How to Dye Eggs

These tips make it fun and easy to participate in a colorful family tradition.

 
For every Easter of my childhood, my mom hard boiled zillions of eggs and then set us kids up to dye them. As I got older and had my own children, I assumed the tradition would continue in my own home. Instead of passing on the torch, we just added extra children to the now-grown-up dye-fest. We take it seriously and like to try to outdo each other in terms of both color and technique. Dye kits are readily available in stores every spring, but you can also dye eggs in a variety of other ways. Food coloring is the handiest (because we all have, like, 6 containers each of yellow, green, and blue hanging around in the pantry) and I’m going to share a few of my favorite colors and techniques.

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1 Gather

Whether you choose to use food coloring or a purchased a dye kit, the recipe for turning out beautiful, bright colors is the same. You will need 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar per color. You will also need ½ cup of boiling water per color.
 

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2 Add Vinegar and Color

Add the vinegar to each cup first. Then, add the food coloring. You can play around with colors as you like. There are even neon food color selections available! But if you’d like to try a few fun color combinations, here are some suggestions:
 
Grassy Green: 3 drops blue, 12 green, 6 yellow
Bedazzled Blue: 20 drops neon blue, 2 neon purple
Plum: 10 drops red, 4 blue
Watermelon: 20 drops red, 4 blue
Forsythia Yellow: 45 drops yellow, 1 red
 
Check your food color packaging; it may include a website link to hundreds of other color combos. The possibilities are endless! You can also invent your own colors. If you are doing this with kids, try to remind them that mixing complementary colors (for example: red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple) will always will always result in brown.
 

3 Add Boiling Water

Once you have added the drops of food color to each cup, add the hot water. Let it sit until it cools to room temperature so your eggs don’t crack.
 

TIP
Let your eggs come to room temperature before dying! I like to cook mine and then let them cool so I can dye the same day. Avoid refrigerating them before you dye them.

4 Dip and Dye

Use a large whisk to drop the eggs in each color—this keeps the food dye off your fingers.
  
The longer you leave an egg in each color, the more vibrant that color will be.
 

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5 Other Techniques

Now let’s do watercolor eggs! This technique is my favorite. Add 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar per color, then add your desired color. Finally, add 1-1/2 cups of boiling water. Grab a paintbrush and get to work! The results are so gorgeous. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your brush between colors.
 

Stickers are a fun way to do patterns like polka dots:
 

And you can always use a Sharpie to draw designs in fun colors! This is my Charlie Brown Egg. Last year we did Ninja Turtle eggs.
 

What is your favorite technique?
 

About Heather T.

Heather, who runs SugarDishMe.com, has been making messes in the kitchen since she was a little kid when her mom handed her a cook book and told her, “If you can read, you can cook.” Today she serves up fresh, healthy eats, easy weeknight meals and decadent sweet treats.