Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dying Easter Eggs With Onion Peels


Rachael discovered a website online the other day demonstrating how to create onion-skin-dyed Easter Eggs. We thought that it looked like a neat idea, and decided that we would give it a try.

I have found a couple of additional websites since that seem to offer some ideas that would probably improve upon the results that we had, but as you can see from the picture above, even our eggs turned out with some very attractive, whimsical designs. I'll include the links with alternative methods at the end of this post.

The very first thing that we did was gather some leaves, stems, and flowers from local plants along one of the local hiking trails.

Next we went to the store and bought the rest of the necessary supplies:



Red and yellow onions (with lots of dry skins):

And some sewing thread, of which I didn't get a picture.

Next, we collected all of the thin yellow and red onion skins that we could.We kept them separated because the red skins are said to dye the eggs much darker than the yellow.

After that we picked plant parts that we thought might create neat patterns.

We used plates with covered with a wet paper towel as our work surfaces. Then we used a spray bottle to wet the eggs and the plant parts so that the plant pieces would stick to the eggs.

A second method, which we found mentioned on another website, was to use a pair of hose to help keep the leaves and flowers in place.

The next step was to wrap the eggs with onion skins, trying to keep the plants in their intended places. This was probably the only challenging step in the whole project. After we had completed our project, we found a website that suggested soaking the onion skins for 15-20 minutes before wrapping the eggs. This is probably a good idea.

As we wrapped the eggs with the onion skins, the next step was to "fix" the skins in place by wrapping them in a cocoon made of sewing thread.

Now we had several egg cocoons to boil in the left over onion skins.

We made a separate pot for the yellow skins and for the red skins so that we could observe the difference between the finished results.

Next we put the eggs into the boiling water for 15 minutes.

* Note: Other websites that we have found since have recommended boiling the water with the onion skins for 20 minutes before putting the eggs in to create a darker dye, and to leave the eggs in the dyed water until it cools so that they have longer to absorb the dye. We also saw later that one website suggested adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to the onion skin "dye." Based on our results, we'll try each of these suggestions next time.

Finally, it was time to unwrap the eggs, and to view the finished product.

* Note: We put our eggs into the water as soon as it started boiling, and placed them into cold water immediately after their 15 minute boil. Our results were subtle, but based on some of the pictures in the links I've included below, you can see that boiling the onion skins for 20 minutes before adding the eggs, and then allowing the eggs to cool in the onion dyed water, can create a much more dramatic effect.

At the end of the day, we wound up with some cool Easter eggs, and a nice bouquet of leftover flowers to boot.


Some links to check out before beginning your onion-dying project: