Dye Eggs Naturally — with Coffee!

six naturally dyed Easter eggs lined up on a festive red-and-white cloth.



It’s easy to make Easter egg dyes with foods – including our favorite, fair trade organic coffee! This year, we decorated our natural eggs using a wax-resistance method and then colored them sky blue and warm, earthy brown. These dyes are non-toxic and use ingredients you probably already have at home. 


What you’ll need:


  • White eggs
  • A crayon. (Use white to skip the wax-removal step. Use another color if you want to be able to see what you drew!)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar for each pot of dye
  • For brown dye: ¾ cup ground coffee
  • For blue dye: half a purple cabbage, finely chopped



Instructions for Natural Easter Eggs:


First, hard boil your eggs. Place them in a single layer at the bottom of your pot, cover with two inches of hot water and bring it to a rolling boil. Then turn off the heat and let the eggs cook in the water for twelve minutes.

Once the eggs have cooled enough for you to handle them comfortably, draw a pattern or design on each one with crayon, making the lines as thick and solid as you can. The dye won’t stick to any area of shell that’s covered by the wax of the crayon. (If you use a colored crayon, it’s possible to remove the colored wax later! See final step.)

For brown dye, bring twelve cups of water to a boil and add the ground coffee and vinegar. Simmer for fifteen minutes. For blue dye, boil twelve cups of water and then add chopped cabbage and vinegar. Allow to boil again, then simmer for half an hour.

Turn off the heat and gently add the crayon-decorated eggs to your dye baths.  The longer you allow the eggs to soak, the deeper their color will become. For the brightest blues and richest browns, leave them overnight.

Once you’ve achieved the color you want, remove the eggs and let them dry fully.

If you don’t like how the crayon-marks look, you’ll want to remove the wax. Place your eggs of a foil-lined baking sheet in an oven you’ve preheated to 250 degrees. After about ten minutes, the crayon-marks will become shiny and you can wipe off the wax with a soft cloth or paper towel.


Five natural dyed eggs for Easter in brown and blue sit in an oversized coffee cup.

Ta-dah! Beautiful, natural eggs for Easter!

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  1. Caroline | 6th Mar 18

    Plain old yellow onion skins make a fantastic natural dye, too. If you keep the eggs in long enough they become a deep, orangey, almost blood red.

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