Easter is next weekend, and it’s time to dye those eggs! The stores are full of dozens of types of egg dyeing kits, but you don’t really need anything that fancy. You just need some food coloring and vinegar and you’re good to go. I’ll show you how I usually dye eggs and I’ve got lots of tips to share along the way.
Since I do a lot of cake decorating, I always have lots of Wilton paste food coloring (used for coloring icing) on hand. You can buy individual colors in little jars or save time and money with a variety pack that has lots of colors inside. The beauty of paste food coloring is that it won’t thin down your icing like liquid coloring will and it comes in a large variety of colors. So, since I’ve always got a good stock of this stuff on hand, I’m well-equipped every year to dye Easter eggs in just about any color I choose, with far more options than I get in an Easter egg coloring kit.
I start by gathering some vinegar, water, cups, food coloring, a clean paint brush (that has never been used for paint), some toothpicks, and of course — some eggs!
For each color I want to work with, I use a toothpick to get a little bit (you don’t need much!) of paste out of the jar and scrape it into the bottom of a cup.
I then add a tiny bit of water to the cup and use the paint brush to swish the paste around until it dissolves completely. I find that a paint brush works better than a spoon, because it allows me to break up the little bits of paste much more easily.
The next step is to add more liquid to each cup. This liquid can be of three varieties:
- All water
- 1/4 cup vinegar and the rest water
- All vinegar
The combination of water and vinegar that you use will have great impact over the intensity, color, and finish of your final product. To illustrate this, I created three cups of purple dye, one with each combination of liquid. I left the eggs in the dye for 5 minutes. The results were wildly different! The all-water yielded a lovely lavender color on the egg. The vinegar/water mix actually created a blue egg. The all-vinegar resulted in a darker blue egg with purple speckles. I couldn’t believe the variety I got out of one color of dye by just varying the amount of vinegar I added.
Next I tried with red and green food coloring, and while I did not get the color variations that the purple gave me, I did get a distinct difference in color intensity. The all-water produces pastel colors while the vinegar/water mix produces darker colors. For the all-vinegar, the results were always bold and usually speckled.
What I love about this variation is that I can dye eggs in complementary colors without having to buy lots of dye or search through a box of those little dye pellets to find the colors I want. Imagine how beautiful a basket full of those purple and blue eggs would look!
I’ve got a few more egg-dyeing tips to share:
- I always let my eggs dry on a cooling rack that I’ve placed on some paper towels. It’s a great way to keep the eggs from rolling around and it allows them to have maximum exposure to the air.
- If you’re dyeing eggs with children who are impatient and want to put stickers on eggs that haven’t dried yet, keep in mind that you can take a paper towel directly to an egg and dry it yourself. Granted, you will lose some of the color this way, but it might be worth it to keep the kids’ attention.
- For more polished eggs, let them dry completely and then rub them with a paper towel that’s been dampened with a TINY bit of vegetable oil. You’ll have a nice shiny egg that will look beautiful on display.
- Display your finished eggs in our adorable download-and-print Easter egg holders.