Dye Easter eggs with onion skins-leaf decoration

Coloring beautiful Easter eggs with natural dye like onion skins is simple and a fun Easter craft project.

Here's how to dye beautiful Easter eggs using onion skins and create delicate leaf pattern on them .
Onion skin for Easter eggs

1. Egg Decorating Materials

  • raw eggs
  • yellow onion skin, only the dry outer layers
  • fabric: lady socks or pantyhose are the best, gauze (not so good)
  • green vegetable leaves from your garden

2. Preparing the onion skin dye

  • 2.1. Put the dry onion skin in a small pot and cover with water.
    For a batch of 6 eggs you'll need the dry skin of 8-10 onions, depending on their size.
    Yellow onion skins will give you a beautiful brownish-red color. For a darker, burnt sienna color you can mix in a few red onion skins too. Don't add winger in this dye as it darkens the color of the dye too much.
  • 2.2. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer about 15-20 minutes. The dye will have an orange color.
In the meantime, decorate your eggs with beautifully shaped leaves and make them ready for dying.

3. Decorating Easter eggs with leaf pattern

Decorate Easter eggs with leaves
You can use vegetable leaves like parsley or wildflower leaves like clover, even small flowers like the delicate snowdrop flower.
Here is how we do it:
  1. Cut a pantyhose or lady nylon socks in 10x10 cm (4x4 inch) square pieces.
  2. Wash the raw eggs in warm soapy water to remove possible greasy patches and impurities from the egg shell.
  3. Place a leaf on each egg while the egg is still wet or dampen the leaf, to sick to the egg shell.
  4. Fixing leaf decoration on Easter egg
    Position the center of a piece of fabric (nylon) above the leave and hold it in place with one finger. With your other hand gather all corners of the fabric together in a bundle and twist it carefully to stretch the nylon piece around the egg.
  5. Now wrap regular sewing thread several times around this knot to tie it tightly, as in the picture.

4. Dyeing process with onion skin

Dying Easter eggs with onion skin

4.2. Boil for 10-12 minutes.
Depending on the color of the egg shell and the time the eggs stay in the dye, you will obtain different shades. In my experience, eggs with brown shell will have a deeper color, with a more pleasing, warm contrast between the base color and the leaf pattern.
Surprisingly, the color obtained with this dyeing method on white shelled eggs is less bright, I would say, its muddy.  Click that link to see a comparison.
4.3. When the eggs are dyed to the color you desire, remove them from the dye and let them cool.
4.4. Carefully unwrap the eggs by cutting the knot, as long as they are warm.
You can re-use the same dye for another batch of eggs.

4.5. Once the eggs are cool, put a few drops of vegetable oil on a paper towel and polish them up. This will preserve the eggs and give them a nice gloss.
Easter eggs dyed with onion skin and leaf decoration
Easter eggs dyed with onion skin and leaf decoration


Don't worry, the eggs do not pick up any of the onion flavor on the inside. Even when an egg cracks during the dyeing process and the color reaches its inside, it is still edible. It contains no harmful chemicals.

See more pictures of Easter eggs and read about the Easter wetting tradition .

To achieve a marveled texture instead of a solid color and the lief decoration, simply wrap the eggs in yellow or red onion skin.
Moisten the skin of a big onion, wrap the egg in it and fix it with rubber band.
Place the eggs in a pot with water and boil them as any hard boiled eggs.

Easter egg dyeing is a good family project to do together with the children.
If you would like to try to hand-paint your Easter eggs, have a look at theses simple egg painting models and coloring pages and have fun with the kids.

2 comments:

Rose said...

I love these eggs! I make them every year using all kinds of strange looking leaves, such as fern, dandelion, etc. The results are sometimes spooky, but so much fun!

Toivoton kotirouva said...

You may want to try red onion peels. They give a "brown egg" shade to white eggs.

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