Easter is coming up and I need to dye eggs (family tradition). I usually use food dye, but I don't have any and I don't want to go out and buy some. I need an alternate way, that won't take long and is easy. I have to dye a dozen eggs, so anything like coloring or painting them will take to long.

How else can I quickly dye eggs for Easter?

  • Paint perhaps? Or markers? – Anthony Pham Apr 4 '15 at 23:07
  • @PythonMaster Takes too long. I mentioned that in my question – michaelpri Apr 4 '15 at 23:31
  • I really don't know how it could be faster than taking a marker to it. You could have done one in the time it took to post this. – Carl Apr 5 '15 at 2:22
  • @Carl This post is not just for my good, but to help anyone else who might have this questions – michaelpri Apr 5 '15 at 2:25
  • 1
    Why aren't you coloring eggs instead of commenting? :) – Carl Apr 5 '15 at 2:26

In my family, we never used artificial colored dyes.

Instead, we took the leftover onion peels in the pantry, wrapped them around the eggs and boiled them.

The downside of this is you do need to plan in advance a little as you need to have raw eggs and you end up coloring them while you hard boil them. If the eggs are cooked, you really can't do this unless you want to cook the eggs again. You also have to have a sufficient quantity of onion peels laying around.

The basic steps are:

  1. Wet everything down
  2. Wrap the egg in the onion peel.
  3. Secure it with a rubber band
  4. Hard boil the egg.

Depending how you wrap them, you'll end up with a very nice marbled look that varies in color depending on what kind of onions you use. We typically have yellow onions, so I know the will give you a red-brown color. I have never tried it with any other color of onion, so I can't speak for the coloring with them and if it would be any different.


We can use any kind of natural vegetable dye sources we may find in our kitchen or garden as egg shells easily take up the color from them.

All natural dyes have in common to boil the eggs together with the vegetables. Some vinegar added as a fixative to the water may help to make the color last longer.

  • Brown to red: outer onion peels of brown Spanish onions.
  • Natural red: peels of red onions, red cabbage, red wine
  • Bright red/pink: beetroot pieces
  • Yellow: carrots, turmeric spice
  • Green: parsley, spinach

In case we need the eggs to have more than a solid color I found that wrapping small leaves or early spring flowers tightly around the eggs using nylons before cooking them in the dye gives very beautiful results:

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  • The pretty pictures and handy list of veggie dyes gets you an up-vote. – KalleMP Apr 9 '15 at 22:55
  • You can boil the eggs in black tea to give them a brown color. – Ejaz Apr 29 '15 at 20:19

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