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A Beautiful and All-Natural Way to Dye Easter Eggs


Why not try something a little different—something a little more natural this Easter? Grab the kids and try this all-natural way to dye Easter Eggs.
Photo by Sergei Maximenko/

Sure the bright pinks, blues, greens and oranges of those store-bought Easter egg-dying tablets create colorful spring baskets for your kiddos. But this year, why not try something a little different—something a little more natural? This all-natural recipe to dye Easter eggs uses the pigment in onion skins for color, and leaves and flowers to create a beautiful design on the eggs.

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It’s surprisingly simple and inexpensive. In fact, you probably already have most of what you need right there in your cupboard and in your yard.

LightWorkers All-Natural Dye Easter Eggs.

Photo by Sergei Maximenko/

The kids in our extended family, ages 5 to 13, were intrigued when we told them we were going to dye Easter eggs the way the pioneers used to do. They had a lot of fun going through the yard, picking small leaves and flowers to use as patterns on the eggs.

And while the application process was a little complicated for the younger ones, it gave the older ones, who had just about outgrown the charm of the process in general, the opportunity to help their little brothers and sister work together.

I even got my husband into the act by sending him around the corner to the dollar store to purchase the materials I couldn’t find at the supermarket. He was very proud of himself when he met me at the car with a pair of panty hose and a bag of rubber bands.

You can always go back to the lovely aroma of vinegar, the black marks on your hands and elbows from the newsprint you spread on the table and the bright blobs of color staining your kids’ favorite t-shirts next year. Or just eat up the naturally dyed eggs when you’re done (isn’t everyone always ravenous for hardboiled eggs the second you finish decorating them?) and start all over again.

1. First gather your ingredients.

Natural Easter Eggs

Photo by Lisa Johnson Mandell


  • 12 eggs
  • dry skins from about 10 brown or purple onions
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • old pantyhose or cheesecloth
  • small leaves and flowers, parsley and herbs work well
  • small rubber bands or kitchen twine

If you haven’t saved any onion skins, you can go to the grocery store and scavenge the loose skins from the bottom of the onion bins. The darker the skins, the more vivid the color will be. Be sure to put at least one onion in the bag with them, so you don’t raise eyebrows at the checkout stand.

2. Put the onion skins in the bottom of a large pot.

Pour water over the top. Add vinegar. Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil for about 15 minutes.

3. While the skins are boiling, cut the cheese cloth or panty hose in 6-inch squares.

The pioneers would probably have used cheese cloth, but I like panty hose because they stretch and hold the leaves in place better.

4. Position the leaf or flower flat against an egg.

Natural Easter Eggs

Photo by Lisa Johnson Mandell

Place the fabric on top of the leaf, so that it will hold it in place, and pull the corners around to the back of the egg, stretching the fabric and securing it tightly with a rubber band or a piece of pre-cut kitchen twine.

This is best done with two people working together: one holding, the other tying.

5. Carefully put the eggs in the boiling onion water and let them boil for three minutes.

Then cover the pot, turn off the heat and let them sit for 15-20 minutes, depending on how dark you want to color the eggs.

6. When the eggs are cool enough to touch, lift them out of the pot and put them in a bowl.

Test the temperature yourself before letting little helpers near the pot!

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7. Unwrap your eggs and voila!

Easter egg DIY

Photo by Lisa Johnson Mandell

You won’t believe how lovely your creations have turned out to be! Use a bowl full of your designs for a natural centerpiece.

This is a wonderful and memorable Easter activity for kids small and big.