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Easter Egg Dye DIY: How to Dye Eggs without a Kit

A crate of dyed Easter Eggs.

Accidentally come home from the grocery store without one of those egg dying kits? No worries, momma, this easy step-by-step guide will show you how to dye beautiful Easter eggs with just a couple of pantry staples! We’ll also explore lots of different ways you and the kids can get creative with those hard-cooked eggs! Lastly, we’ll dive into a few ideas that are perfect for when you have no time to hard boil your eggs.

Did you dye or decorate Easter eggs as a kid? If you did, you know what a fun activity it is for the whole family! Lots of families spend money on the boxed egg dyeing sets from the store, but with this easy tutorial you can make own Easter egg dye in a snap!

If you’re not already dying eggs at Easter, I know this will be a family activity that your kids will love and hopefully a new Easter tradition!

So let’s dive right in to this easy egg dye recipe!

Easter Egg DYE Supplies

First things first, let’s gather our supplies for our homemade dye. Aside from some of the creative twists, the main supplies are things you can pick up at your local grocery store and some everyday kitchen items. The wonderful thing about this method is that is just calls for everyday ingredients, that, most likely, you already have stashed in your pantry!

  • dozen eggs (white eggs or brown eggs)
  • white vinegar (although other types of vinegar would probably work as well)
  • liquid food coloring or gel food coloring
  • Heat safe jars or mugs (I opted for clear wide-mouth mason jars, because little hands can easily fit, and you can easily see the colors through the clear glass.)
  • slotted spoon
  • paper towels or hand towel

Optional Supplies for Creative Twists:

  • neon food coloring
  • rubber bands
  • Stickers
  • White Crayon
  • Biodegradable Glitter
  • Modge Podge

Steam or Hard Boil your Eggs

There seems to be some debate about the best way to hard boil eggs. Personally, I think there’s more than one right way to to do it.

Here is one tried and true method.

First, fill a pot with water, and set to high heat bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add them one by one in a single layer of eggs. I like to let mine boil for about 12-13 minutes, because this cooks the egg to a “hard boil” without going to the green yolk state. At the 12-13 minute mark, turn off your burner, and slowly add your eggs to an ice bath (a fancy term for a bowl of ice water.) If you don’t plan on eating your eggs or if you don’t mind them going to the green state, feel free to skip the ice bath.

Note: If you’d like to hard boil them so that they peel easily, experts recommend to put them directly from the fridge (don’t let them come to room temperature) into a pot of cold water, and then bring to a full boil. Then, lower to low heat and allow them to cook to 15 minutes.

Alternatively, if you have a instant pot, that can be an awesome way to make your hard boiled eggs.

(Do you have a hard boiled egg hack?? Let us know in the comments, if you do!)

Don’t Forget: when you boil or steam your eggs, don’t forget to save the egg carton because it’s a handy way to store the dyed eggs!

Easter Egg DYE DIY with Food Coloring

Now onto the fun part! Let’s make our homemade egg dye! For this, we’ll be using liquid food coloring, and you can use whatever type you like. There are natural food coloring sets or conventional food coloring sets with artificial dye.

(All you crunchy mommas, stay tuned! Later in the post, I’ll share an organic method using natural ingredients that you probably have stocked right now in your own kitchen!)

To make the dye bath, first boil about a quart of water or enough for about 1/2 cup for each color. Then, carefully pour a 1/2 cup of hot water into a heat safe cup or glass, such as a mug or mason jar — for each color you’d like to create.

Next, pour in a teaspoon of vinegar.

Then add about 10 to 15 drops of food coloring into each jar of water.

Stir the mixture up, and allow the water to cool.

Carefully, place eggs in the cup of dye. For best results, periodically rotate your eggs, so that they develop a consistent color.

If you love the beautiful look of pale colors, make sure you don’t leave the eggs in the dye solution very long. But if you love richer colors, make sure to give your eggs some extra time.

Note: You can always increase the amount of food dye to reach your desired color. If you love vibrant colors, use neon food coloring for bright, beautiful colors!

Let’s Test: Food Coloring Comparison

Now, let’s test out some of the most popular brands of food coloring! I may be a bit weird, because I love to test and compare. And I thought this might be helpful for you, so you can get your desired outcome without wasting a lot of time/money!

One of the big brands of food coloring available at most grocery stores is McCormick. I followed the exact instructions above using 1/2 cup of hot water, 10 drops of one color of food coloring, and 1 tsp of white vinegar in each jar.

McCormick Food Coloring

This batch soaked in the McCormick dye bath for 20 minutes.

And, this batch soaked for 5 minutes.

Watkins Food Coloring

Next up, let’s test a natural food coloring brand!

Watkins is a non-gmo food coloring set with “made with 100% Natural Vegetable Juices and Spices”. I followed the same directions here except add 12 drops per color (instead of 10) and let them soak a lot longer. The colors came out to be pretty, but very subtle.

This food coloring is not as saturated, so we’ll test again making a more concentrated batch.

Because the natural food coloring wasn’t as saturated, I wanted to try it again using more drops and more vinegar. So, this batch sat in the same formula but each with 25 drops of food coloring and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. They definitely came out with more color, but for some reason, the dye was quite splotchy — it’s kind of a neat look though! It looks like tie dye to me!

Four dyed Easter Eggs on a muslin cloth.

Food Coloring Egg Dye Results

The hard-boiled eggs that soaked in homemade easter egg dye made with regular food coloring definitely produced much more vibrant colors!

I’d have to say the DIY egg dye made with the McCormick food coloring created rich color than rivals or beats the dye tablets that come in store-bought kits.

Overall the eggs dyed using the with natural dyes in Watkins food coloring came out with much subtler color. But using the natural food coloring is still a fun way to dye eggs, especially if you’re avoiding synthetic dyes or if you prefer soft pastel colors over darker colors.

More color options by Mixing Food Coloring

One of the pros to using food coloring is that you can create your own custom colors — you can mix and match the main colors to create all kinds of beautiful egg colors!

For this batch I used the exact same hot water, amount of vinegar, and total amount of food coloring drops, using 5 drops of one color and 5 of another.

Clockwise from the Pink egg: First egg: 5 drops Red & 5 drops of yellow created a very pretty pink egg. Second egg: 5 drops of Green with 5 drops of Blue made a beautiful soft blue. Third egg: 5 drops of yellow with 5 drops of green also made a beautiful color. Fourth egg: 5 drops of blue with 5 drops of red made a deep purplish color.

And lastly, for this batch, instead of measuring equal amounts of food coloring, I just poured the excess dye into the other to make my desired color. For example, I poured a bit of the red dye bath into the yellow to get this beautiful orange egg.

Here is a very quick video, demonstrating how to mix your food coloring to get every color of the rainbow!

(Eggs)xiting Creative Twists

If you want to get a little creative, here are some fun ideas for making a variety of unique Easter eggs!

Color Blocking

Follow the directions listed above, but instead of submerging the entire egg in the dye bath, dip just part of the egg. Hold it there for a few minutes to create a color block. Then dry your egg, and submerge in another color of the dye.

Rubber Band Eggs

This is a super, fun twist — Pun intended! With this technique, just apply rubber bands around your eggs making a fun design.

This can be prior to dyeing or after you’ve dyed them in one color.

Quick Tip: If you’re dying eggs with small children, they may need a little help getting those squirrely rubber bands to stay in place.

Then remove your egg from the dye & vinegar mixture, and allow the egg to dry.

Next, dip your egg into a second color for a few minutes. Then remove and dry your egg again. You’ll end up some very unique designs, and I know the kids will LOVE the process!

Marbled Eggs

For this Easter Egg dye DIY, we’ll be creating Marbled eggs! They are so popular right now! And it’s easy to see why — they’re just so pretty! And they are like a fun science project for kids – one where you can get a little messy! Many tutorials call for mixing food coloring into shaving cream and some call for Whip Cream (a bit tastier than shaving cream!) lol

But, one of my favorite methods is super simple and only requires on extra ingredient — cooking oil!

The dyeing process is just like the original steps to begin. Then you just mix in some cooking oil with the food coloring dye mixture. (Any type of liquid cooking oil will work, from canola to olive oil.)

Here I am pouring about 2 tablespoons of oil into the McCormick dye solutions.

You can stir the oil gently or you can really mix it in well. The harder you mix it, the smaller the drops of oil will become and the more speckled your egg will dye.

Pouring cooking oil into dye solutions.

You can mix the oil in the mixture before you dye the eggs, that will give you a marbled look of white and color like this:

Or you can dye it once, dry your egg, and then, add the oil before dying with a secondary color, like the pink egg here:

Lava Eggs

The kids are going love this fun experiment!

Instead of starting with hot water, just add about 1/2 cup of vinegar (8 tablespoons) or more if desired into your mason jar, and then add drops of food coloring. If using the gel food coloring, use a whisk to really mix the food coloring into the vinegar.

Next, carefully add your egg. Then, add a 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda! Next, is an explosive good time!!

Draw Pictures

You’ve probably seen this fun Easter Egg hack before — heck you probably enjoyed doing it as a kid. But in case you forgot about it, here’s a reminder of how fun it is to use a white crayon to create your very own designs!

You can draw on your eggs before you dye them or you can dye with a color, draw on the eggs, and dye in another color! What I love most with this, is that you can get really creative!

Sticker Eggs

Last but certainly not least, you can use inexpensive stickers to resist the dye or simply add on as an embellishment! I found these adorable He Lives stickers, and they look they would be a great fit for Easter eggs!

Next to the sticks at Dollar Tree, I found some very pretty transfers! I’ll definitely be adding those on to some of the dyed eggs!

Easter eggs decorated with Rub on transfers.

Glitter eggs

You can use start this fun variation with your previously hard boiled/dyed eggs. Alternatively, can blow out raw eggs or use decorative eggs or plastic eggs.

Paint a layer of Modge Podge over the entire egg, or use a paint brush to “paint” a design, wording or whatever pattern you’d like. Then, dip your egg into a shallow dish of glitter or pour glitter over the top with a bowl to catch the loose glitter.

Wala! Now you have a very beautiful and festive egg! If you use an eggshell or some type of faux egg, you can save this for decorating for Easter for years to come! And there are lots of ways you can use these eggs into other DIY Easter decorations!

More Easter Decorating Ideas

If you’re like me, you can never have enough Easter inspiration, so I’ve teamed up with some super talented blogger friends today! I think you will love their Easter DIYs and decorating ideas as much as I do!

Emily from LeCultivateur – Simple Easter Décor Ideas

Heidi from EleanorRoseHome – Stamped Easter Napkins

Cynthia from Vintage & Grace Living – Beautiful, Spring Centerpiece Ideas

Well, that’s all for now! I hope this Easter Egg Dye DIY tutorial gave you some ideas of how you dye some beautiful Easter Eggs with kitchen staples you probably have on hand!

What was your favorite creative variation? And do you have any favorite ways to decorate that weren’t mentioned here? I would love to hear from You! You can leave a comment below or reach out to me on Instagram!



Don’t forget to Pin this for Easter!

Dyed Eggs in a Crate with Flowers
A crate of dyed Easter eggs with Spring flowers.

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  1. I love all of these creative ideas! I usually just buy a kit to dye eggs with, but I will definitely try this instead. Thanks!

  2. Love this post Rebecca! I love how you compared dying kits, so fun to see the variations. So glad to have joined you in this blog hop, thank you!!!

  3. This is so fun, Rebecca. We used to dye eggs like this all the time when I was little. Brings back such fun memories. I’d love to share a link to your post in my weekly round-up tomorrow.

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