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Easter Eggs In Living Color

Natural Dyes From Your Garden
by Marion Owen
by Marion Owen


When not tending 20 raised beds of vegetables, herbs and flowers, Marion Owen of Kodiak, Alaska is a master gardener, professional photographer and "Fearless Weeder" (President) of PlanTea, Inc., the company that developed PlanTea, the original and patented organic plant food in convenient tea bags (available online at

She also co-authored the bestseller, "Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul."

April 16, 2006


Easy egg designs

Abstract Eggs
Once the eggs have been hard-cooked and dried, hold one egg in your hand and drip glue (such as rubber cement) onto the egg's surface. Drip the glue carefully to make a particular pattern, or just let the glue drip freely for an abstract effect. Place the egg on a stand that will allow the glue to dry without getting smudged.
When the glue has dried, place the eggs in a prepared dye mixture until they are tinted to your liking. Remove them from the liquid and peel off the glue.
Tie-dyed eggs
Get yourself a handful of different sized rubber bands. Wrap the bands, one at a time, around the eggs. Dye the eggs, remove them from the liquid and let them dry completely before pulling off the rubber bands.
Crayon eggs
Perhaps the easiest technique of all is the color-with-crayons method. Simply draw a design onto your eggs and then dye as you would any other Easter egg. 
Half-and-half eggs
Dip dyed eggs into a second coat of darker dye to add a whole new color. The first coat is boiled and the second is cold-dipped for 5 to 10 minutes. To cold-dip, place egg in a small glass bowl or paper cup and prop it up against the side. Some great color combinations include coffee and blueberry; turmeric and red cabbage; and onion skins and cranberry.
Onion wraps
Rub eggs with white vinegar and wrap in onion skins. Secure the skins with cotton string, dental floss, narrow rubber bands or nylon stocking. When boiled, the skins dye the shells giving a natural tie-dye look. To achieve a full, rich effect, practice using many layers of onion skins. Pre-dampening the skins helps them stick to the egg.
Have fun experimenting with different fruits, vegetables or spices for color. The results will vary every time.
After dyeing Easter eggs with your own colorful concoctions, you'll find yourself looking at your garden, and products in the store, in a whole new way. Instead of looking for weeds to pull or, as in the store, reading the nutrition label or comparing prices, you'll think, "Hmm, I wonder what color that would make…"

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