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  • Writer's pictureKayla Borgen

Beautiful Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

The eggs

1. Hard-boil eggs in a non-aluminum pot, then let them cool.

2. Dye using the DIY colors given below.

Steps for make-your-own dyes

1. Make each color separately:

* 1 red cabbage, chopped into two-inch chunks. Add just enough water to cover the cabbage. This will give you BLUE.

* 2 to 3 pounds of red beets unpeeled and cut into one-inch chunks. Add just enough water to cover the beets. This gives you RED.

* Skins of about 6 to 8 brown onions -- use only the dried brown parts. Add four cups of water. This makes a beautiful RUSTY BROWN.

* 1/2 cup of ground coffee, combined with four cups of water creates a BEIGE/TAUPE color.

* 3 tablespoons dried turmeric, mixed with four cups of water, gives you YELLOW.

2. Bring all of the above to a boil, reduce heat to low, then cover for one-half hour.

3. Let the colors cool.

4. Strain the veggies, if any, out. I like to leave a few chunks in because it gives the eggs some variation in color. Note: Make sure you are using non-staining bowls for this.

5. Add 1/8 cup of distilled white vinegar to each color.

Steps for plant imprints

1. To make plant imprints on your eggs, cut old nylons into five-inch squares. Collect plants from your garden, with the rule of thumb being that the more supple the leaf, the clearer the imprint it will make. I have great luck with ferns, clover, the emerging baby leaves of columbine, hardy geranium, baby fennel. I even cut up some chives. Or, you can buy herbs or use carrot tops from the grocery store.

2. Place a few leaves on the square of nylon, then place the egg in the middle. Gather the nylon up and wrap it tightly around the egg, tying the ends with a twist tie.

3. Submerge eggs in the dye for at least two hours, even overnight (if they are going to eventually be eaten, make sure you refrigerate them during this process). The longer an egg sits in the dye, the more saturated the color will be.

4. Take the eggs out of the dye and place them on egg cartons until they dry out a bit. Unwrap them and set them on an old towel. Let them COMPLETELY dry before you touch them or wipe them off.

A word of caution: These dyes will stain clothes just like store-bought dyes do (especially the turmeric), so wear latex gloves and old clothes and protect your work area with newspaper and towels.

Photo and article by: The Pecks | For The Oregonian/OregonLive

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