How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

With Easter just around the corner, I cringe to think how much waste comes with the holiday. Of course, while we try to keep the waste at a minimum, we don’t let our kids miss out, either. When it comes to Easter, my boy’s favorite activity is dyeing eggs.

But, when you get the kits from the store, there is always so much waste involved. Looking at the popular kits online, they come with paper containers for the eggs, metal dippers, stickers and plastic wraps, a drying tray, and of course, the dyes themselves.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Forgetting about the waste in general, I don’t like adding those dyes to the eggs. Even though it goes on the shell that later gets peeled, it often gets through to the egg. We like to eat the eggs after Easter rather than throwing them out, and I don’t want to eat those dyes. Not to mention, I don’t want the dyed shells going in my compost and getting into my garden.

So, what can we do to avoid the waste and dyes that come with traditional Easter egg dye kits? The answer, as always, is in the kitchen.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Dye-Free Easter Eggs Process

It sounds like a lot to take on, but we had fun making the homemade dyes together. We tried a bunch of different things to use for dyes. Some worked better than others, but we learned from the experience and plan to make it better next time.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste


Mix one cup of frozen blueberries with one cup of water. Let them sit in the water until the blueberries have been brought to room temperature. Remove the blueberries from the water and use the water to dye the eggs.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste


Add 1 tbsp of vinegar into a cup of brewed coffee and stir. The darker the coffee you use, the more color the eggs will have.


It seems strange, but red onions make a green dye for Easter eggs. Peel the red onions and place them in 2 cups of water. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then add 3 tbsp of vinegar. Take the onion peels out of the water and let it cool before dyeing.


Boil one cup of water and add two tbsp of turmeric plus two tbsp of vinegar. Stir until the turmeric has dissolved.


Orange dye is made in the exact same way as the green, except using yellow onions. The longer the eggs sit in this dye, the more color they will have.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste


Boil 4 cups of water then remove from the heat and add one chopped medium beet into the water. Stir in 2 tbsp of vinegar and let it cool to room temperature before removing the beets.


Mix one cup of grape juice with one tablespoon of vinegar.


Bring one cup of water to a boil. Add in two tbsp of paprika and two tbsp of vinegar. Stir until the paprika has dissolved.


Simmer 4oz of carrot tops in 1 1/2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain the carrots out.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Other Easter Egg Tools

In addition to the dyes, there are other tools that you will need when dyeing eggs. You’ll need something to place the dyes in and a way to dip the eggs.

We used cups that we’ve had for a few years for the boy’s crafts. They are plastic, which we try not to use, but they have held up well over the years. You could also use cups or bowls from the kitchen, just be aware that the dyes may leave a stain if you use something white.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Instead of the wire dipping sticks that come in a kit, we used spoons for our eggs. The wires are only good for one purpose, and as much as we say we will save them for next year, they end up getting lost or thrown out. Using a regular spoon worked well enough for us. We did find one of the metal sticks from before, but the boys argued over who got it so ended up using spoons for everyone.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

As for letting the eggs dry, we were able to use our wire cooling racks. The slots are a perfect size for cradling the eggs and letting any extra dye drip off.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Hard-Boiled Easter Eggs

Don’t forget, before you dye the eggs you need to make sure they are hard-boiled! When little kids are handling the eggs, it’s very possible that an egg or two may get dropped, so you don’t want that mess.

If you are like me, and always had trouble getting your eggs hard-boiled just right, try my recipe for Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs. You can find it on my recipe website here.

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Final Notes

  • These natural dyes will not have as bright of colors as the dye packets from the store. But, the longer you leave them in the dye, the more color they will have.
  • After you make the dyes, the vegetables used can go into the compost so they aren’t wasted.
  • Many fruits and vegetables will add color into the water to make a dye, have fun experimenting and let me know if you find other great colors!
How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Our Final Easter Eggs

How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste
How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

Your Turn

  • Do you like to dye Easter eggs?
  • What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
  • Have you tried any natural dyes before?
  • What do you think of the idea?
How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste

23 thoughts on “How to Dye Easter Eggs with No Waste”

  1. This is such a good idea! we are dying eggs actually tonight, to bad I bought the stuff already before reading this. Definitely going to try this next year though!

    1. I figured some people might have already bought the kits before I could get this post out. But it’s something to keep in mind for next year.

  2. What a great way to dye eggs. I never would of thought to use something like blueberries. We are dying eggs Friday, so I think I am going to have to try some of these ideas out. Thank you! I also love the cooling rack to dry eggs. I do this as well. I find the slots in the back of the boxes to not do a great job since they get wet and distorted.

    1. I agree, drying racks are so much better! I was surprised at the colors that some of these made, ones I would not expect. It was fun experimenting with different foods.

  3. ah! this reminds me of when I was a little girl, my grandmother and later on my mother and I used to dye easter eggs and put them in beautiful baskets to decorate the house during this time of the year!

    1. Such a wonderful memory! I remember dyeing eggs with my cousins over at my grandma’s house when we were kids.

  4. That’s so cool, Stephanie! Although to be honest it does seem like a lot of work, I’m sure it’s a lot fun in the end. And it’s such a brilliant way to engage kids.

    1. It’s definitely more work. But we turned it into a science experiment of sorts by guessing what color eggs we would get from different ingredients in the dyes. The boys had a blast with it!

  5. I keep meaning to try natural dyes, but then I lose the ripped-from-the-sunday-paper-magazine-section thingie my mama sends me. Fast-forward one year, repeat. I think I MAY Have tried it once with recipes from Joy of Cooking (!), but I have used commercial food color + vinegar in lieu of the kits more than once. We purchased a few years’ worth of the deluxe kits and then saved the little dye cups/clear crayons (and of course we’ve saved all the stirrers), so we now haul out our set of dyeing materials every Easter from the top shelf – and thus try NOT to buy any more kits!!!

    1. My nephews have allergies to a lot of dyes, so this was also partly a way to come up with that they could do it without triggering them. Since you have all of the other tools, this is a great way to not buy more!

  6. This is an awesome tutorial and exactly what I was looking for this Easter! I really want to reduce waste even with Easter eggs!

    1. Awesome! All of the ingredients we used were all natural and the big pieces could compost at the end. Plus, it’s always good to stay away from artificial dyes.

    1. It’s such a fun way to get kids involved. Make it a game to guess what color each ingredient will make on the eggs.

    1. It’s more work, but it’s a lot of fun to try to find different ways to dye the eggs and see what colors come from it.

  7. I cannot wait to try this with my kid someday. I am curious about one thing, does the dying affect the taste of the eggs in anyway, if yes, which of the flavors is most appealing.

    1. I didn’t notice any change in flavor since the shell gets peeled off before eating the eggs. The dye and flavor don’t permeate through the shell unless it gets cracked. And even the few that did, it wasn’t enough to change the flavor that I could taste.

  8. Ooooo just love this idea for coloring eggs!!!!! We are doing eggs this Saturday. Might have to try this no waste technique

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