It's the Easter school holidays - a wonderful time of the year! Term 1 of school is over, the kids are settled in to the new year, and the weather is mild enough to explore the beauty of the great outdoors with fewer complaints of "I'm hot and thirsty" that can plague our outdoor adventures in the warmer months.
Easter is also a great time for nature crafts, and this year we decided to tackle egg dyeing with natural colours, with the results not all they were cracked up to be (pardon the egg pun).
Our rookie mistake was not sourcing white eggs. All the instagram-perfect crafting photos featured alabaster white eggs, gleaming in their perfection. Having left it too late to source white eggs from an egg farm (can you even get white eggs in WA?) we went with the palest brown eggs we could find. We then proceeded to measure, chop, soak and boil a variety of vegetables and spices (including beetroot, tumeric, spinach and red cabbage) to create the dyes. The kitchen smelled delicious, so it was a shame that none of the produce would end up in our bellies!)
The results from our efforts were mixed – the beetroot, turmeric and spinach dyed eggs were the least successful. Although the eggs were a different shade to their original brown, they most certainly weren’t the vibrant, lustrous hues we anticipated. In fact, the turmeric ones looked downright jaundiced. So with one last rallying cry, we put all our eggs in one basket with our final effort, the red cabbage-dyed blue beauties!
These eggs were the most successful, and were also the easiest to do, without the need for gloves to avoid staining from the beetroot and turmeric. They also prompted some excellent discussions amongst the mini nature players about how amazing it was that the red cabbage leaves could turn the eggs blue!
Here is the recipe we followed for our Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs, but if you'd like our advice, skip the first three and head straight for the cabbage dye - vibrant colour, easy for the smallest of helpers to take part, and a great result.
We also enjoyed following the Martha Stewart Botanical Eggs recipe to create some arty natural templates to create prints on the eggs when dyed. Although Martha recommends using raw eggs and “blowing” them before dyeing, we suggest hard boiling them first, to avoid tears when delicate decorated eggshells are crushed by over-eager mini helper’s hands. We also used hessian to wrap our eggs as we're not fancy or grown up enough to own pantihose.