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How to color eggs with food dye for Easter

It’s the night before Easter, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring … except for me! 🙋🏻‍♀️ Yep, you can bet I’m checking my online grocery cart and wishing I hadn’t procrastinated on this holiday craft again. Vinegar added to cart? Check. White eggs? Nowhere to be found. Egg dye kit? Reluctantly, check. This story repeated itself for years. That is until Evie and I got creative with food dye last year and discovered how to make perfectly imperfect and vibrant colored eggs. Curious to learn how to color eggs with food dye? Let us show you how easy it can be!

Gray bowl of pastel and food dyed Easter eggs sitting on a marble table

Save this one in your holiday craft folder!

Just a few ingredients:

  • White hard-boiled eggs – I stand by this method!
  • Vinegarwhite distilled
  • Turmeric: for bright yellow
  • Beet scraps: for deep burgundy and purples
  • Carrot peelings and dry yellow onion skins: for the peachy orange color
  • Greens: any herbs, kale, or spinach for light green
  • Red cabbage: for blue color that turns purple if left
  • Washi tape, rubberbands, string, or stickers are optional for leaving parts white or layering colors.

Why color eggs with food dye?

Honestly, coloring Easter eggs always sounded more fun than the reality of my underwhelming results. Even as a kid, I wanted to love those egg tattoos and shrink wraps, but they never turned out how I envisioned. Like ever. Writing on them with magic pens? Never worked for me. Poking it with a pinhole and blowing out the insides? First of all, gross. Second, did we just waste the eggs with this 80s trend?

Obviously, egg dyeing kits have been around for a long time, and they contain quite the list of ingredients, including maltodextrin, which can have traces of gluten I can’t have with Celiac disease, plus all the dyes I prefer to avoid.

Brown egg carton with four empty spots and a four colored eggs dyed with food dye in colores of blue, orange, pink, and yellow.

Not to mention, when you learn how to color eggs with food dye, you not only create something original for your holiday celebrations but also reduce waste. So clean out that fridge, gather your supplies, and unleash your creativity.

Girl with black apron on wrapping a white Easter egg with Washi tape before showing how to color eggs with food dye by dipping in jar of dye.

What we learned using food dye!

  • Want darker colors? First, you can let the food simmer longer, adding 1/2 cup more water if needed. Second, you can leave the egg in the dye for longer, even overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Check your produce drawer for wilted veggies. Peelings and skins have pigments that are perfect for this project. In addition, see FAQ for more ideas!
  • At the simmering stage, get creative with different combinations of natural ingredients. For example, add some purple cabbage to your herbs for a light lavender!
  • Turn eggs occasionally to avoid white spots where the egg is touching the soaking dish.
  • Wear food-safe gloves and an apron so your skin and clothes don’t get discolored from the food dye, especially when handling beets!

How to color eggs using food dye for Easter!

Celebrate the spring holiday with a splash of creativity and a dash of nature's magic!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
A girl with braids, black apron, and blue t-shirt wrapping washi tape around a hard-boiled egg as she learns how to color eggs using food dye for Easter.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Resting time:1 hour
Total Time:2 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 dozen white eggs – Do ahead: make them hard-boiled
  • large handful of onion skins
  • large handful of carrot peelings – from 2-3 carrots
  • handful of beet skin peelings – from at least one big beet
  • 2-3 full red cabbage leaves chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of greens – herbs, kale, carrot tops, spinach, or any green vegetable you have!
  • Use your imagination!


Prepare your dye mixtures:

  • Gather chopped-up vegetables or scraps, thinking big handfuls for each batch. You can make as many batches at a time if you have extra pots and pans.
  • For each color batch and vegetable stew you make, combine one quart of water and three tablespoons of white vinegar in a pot.
  • Pick one handful or more of your chosen natural dye ingredients above and add it to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then let it simmer for 30 minutes to extract the food colors. Set aside to cool.
  • Repeat with the next batch as desired.

Strain your dyes:

  • Once the dye has cooled, strain out the solids using a strainer, leaving behind the colorful liquid in separate bowls or jars.
  • Let the dyes fully cool to room temperature before proceeding. You don't want to re-cook your eggs!

Dyeing your eggs:

  • Place your white hard-boiled eggs into the dye baths using a slotted spoon, tongs, or ladle.
  • Allow the eggs to sit in the dye for at least 30 minutes or longer for deeper colors.
  • Rotate and flip them once for even coverage.
  • For a unique design, experiment with wrapping rubber bands or applying Washi tape to the eggs before dyeing.

Inspect and dry:

  • Carefully lift your eggs from their dye baths and let them dry with a paper towel or rag, gently.
  • Look over your eggs and decide whether to re-dip for a darker shade, leave it as is, or remove the tape and dip in a new color. It's an experiment! Read the FAQs below about what can happen with too many dips!
  • If you leave your eggs in the dye for longer, put your container in the refrigerator. You can even leave your eggs dyeing in the fridge overnight!

Admire your work:

  • Behold your unique and one-of-a-kind homemade dyed eggs. Store your eggs in the fridge, display your beautifully colored eggs for an event (see safety storage tips below), or hide them for a festive egg hunt.

Storage and safety of hard-boiled eggs:

  • Hard-boiled eggs should be refrigerated within two hours after cooking. When taken out for a meal, picnic, or an egg hunt, put them back in the fridge within two hours. Unpeeled eggs are good for up to seven days.

This post contains affiliate links to products I know and love. I recommend any of them for this recipe!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 61mg | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings :12
Author: Heather Bursch
Keywords: coloring Easter eggs, craft, DIY, Easter, Easter eggs, food dye, food scraps, hard-boiled eggs, holiday, how to dye Easter eggs, make it homemade, natural
Did you make it? Mention @heatherbursch or tag #shemadeit so we can admire your work!

FAQs: Easter eggs and food dye

Once the eggs are hard-boiled and thoroughly cooled, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator within two hours.

I keep hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator for up to one week. While I store Easter eggs in their colorful shells, I normally peel hard-boiled eggs after cooking and store them without shells. Shells tend to come off easier when freshly cooked and slightly cool.

While I haven’t tried this, leaving the egg cups overnight should result in some really intense colors. Most important, make sure you refrigerate!

One of our favorite ways to eat Easter eggs is by dipping them in salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce. You could also try adding a dollop of mayo or Dijon mustard for a shortcut deviled egg-like snack.

For sure! Just to note, like regular dyes, dipping in more than one color can sometimes result in shades of brown. As has been noted, if you want the most vibrant of colors, try simmering different fruit and vegetable combinations for longer or soaking overnight.

Yes, both! The food stains might come out of certain clothing, but just in case, wear an apron and have some rags nearby just in case of spills. If your hands get stained, you can try rubbing lemon juice and salt on your hands or a paste of baking soda before you wash them with soap and water.

In addition to the items above, canned black beans or blueberries are said to give shades of blue, and avocado pits and skins are said to give shades of peach. Don’t forget the spice cabinet for some earthy tones, too!

Do you love eggs as much as us but wish you knew how to fry, scramble, and poach them just right? Check out my Make It Homemade course, where we cover ALL the eggs, knives, juicy chicken, baking, veggies, and more!

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Heather Bursch

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