Why read: This is a step-by-step guide to dyeing eggs with onion skins for Easter to get a rich burgundy color the natural way.
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Easter is my favorite holiday!
What can be better than celebrating our Savior’s Resurrection, greeting the arrival of spring with a fun outdoor Easter scavenger hunt, reading Easter books with kids, and eating delicious Easter food?
One of my family’s favorite activities for Easter is dyeing eggs.
There are many creative ways to decorate Easter eggs, but I always go with the Armenian way that comes from my childhood – dyeing eggs with onion skins and flower petals.
Result – red Easter eggs with different patterns on them.
The cross pattern is the prettiest and is perfect for Easter, IMHO. Don’t you agree?
Related: 15+ Healthy Easter Treats Your Family Will Love
Dyeing Eggs With Onion Skins
So this Easter, how about you try adding a unique twist to your egg dyeing activities too?
Onionskin dyeing is a simple and fun way to make beautiful red eggs for the holiday.
This technique involves boiling eggs in an onion skin dye bath, which gives them an eye-catching maroon hue.
In short, if you want to naturally achieve a rich red or burgundy color when dyeing Easter eggs follow this step-by-step guide for instructions and important tips.
And because this method is natural, you and your family can feast on the eggs without having concerns about any chemicals getting into your and your children’s body.
Even if you dye the eggs plainly in red onion skins, see the picture below for how beautiful they’ll look. These are brown eggs naturally dyed with onion skins.
By the way, tarragon perfectly compliments both the look and taste of the eggs!
Decorating Onion Dyed Eggs With Flower Petals
To make things even more interesting you can create different imprints on the eggs using the cheesecloth or nylon stocking method.
This is how most Armenians dye eggs for Armenian Easter. Russians also love this method and use it to color eggs for Russian Easter.
The idea behind the cheesecloth or nylon stocking method is that you find beautiful flower or herb petals and create an imprint of those on the eggs.
To achieve this, you stick the herbs and flowers to a wet egg, put the egg in a cheesecloth, and tie it tightly with a thread.
No cheesecloth? Use an old nylon stocking instead. Cut the stocking into small squares to fit an egg inside and again tie it tightly with a thread.
Then you put the eggs in the onion skin dye bath and boil.
After the dying process is over you remove the cheesecloth or stocking as well as the flower petals.
And what you get is a burgundy egg with an imprint of the beautiful flower petal on it.
For the cross pattern, I use grass or cilantro stems.
This makes it a super fun family activity kids love participating in!
Go together for a hunt of the prettiest flower petals or grass stems in the backyard or a park.
And then let kids stick the petals and grass stems onto the eggs.
The beauty of this method is that there is no limit to your creativity and the patterns you want to achieve!
Instead of herbs or flowers, you can simply use paper. Cut paper into small hearts, stars, dots – anything you can imagine – stick onto the eggs, and viola!
Let your kids go wild with their creativity and you’ll be amazed at how pretty the final result will turn out!
Follow me on Instagram and share with me some pictures of your creations using hashtag #TIPEasterEggs
There are a couple of tricks for achieving the best result though so follow instructions carefully.
Printable Easter Scavenger Hunt Clues
Add some fun to your Easter celebration with an outdoor Easter scavenger hunt. Print out these beautifully-designed cards and watch your kids race around your backyard trying to solve the riddle clues.
Ingredients Needed For Dyeing Easter Eggs With Onion Skins
When dyeing eggs with onion skins, you’ll need several ingredients and basic kitchen equipment.
First, you’ll need a large quantity of red onion skins.
Ideally, you’d start collecting red onion skins 1-2 weeks before Easter.
The more the richer the color!
If you’re anything like me – a busy mom who totally forgets about collecting onion peels well in advance – don’t despair!
Just go to your grocery store or farmer’s market and collect some from there. There is always a big batch at the bottom of onions.
If there aren’t enough red ones, you can always add yellow skins too.
Aim for peels of 1 onion per 2 eggs.
Of course, you’ll also need eggs.
Both white or brown eggs would do. You’ll need more onion peels for white eggs to color well, and white eggs will turn out brighter red.
If you decide to decorate with herbs and petals using white eggs will make the contrast higher.
The number of eggs depends on your family size.
I always dye 1 egg per person and add a couple extra in case someone wants more than one.
If we invite relatives and friends for an Easter celebration, each person chooses 1 egg. And we do an egg fight. This is another fun activity everyone loves.
The person with the egg that survives the fight and stays unbroken gets a prize.
Here’s the list of all ingredients you’ll need for coloring eggs with onion skins:
- eggs (preferably white)
- red onion skins (skins of 1 onion per 2 eggs)
- 2 tbs white vinegar
- flower petals, herbs or grass for decorating (optional)
- food grade unbleached cheesecloth or nylon stocking (optional)
Finally, you’ll need a pot to boil the eggs in the onion peel dye bath and a spoon for stirring it.
If you’re thinking of updating your pots and pans, I wholeheartedly recommend Hexclad cookware! It’s totally worth the price. You’ll pay once and forget about buying new cookware. Plus, no more chemicals leaking into your food from scratched pots and pans!
Step-by-step Instructions For Dyeing Eggs With Onion Skins
- Start collecting red onion skins 1-2 weeks before the big celebration. Or just swing by your local grocery store and ask if you can snag a few. You’ll need peels of 1 onion per 2 eggs.
- Place the onion skins in a large pot of cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and leave for a few hours or overnight for richer color.
- After soaking bring the onion skins to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
- If you want to avoid cracked eggs, give them a 30-minute salt bath before dyeing.
- Now it’s time for some creative decorating! Cut the cheesecloth or nylon stocking into 5-inch squares. Wet the eggs for better sticking or just take them out of the salt water one by one and start decorating. You can use herbs, flower petals, grass stems, etc. Stick a couple of herbs or flower petals on each egg. Then wrap the egg gently but tightly in the cheesecloth or nylon stocking and tie it with a thread at the end (be careful so that you don’t break the eggs!).
- Carefully submerge eggs in the onion skin dye bath and boil for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool then remove cheesecloth and flowers. Pat the eggs dry with a paper towel. If you’d like to add a nice shine to your eggs, rub them with a little oil (any oil would do).
Dyeing Eggs With Onion Skins
- 1 pot
- 8 organic white eggs brown would do too
- skins of 4 red onions (the more the richer the color)
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- herbs for decoration (optional)
- cheesecloth or nylon stocking (optional)
- You need to start collecting red onion skins 1-2 weeks before Easter. Or you can go to your local grocery shop or farmer’s market and ask if you could collect some red onion skins (that’s what I often do).skins of 4 red onions
- Soak the onion skins in cold water with the vinegar for a few hours or overnight for richer color. After soaking bring the onion skins to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool.2 tsp white vinegar, skins of 4 red onions
- Before boiling the eggs, soak those in salt water for 30 min to avoid cracking.8 organic white eggs
- Cut the cheesecloth or nylon stocking into 5 inch squares. Wet the eggs for better sticking or just take them out of the salt water one by one and start decorating. You can use herbs, flower petals, grass stems etc. Stick a couple of leaves or flowers on each egg, then wrap it gently but tightly in the nylon stocking and tie it at the end (be careful so that you don’t break the eggs).cheesecloth or nylon stocking, herbs for decoration
- Add the eggs to the onion skin dye bath and boil for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool then cut the cheesecloth and remove the decorations. Pat the eggs dry with a paper towel. If you’d like to add a nice shine to your eggs, rub them with a little oil (any oil would do).
One Last Thing
This year, how about having a natural dye Easter?
And you don’t have to limit yourself to only red onion skins. Feel free to experiment with red cabbage, turmeric, yellow onion skins, etc. – to get different shades and colors.
I’m sure you and your kids will have lots of fun.
The way I did when I was little 🙂
Is dyeing eggs with onion skins something you do for Easter? Please share your experience with us in the comments!
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Comments & Reviews
krystyna emmons says
always did w/ brown onion skins, thanks for telling us about red onions!
Oh, I’m so glad, Krystyna! Both work but red onion skins give richer color! Please let me know how it turns out for you and if you use any decorating patterns.
Erin Smith says
Wow this is so cool! I’ve never heard of this before
Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂
How neat! This one I have never heard of 🙂
Crystal Garman says
This is so cool! I think my 9 year old would be fascinated by this and would probably start experimenting to see what else she could dye eggs with! I love this activity! Thanks!
Yes, that’s the perfect age to do it with your child. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂
I’ve never heard of this method for dying eggs! How interesting, they look great and it is a kid friendly way to go!
Yes, this is completely different from what Americans do but very common in the Eastern world 🙂