Finally, we’ve come to the end of our Spring /Easter Celebration projects you can make for your dog. Because dogs love to celebrate with us, no matter the occasion. We’ve grown a real grass Easter Basket and made some sweet carob treats. Now, how about something no spring celebration would be complete without? On to Project 3…
Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs
So what’s so special about naturally dyed Easter eggs?
For starters, boiled eggs are a healthy food your dog can enjoy. They are high in protein, with lots of fatty acids and essential amino acids. It’s an Easter treat you can feel good about giving your best friend.
Plus – it’s just fun to dye them. And using natural food-based dyes means your eggs develop naturally hued farm-house colors.
Lastly – it’s a treat we can enjoy eating right alongside our dogs.
Using food-based dyes is an exercise in experimentation. Have fun with it. Embrace the variations you’ll come up with; no two eggs will be the same.
We used just three foods to create a myriad of shades: red cabbage, turmeric and beets.
You will need:
- Beets, 4 large
- Red cabbage, 1 head
- Turmeric, ground
- Disposable cups for dyeing
- Hard-boiled eggs (check out this fool-proof recipe here)
- White Vinegar
- Baking soda (optional)
It may not seem possible, but red cabbage will turn your white eggs into all sorts of beautiful shades of blue. This dye takes the longest to develop, so start this one first.
Wash and roughly chop the head of cabbage. Cover the cabbage with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down; simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the cabbage from the dye and add 1 Tbsp. of vinegar.
We used disposable plastic cups to keep our bowls from staining. Divide your blue cabbage dye into a few containers. The blue will develop over time – a LOT of time. Check your eggs every so often for the shade you want. The deepest shades will take several hours. Put your containers in the refrigerator if need be for overnight dyeing.
When your egg has developed the shade of blue you like, remove it to dry in the egg carton. Rinsing under water is not recommended to keep your color from fading.
We experimented with adding a pinch of baking soda to one of the batches of dye. This was supposed to deepen the color. I didn’t really notice a difference – but then again, we didn’t perform a proper test. Jury’s still out on this one…
Ground turmeric makes gorgeous shades of yellow – all the way from the palest tint to a deeper, earthier shade. And it’s very quick. You’ll need yellow eggs to use for other colors, so dye these next.
Mix 6 Tbsp ground turmeric with 4 cups very hot water. Stir to dissolve as much as you can (it will be grainy) and add 1 Tbsp. vinegar.
Again, divide into containers and add your eggs. We found out it only takes about 5-10 minutes to obtain a pastel yellow. Leave the egg in the dye for about 20-30 minutes to deepen. Turmeric reaches its peak color around 30 minutes, so leaving the eggs in the dye longer than that won’t make a difference. Remove the eggs to dry in the carton. You may see some turmeric powder stuck to the eggs. Wipe the powder off with a paper towel when completely dry.
Keep in mind – turmeric stains. Use care.
Beets make the most beautiful dye. Deep to pastel pinks. We weren’t able to get anything close to red – but we were going for natural.
Wash and chop the beets (I didn’t bother peeling them) and cover with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the beets with a slotted spoon. Add 1 Tbsp. vinegar and you’re ready to dye.
Keep checking your eggs for the desired shade. Beet dye deepens with time, but tops out around 30-40 minutes. Dry your eggs in the carton.
Beet dye stains – so watch your clothing!
Want to try other colors? It’s just like elementary school. Mix primary colors to get secondary colors like green, orange and purple.
For green and orange shades, start with a yellow dyed egg. Place a yellow egg in the red dye for orange (it dyes fairly quick, so keep a close eye on it!) Green is a bit trickier. I’d recommend using a pastel yellow egg to add to the blue dye. Blue takes longer, so expect some wait time while you check your color.
We didn’t have much success dyeing purple eggs. We began with a pink egg and put it in the blue dye. Our color looked very much like lilac when we were finished – but dried to a greyish tint. Keep experimenting. We’ll try a blue egg in pink dye on our next try.
Okay – so lets be honest. Trying to achieve different colors went more like this:
Take blue egg and add to red dye. Wait. Did it change color yet? No…now? Hmm, looks weird. Dip it back into the blue dye. Nope, too much blue. Back to the red bath. Is it purple yet? Lilac? Silver? What the heck…?!
Just roll with it and have fun! No matter what color your eggs turn out to be, your dog will love ‘em! And they will look perfect in your fresh grass baskets.
Ready to Assemble
Add the carob treats in a small bag, the farm-fresh boiled eggs and your Easter basket is finished.
Want further embellishments? How about a springtime bandana (ours is Lucy & Co from Hunter & June) or a new plushie to chew …or shred?
And if you choose not to keep your grass, your basket can be repurposed to hold bandanas or other accessories. Maybe your dog will share her grass with the kitty.
Have fun preparing your Easter basket for your four-legged best friend – no matter what you celebrate this spring.
Let us know how your naturally dyed eggs turned out. Feel free to share your tips below.
Want to dye some eggs? Our Pin will help you keep these ideas. Pin to your favorite boards.