Dyeing Easter eggs is a childhood Easter staple for so many, myself included! And those pre-made kids are great but go FAST when you have eager egg dyers like my little dude. Plus, if you’re like me, you like options and you probably like being able to dye eggs without having to buy anything new. Well, today I’m going to share how to dye Easter eggs with food coloring and create any color of the rainbow!
All of the eggs you see here are dyed with just two packs of food coloring, one traditional pack and one “neon” pack. I’m breaking down how to dye Easter eggs 40 different colors and that only scratches the surface. You can take the formulas I share below, along with other tips for how to dye and dry eggs, and build on those to create infinite hues!
Hard Boiling & Preparing Eggs for Dyeing
You don’t have to hard boil your eggs to dye them, but if you’re doing so with kids I’d certainly recommend so. Much less messy if any crack! To hard boil, place a dozen eggs on the bottom of a large saucepan and add water, covering the eggs. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 10-12 minutes and then remove from the pot and rinse or soak in cool water.
If you have the time, dipping the eggs in a diluted vinegar “rinse” before dyeing them can help the dye adhere better and more evenly. I noticed this helped more with some colors (like blues and purples) and was unnecessary with others. If you’re not picky, you can skip this step.
But remember, eggs are natural and not all of them will dye perfectly regardless! You can see in the photos here that some had variations when dyed and others dyed perfectly and smoothly. I love the mixture, personally!
Can I Dye Brown Eggs?
While your colors will be more limited, you can absolutely dye brown eggs along with white ones! The colors will be deeper, jewel tones and they are beautiful.
Brown eggs tend to have much more varied hues (i.e. lots of different shades of brown) to begin with, so that will mean that the formulas I share for brown eggs below may vary in the results they produce, depending on the shade the egg started. With brown eggs, be sure to frequently check the egg as the dye hue is developing!
Any brown eggs that were dyed are noted in the formulas below in this post!
What Food Coloring Should I Use?
All food coloring is not created equal. You’ll find there are two types: liquid food coloring and gel. However, the “gel” types seem to vary quite greatly. I found the gel food coloring that comes in small white tubes not ideal for dyeing as it did not dissolve as well in the water and vinegar mixture.
However, the Wilton food coloring gels worked perfectly and that is what I chose to use, you can usually find it at Target and craft stores, along with some grocery stores. I used both their standard pack and their neon pack to create the colors you see in this post.
Regular liquid food coloring from any grocery store works great as well. However, the colors tend to only come in the “standard” colors of blue, red, yellow and green. Luckily, you can still make a ton of the colors below with just those!
How To Dye Easter Eggs
For each color dye, you’ll need the following:
- Heat-safe glass or cup
- 1/2 cup Hot water (I didn’t make mine boiling, I just made it as hot as my sink could get it! It’s OK if you use room temperature water but the dye often won’t be as even.)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- Food Coloring: Standard and/or Neon
- Dye formula desired, see below for the guide to each color’s formula!
- Slotted spoon (or just a regular spoon, but a slotted one makes things less messy!)
Remember, you can use the dye to do a few eggs, and then add additional food coloring to it to create new colors without having to start completely from scratch!
Follow the instructions below which include how long to leave each egg in to achieve the various colors. Of course, you can vary these times, as well as the color combinations, to create even more of a color spectrum with your eggs!
Dyeing Eggs: Pinks, Purples, Blues, Greens
Pink & Purple Easter Eggs:
- Bubblegum – 5 drops pink, 30 seconds or less
- Fuchsia – 5 drops pink, 3 minutes
- Lilac – 5 drops pink + 5 drops purple, 30 seconds or less
- Orchid – 5 drops pink + 5 drops purple, 3 minutes
- Ultraviolet – 5 drops purple, 3 minutes
- Grape – 10 drops purple, 5 minutes
- Lavender – 5 drops purple, 30 seconds or less
Blue Easter Eggs:
- Periwinkle – 5 drops blue + 5 drops purple, 30 seconds or less
- Cornflower – 5 drops blue + 5 drops purple, 3 minutes
- Cobalt – 5 drops blue + 5 drops purple, 5 minutes
- Navy – 5 drops blue + 5 drops purple, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
- Sky – 5 drops blue, 3 minutes
- Robin’s Egg – 5 drops teal, 30 seconds or less
- Aqua – 5 drops blue, 30 seconds or less
- Turquoise – 5 drops teal, 3 minutes
- Peacock – 5 drops blue, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
Green Easter Eggs:
- Mint – 5 drops teal + 3 drops green, 30 seconds or less
- Teal – 5 drops teal + 3 drops green, 3 minutes
- Emerald – 10 drops teal + 10 drops green, 3 minutes
- Shamrock – 5 drops teal + 10 drops green, 3 minutes
Dyeing Eggs: Greens, Yellows, Oranges, Reds
Green & Yellow Easter Eggs:
- Evergreen – 5 drops teal, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
- Olive – 10 drops green, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
- Chartreuse – 5 drops green, 3 minutes
- Celery – 5 drops green, 30 seconds or less
- Butter – 10 drops yellow + 3 drops green, 30 seconds or less
- Sunshine – 10 drops yellow + 3 drops green, 3 minutes
- Daffodil – 5 drops yellow, 30 seconds or less
- Marigold – 5 drops yellow, 3 minutes
Orange Easter Eggs:
- Peach – 5 drops orange, 30 seconds or less
- Creamsicle – 5 drops orange, 3 minutes
- Tangerine – 5 drops orange + 5 drops yellow, 3 minutes
- Mustard – 10 drops yellow + 3 drops green, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
- Salmon – 10 drops yellow + 5 drops red, 30 seconds or less
- Coral – 10 drops orange + 5 drops red, 3 minutes
- Rust – 10 drops orange + 5 drops red, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
Red & Pink Easter Eggs:
- Watermelon – 5 drops red, 30 seconds or less
- Candy Apple – 10 drops red + 5 drops yellow, 5 minutes
- Neon – 5 drops red + 5 drops pink, 3 minutes
- Berry – 5 drops pink, 3 minutes (Brown Egg)
- Wine – 5 drops pink + 5 drops purple, 5 minutes (Brown Egg)
Print a Color Formula Guide!
Want all of the above in a printable format to use while you’re decorating? You’re in luck! I put together a quick cheat sheet for every color formula I shared. You can download it below for free!
Drying the Eggs After Dyeing
Figuring out how to dry your eggs evenly after dyeing can be tricky. If you leave any part of the egg “sitting” in it’s dye, like if you put it back in the carton or in an egg tray, the color will not dry evenly. Here’s a few ideas for drying eggs so you can prevent that:
- Gently patting down with a rag: This is what I typically do, but you have to be willing to sacrifice a towel or two to a rainbow of dye. It does remove a bit of the color but I found for the most part, the color stayed quite vibrant and this was a quick and efficient way to dry them.
- Cooling Rack: If you have a cooling rack for cookies and baked goods, set your eggs on there. You do run the risk of a grid pattern on one side of your egg.
- Toothpick “stand”: If you have a piece of styrofoam headed to the trash, stick a bunch of toothpicks in it and place your eggs in-between the toothpicks to hold them up while they’re drying
- Upside down egg carton: I don’t love this method, as I find they don’t dry very evenly, but you can flip your egg carton upside down and dry your eggs in the spaces in the carton.
Photos by Jeff Mindell
I’ve shared a lot of crazy egg tutorials in the past, but there’s something to be said for just classic dyed eggs that represent the whole color spectrum! Happy dyeing!