This is a FIRST for Dans le Lakehouse: DIY dyed Easter eggs! Although my experiments went a little sideways, the fruits of my labor are worth it – just check out these shibori-inspired Easter eggs, plus the all natural Easter egg dye made with purple cabbage, and the watercolor-y (it’s a word) Easter egg I made. Sure, I also made an epic mess in my kitchen, but this pretty collection of pastel Easter eggs have that perfect sort of beachy, watery, natural vibe I’m digging these days so it was totally worth it.
You might have noticed that I play fast and loose with the term “beachy” these days – pretty much anything speckled, spotted, organic, messy, irregular, earthy or watercolor-y counts. (“You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means). From my marbled Halloween pumpkins to my watercolor stained floors and my ice dye pillows, I’m just really into textures and designs inspired or shaped by nature these days – I’ve even switched up some of my beloved Pyrex and McCoy pottery collections because I’m really favoring textures over bold retro patterns these days. The tides are a-changing.
Back to these Easter eggs! These beautiful, beachy, speckled Easter eggs.
To be honest, I haven’t decorated eggs since I was a kiddo and my Mom and I did some dip dyeing. I wasn’t planning on doing an Easter egg DIY (I did that bunny stool hack last year and that’s about as Eastery as I get.) But then, as I was Morlocking Etsy items in and out of my basement (new items in the shop soon!), I rediscovered a lovely set of four vintage glass egg cups. I inherited these from my grandmother and didn’t have the heart to part with them. I know I’ll never use them in real life, so I wanted to create a reason – and that’s why exploded my kitchen one day, dyeing Easter eggs. Experimenting with egg dye baths was almost as fun as playing with fabric dyes and, in the end, my experiments yielded a batch of pretty Easter eggs in shades of pale green and blue with some interesting texture and variation, thanks to some thread and foam. And look how cute they look in my sentimental egg cups! They’re currently lined up on the windowsill in the kitchen, looking adorable and festive for spring.
How to Make the Green Speckled Eggs (with Cabbage!):
Read the “recipe” below to find out how I made these speckled green eggs (no ham), using purple cabbage. I intended to create a more aqua hue (which you can create with purple cabbage and baking soda), but a little accident (“whoops *sploosh* there goes the box of baking soda”) not only altered the color dramatically, producing more of a pale olive green, it also created a Bounty paper towel commercial-level explosion when it combined with the vinegar. Who needs kids when I am perfectly capable of making a disgusting mess, all on my own?
- hard boiled eggs
- 1 head purple cabbage
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- Baking soda (1/4 tsp at a time until desired hue)
- Strainer or colander
- Hard boil the eggs.
- Loosely chop a head of purple cabbage and place in a large pot (make sure the pot has LOTS of extra room).
- Cover the cabbage with water and bring to a boil.
- Add vinegar, mix well.
- Let simmer appropriately 20 minutes.
- Place a strainer or colander inside the pot to push down the cabbage, add eggs inside strainer.
- Add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda at a time (watch for fizzing overflow!)
- Lift the eggs and coat them with the colored foam.
- Lift eggs out of the pot fully with tongs and set aside, try not to disrupt the color.
How to Make the Blue Speckled Eggs (with Procion Dye):
The blue eggs were much easier to make – although I worked with real dye, so the possibility of a dye-related tragedy was always on my mind, especially because I dyed these in my pretty kitchen and not in my already dye stained laundry tub (high octane crafting!). I just added a tablespoon of Procion dye (cobalt blue) into about a cup of lukewarm water, using an old plastic container. The Procion dye is what I used for my ice dyeing and it works well in cold water. I mixed the dye very loosely (undissolved bits are okay) and let the (previously hard boiled) eggs soak in the dye, one at a time, for about 15 minutes each. I removed them using tongs and let them dry. Remnants of dye dripped around the egg as it dried, helping create a more speckled and irregular effect.
How to Make the “Watercolor” Dyed Eggs:
To create a really mottled, “tie dyed” effect, I handled one egg lightly with butter before dipping in the dye. The butter prevented dye from adhering and kept more parts white. I love how splattered that one turned out (it’s the centre one in the photo below):
How to Make “Shibori” Inspired Eggs:
To create the “shibori” inspired Easter eggs (you can spot them in both blue and green in these photos), I just wrapped a few naked, hard boiled eggs with thread or thin rubber bands – both worked well.
The only downside to using the dye, as opposed to the all natural cabbage concoction, is the look of pure ANGUISH on the faces of my poor pups when I had to explain that they could not eat the blue eggs. Sadly, they know what “no, not for you” means – just not why it applies to eggs all of a sudden (their favorite treat).
The dogs truly didn’t understand this project AT ALL.