You’ve got all the natural dye you could want in your refrigerator and pantry.

Kelsey Youngman
March 26, 2018

Easter is upon us, which means it’s time to think about dying some eggs. But this year, instead of using store-bought dye, take a look around your kitchen: You’ve got all the natural dye you could want hanging around in your refrigerator and pantry. Whether you’re looking for a last minute solution or an alternative to the artificial stuff, fruit and vegetables—and candy—aren't just a treasure trove for natural colors and a great way to repurpose items that might otherwise go to waste. The colors they impart might also surprise you.

We tested out a slew of fruits, vegetables and candy to guide you through egg dying this Easter. Here’s what you need to do:

Simply bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and the food or candy of your choice. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and let steep for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the depth of color you’re after. Remove from heat and let cool. Then strain the dyes into jars and start dipping eggs! For more vibrant color, dye the eggs, let them dry completely, and dye again. To make larger batches of dye, increase the vinegar by 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of water. Here are some of our favorite color combinations.

Red Onion Skins

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use 1 cup of onion skins

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Lavender
On brown eggs: Blue-green

Yellow Onion Skins

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use 1 cup of onion skins

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Muted red
On brown eggs: Deep red

Red Beets

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use 1 cup of chopped or shredded raw beets

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Deep red
On brown eggs: Orange-red

Purple Cabbage

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use 1 cup of chopped or shredded cabbage

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Light blue
On brown eggs: Rose red

Ground Turmeric

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use 2 tablespoons ground turmeric

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Bright yellow
On brown eggs: Yellow-orange

Hard Candies

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use about 10 candies of one color

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Bright
On brown eggs: Muted

Hot Tamales or Jellybeans

Abby Hocking

To make the dye: Use one 5-ounce package of candy, or about ½ cup of unwrapped candies

Color of the dye:
On white eggs: Bright
On brown eggs: Muted