eggs. Ten? Twenty?" Usually I go for a certain size and now after two years of egg-shopping there I know it's Berta's eggs I like best.

So anyway, 30 white eggs. You want to go with white eggs because the colors are much prettier on white as they'd be on brown. I brought them home, I brought a pot of water to a boil, added the eggs and 4 of the first batch of 10 broke right in the pot. Apparently the shell is really thin and it's better to put them into cold water and heat the water with the eggs already in the pot. Ok. I hard boiled them, removed them from the pot and let them cool. Then I ate two hardboiled eggs. (And purchased another 10 on the next day)

I used this article for directions and I knew I wanted to try dyeing them using red cabbage (blue), carrots (yellow), green tea (green), red onion skins (jade green), beet (pink) and blueberries (bluish-grey). So I purchased all of that (except for the blueberries and the tea) at the farmer's market as well. And flowers. And cheese. Mmmmhh.

After I chopped all the veggies I brought water to a boil, read the directions again and started mixing the right amounts of veggie/water/vinegar. The vinegar is supposed to act as a fixative. Well.

Issue #1:  containers. You want to pick containers that 1) have a reasonable size so that enough eggs will fit 2) are deep enough so the liquid covers the eggs completely 3) fit into your fridge all at once. I had a couple of mixing bowls I use for baking and two glass containers I use to bring my lunch to work. Also, you'll never know how tiny your fridge is until you need to fit all those containers full of colorful liquids and eggs in there.

Once all the liquids were at room temperature, I attempted to add the eggs to the liquids.

Issue #2: you'll need  A LOT OF LIQUID to cover +30 eggs. Not every mixture I had prepared was enough to cover the eggs completely in the container I had picked. Not a cubic / mass / weight / size (math) genius over here. Estimating was key, or so I thought, and with a bit of tweaking and moving the eggs around from one container to another it worked.

Issue #3: you don't, ever, want to skip the step that says "before dyeing, wipe the eggs with vinegar". It seemed like a lot of work with +30 eggs and only one out of 5 articles I read even mentioned it. Of course I skipped it and parts of the dye didn't stick to the eggs because they were a bit greasy, I guess? The vinegar removes the natural grease and therefore the dye sticks to the shell.

All articles mention different amounts of reaction time. I decided to remove a couple of eggs from all containers before bedtime and the rest of the batch the next morning, so the colors would differ.

The crushed blueberries ended up doing nothing. After 4 hours the surface of the eggs was a foamy light grey that just rubbed off when I removed them to check. The same issue reoccurred with EVERY SINGLE MIXTURE except for the one made of red cabbage (I knew why I liked you, cabbage!). A faint glimpse of color, lots of foam, and after carefully washing them, basically nothing. The two brown eggs were in the red onion skin mixture and should have turned out jade green? The four pink ones were four out of 8 that were sitting in the beet juice mixture. With the four others, the color slipped right off. I dumped all of the ones that didn't hold the color into the red cabbage over night, that's why we'll have plenty of beautiful, blue eggs for easter. Gotta love cabbage. I also made sure to have a few only half-dyed ones, and I think they look kinda nice.

Kinda disappointing results for a DIY that seemed so simple. Also, 40 eggs and a huge bag of veggies weren't that cheap either. If there will ever be a next time (which I highly doubt) I'd scrub them with vinegar until grease was just a faint memory. And then I'd use only red cabbage, and I think I'd remove two eggs every couple of hours to create a gradient effect, just like I did with the 10 eggs below. I'm really happy with how those turned out, though!

Anyway. If you happen to give it a try please let us know how your eggs turn out!
And good luck!!
XO, Ida

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