Magazine article Sunset

Easter Dyes Start Naturally

Magazine article Sunset

Easter Dyes Start Naturally

Article excerpt

Leaves, flowers, and vegetables give surprising patterns, rich colors

PRINTED ON EGGS, the delicate silhouettes of leaves and flowers from your garden can be framed by colors made from surprising but natural sources.

The eggs pictured here were colored with soupy mixtures of water and onion skins, walnut shells, beets, or red cabbage. When you combine their earthy hues with simple plant shapes, you get eggs that are fun to find--their natural hues help them blend into their hiding places--and almost too elegant to eat.

The low-cost project takes only a few hours to complete. Young children can collect leaves, grasses, and flowers. Ask them to select only flat and pliable plant material that is no bigger than an egg.

Adults or older children can make the dyes. Assemble the skins of six yellow onions, the shells of a dozen walnuts, half of a small red cabbage (cut up) and six beets (sliced). You'll also need four pots to hold at least 2 quarts of water each.

The onion-skin dye will turn eggs yellowish brown; the walnut dye makes deep reddish browns; the cabbage turns white eggs robin's-egg blue and brown eggs greenish blue; and the beet dye creates a light pink color. …

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