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Dyeing eggs with a leafy look

Mar 31st, 2017 | Category: Crafty

by Corina Sahlin

Dyeing Easter eggs is an ancient tradition, and there are many methods of dying them. We all know the process of submerging eggs into synthetic easter egg dyes, but have you ever considered dyeing easter eggs naturally?

My family has fallen in love with a technique involving red cabbage, vinegar, pantyhose and leaves. This technique renders absolutely gorgeous, unique easter eggs that will have your family and friends swoon. Whenever I dye eggs this way and post pictures of them on social media, I get more likes and comments than any other things I share.

Final dyed eggs with leaf prints. PHOTO BY CORINA SAHLIN

Final dyed eggs with leaf prints. PHOTO BY CORINA SAHLIN

Although it involves a little more preparation than simply using synthetic dyes, it’s quite easy. If you involve kids with it, you’ll be the hit of the neighborhood!

What you need:

8-12 white eggs, uncooked

one gallon of water

one red cabbage

splash of distilled white vinegar

pantyhose or cheese cloth

rubber bands or string

small leaves like parsley, bleeding heart, sweet cicely

 

Using white eggs yields a better result because white eggs take the color better. Since my chickens only produce brown, green and olive ones, we use those, and it works just fine.

Place the leaf on the egg and wrap in cheese cloth or pantyhose, and then submerge in water mixture. PHOTOS BY CORINA SAHLIN

Place the leaf on the egg and wrap in cheese cloth or pantyhose, and then submerge in water mixture. PHOTOS BY CORINA SAHLIN

Cut a red cabbage into pieces and place them into a pot with one gallon of water, core and all. Bring to a boil, put a lid on it, and let it simmer for one hour.

In the meantime, prepare your eggs. This involves going outside and finding some cool leaves, small ones that fit over your egg. I use bleeding heart and sweet cicely, but you can use parsley and other groovy looking leaves.

Get pantyhose or cheesecloth and cut it in small pieces to wrap the eggs in.

Put a leaf on the egg with the smooth side touching the surface of the egg, and then put the pantyhose tightly over it to make the leaf lie flat on the egg. Be careful with that! Don’t squeeze the egg to much, otherwise it will break and drip all over you. Then tie a knot to secure the pantyhose close to the egg, making sure the leaf is secured that way.

Next, drain the cabbage pieces from your pot (feed those to your chickens or pigs, and if you don’t have animals, put the cabbage in the compost).

Put a few tablespoons of white distilled vinegar into your now colorful cabbage water.

Gently lower the eggs wrapped in their pantyhoses into the water. Be careful with this so the eggs won’t break or you won’t burn yourself.

Bring this to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Simmer it for 15 minutes, which automatically hard boils your eggs.

At this point, you are supposed to leave this all sitting in the cabbage water for at least an hour. I usually refrigerate everything overnight, because the color turns out deeper.eggs in vinegar web

Next day, cut the pantyhose away, take the leaf off, and admire your beautiful eggs.

 

Corina Sahlin homesteads with her husband and three homeschooled children on five acres in the Upper Skagit Valley. On their homestead, they teach homesteading and wilderness survival skills, and they also lead retreats and summer camps. Visit her website at marblemounthomestead.com.

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