Everyone has used the traditional egg dye kit from the grocery store, but what about trying something new? Dyeing eggs using all-natural ingredients is a great way to get away from store-bought dyes... and a sure way to drive yourself crazy.

Looking for a fun and creative way to dye your Easter eggs? You can use items from your kitchen and garden to create beautifully soft hues that are all-natural. Sounds awesome, right? Apparently I am the only mom on the planet who thinks this is just a good way to make a mess — and waste $23.

Here are the directions you can find all over the internet, making it seem so effortless and green.

Prepare your eggs

  1. Wash your eggs thoroughly to remove any coating they may have on the shells.
  2. Pour 4 cups of water into a metal pot, using a separate pot for each color.
  3. Bring dyeing material (see below), 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 4 to 6 raw, white eggs to a boil.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and cover the pot.
  5. Let sit for another 15 minutes, or until the desired color is reached. The longer you leave them in, the deeper the color will be.
  6. Remove the eggs from the dye, rinse with clear water and allow to dry.

Natural dyed ugly Easter eggs fail

REALITY!^ How you really prepare your eggs

  1. Drive large SUV to the grocery store and park daringly in a compact spot next to the electric vehicle plug.
  2. Spend 20 minutes searching for beets because you don't even know what they look like.
  3. Spend $23 on produce you would never purchase unless the internet said it would work and be "fun for the kids" too.
  4. Wash eggs to remove any coating, making sure to drop two of them on the kitchen floor.
  5. Waste 4 paper towels cleaning up raw eggs. Scream at dog not to lick raw eggs off the floor.
  6. Gather every large soup pot, pasta pot and other random saucepan you can find.
  7. Pour 4 cups of water into each pot.
  8. Add one type of dyeing material (the pricey veggies) to each pot with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (to ensure that your kitchen really stinks).
  9. Put 4 to 6 raw eggs into each pot and bring to a boil.
  10. Use a spoon to fish out broken eggs that start spewing cooked egg all over the pricey veggies.
  11. Cook for 15 minutes, or until you can no longer hold your nose.
  12. Cover and let the eggs sit until desired color is reached.
  13. When you realize 48 hours later that the desired color has still not been reached, remove eggs from water and dry.
  14. Use a white kitchen towel to dry the eggs, because the color comes right off.

Ideas for creating your colors

Get creative when you think of natural items to use for egg dye. Often the color you get is surprising, and not what you expected. Here are some general ideas for adding some color to your eggs — have fun and create some of your own colors! Sounds great, right?

Blue: frozen blueberries, red cabbage

Red: red onion skins, pomegranate juice

Pink: beets or beet juice

Purple: grape juice, hibiscus tea

Yellow: ground turmeric, cumin, orange peels, lemon peels, carrot tops

Green: spinach leaves

Greenish-yellow: yellow apple skin, fennel tops

Orange: paprika, yellow onion skins

Reddish brown: chili powder

Brown: black walnut shells, black tea, ground coffee

Ugly natural dyed easter eggs

REALITY^ What colors to really expect

Bright blue that rubs off to reveal a barely-there blue: red cabbage

Light tan: carrot tops, paprika, chili powder, spinach leaves

Dark tan: beets

The internet pictures show soft, muted shades of blue, pink, yellow and green. I was expecting that mine would be even better, since I left the eggs in for over 48 hours. I felt smug when I took the brilliant blue eggs out of the red cabbage pot — until I noticed that the color comes right off. Blue hands, blue stain on the countertop and a not-so-white kitchen towel.

You can go all green and earthy on your Easter eggs but I'm sticking with the cheap store-bought dye kit, waxed crayon and stickers. Don't say I didn't warn you.

More crafty fun with kids

Cleaning tips for crafty kids
How to make a paper boat craft
Sharpie tie dyed T-shirts

Topics: easter crafts