By Gabrielle. Photos and styling by Amy Christie.
Oh goody! I’ve got more natural egg dyeing for you today. We’ve covered using cabbage to get shades blue. We’ve covered using beets to get shades of red. And today, we’re going to use turmeric and onion to get shades of yellow and orange!
Hit the grocery store for eggs, onions and spice, and you’re all set to become a natural-dye pro.
Once again, Amy Christie took the gorgeous photos, and she’s got all the dyeing tips we need below.
Another day, another color. Let’s go!
– the outer skins of 6 yellow onions
– 1 tablespoon white vinegar
– 3 cups water
– eggs – empty or hard-boiled
– cups (to dye the eggs in)
To make natural orange dye, start by boiling the water on the stove. While the water heats up, peel the outer skin off of the onions. Add the onion skins along with the white vinegar to the boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour the mix through a strainer to remove the onion skins.
Now, you’re ready to dye! Soak the eggs in the dye mixture until they reach the hue you like. Our dye times ranged from 5 minutes to almost 24 hours. 30-40 minutes is a nice sweet spot. Set them in the egg carton to dry. Note: We found rinsing the eggs after the dye bath really diminished the color so we recommend pulling the eggs from the dye and setting them on the carton to dry and letting the dye soak in.
– 6 tablespoons turmeric
– 1 tablespoon white vinegar
– 4 cups water
To make yellow dye, add the turmeric and vinegar to 4 cups of extra hot water. Stir the turmeric until it has dissolved.
Get the eggs in the dye! Add the eggs to the dye and soak them until they reach the desired hue. Our dye times ranged from 5 minutes to almost 24 hours but the yellow dye alone seemed to peak at about 20 minutes. We found rinsing the eggs affected the yellow dye the most so we recommend pulling the eggs from the dye and laying them in the egg carton to dry is best. When dry, dust off any residual turmeric powder.
Here are the things we learned about dying things orange and yellow:
– The intensity of the color depends on how long you leave the eggs in the natural dye, to a point. The yellow dye peaked at about 20 minutes but dropping it in the orange or red dye changed the tones.
– Weirdly enough, the yellow dye was the hardest on the bowl that we were working in! If you’re worried about stains, be careful with this one. (We scrubbed ours baking soda and it worked like a charm).
– The orange intensity leveled off after 20-30 minutes of soaking, though the really deep tones were achieved by almost 24 hours in the dye.
– The orange color wasn’t very exciting (it almost makes the eggs look like natural brown eggs). To add interest, you can dye the eggs yellow, then orange to get a brighter hue. Another alternative would be to dye the eggs in orange, then dip them in the natural red dye.
– What was the most exciting was how the dye looked on the individual egg shells. One looks like it has metallic spotting and one looks like a banana peel. If the shell happens to be cracked a bit, it really adds to the loveliness.
– In order to dye the eggs overnight, we put the dye in disposable cups (inside a plastic container) to avoid staining our own.
– If your eggs are hollow, you will have to use something to weigh it down. We suggest using another disposable cup with a little bit of water in it and setting it down on top of the hollowed egg. If your eggs hard-boiled, they’ll sink by themselves.
I’m loving this series so much! Thank you, Amy. We’ll be dyeing eggs next week. On the grocery list: beets (red), onions (orange), turmeric (yellow), cabbage (blue). But we still need to cover greens — watch for the green post this week. And if you have any of your own natural dye tips, be sure to share in the comment below!
P.S. — Find the rest of the dye posts here: red, blue, green. Find all the Easter posts here.
Credits: Images, styling & text by Amy Christie.
10 thoughts on “Easy Natural Dye Easter Eggs: Onion & Turmeric for Orange & Yellow”
Interesting. We always made “onion eggs” with my grandmother, but totally differently. She saved onion skins all year, and then at Easter, we would take raw eggs, wrap them in the onion skins, then cover with old pantyhose/rags tied with string, and boil them. When you remove the skins, the eggs are beautiful and marbled. (No offense, but prettier than the onion-dyed ones here.) I think it has something to do with being wrapped and bundled. But you need kind of a lot of onion skins!
I love the idea of using turmeric! That is so fun and genuis! You’ll have us dying eggs with everything in our fridge in no time!
So I’m curious… does using natural colors flavor the eggs at all — especially if you went for the 24-hour “power” dye? It seems like it wouldn’t, but having never tried it… I just wondered if you had any insights from your experiments.
As a teenager, I dyed eggs using fruit tea which unfortunately included cinnamon and ended up with cinnamon-flavored eggs – not a nice combination at all!
I haven’t noticed a flavor in the eggs, CMN. I should say though that I’ve been dealing with a nasty cold and my ability to smell has been off for a while. My children have eaten the eggs though and they are on the particular side of things regarding flavor. :)
Can’t get over how vibrant these are! Natural to boot.
The whole rainbow of colors! This series is making me so happy! xox
Not exactly natural but I thought you might like these silk-dyed Easter eggs I’ve been making for the past 7 years. They are made with used silk ties and are so fun to make. The reveal is the best part!
Be aware that this dye may stain your countertops. Mine now have lovely yellow rings and splotches. Now I have an excuse to replace them ;)
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