Make Your Own Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Did you know that thousands of years ago the ancient Chinese were already dyeing fabric?

Or that the Maya in South America created red dye from ground insects?

Instead of buying those pre-packaged egg-dye kits this year, why not create your own natural dyes?

You have most of the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry already. Experimenting with various vegetables and spices and turning out eggs that are one-of-a-kind is a great hands-on, multi-age project.

Here’s what you need:

create natural Easter egg dyes

Preparation

The items we used are pictured above. (We had to go to the store to get red cabbage to get a bluer-blue, so add that one.)  Here is a list of what we used this year and the color that each material yielded:

  • yellow onion skins: dark red
  • red onion skins: purplish-red
  • coffee: light to dark brown
  • tea: light tan/golden brown
  • spinach: light green
  • turmeric (spice): bright yellow
  • red cabbage: bright blue
  • raspberries: light pink

Gather items you can use to make dye, such as the ones above.  Try some other spices, grass, flower petals and other items you might have outside with one crucial caveat:

 Check and make sure that nothing is poisonous, please! 

You would not want to touch or have your children touch plant parts that are poisonous, and you certainly would not want to put anything poisonous in your cookware. If you do not have a thorough field guide to your local plant life, just stick to vegetables and spices.

You will need at least four small saucepans. (Smaller pans don’t require so much dye material.)

Depending upon how many eggs you would like to dye and how much material you have  –  I recommend at least 12-18 uncooked white eggs. It seems over the years that some eggs absorb dye better than others – I am not sure why that would be; does anyone know?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Authorities say eggs are not safe to eat if they have been out of the fridge more than two hours after cooking, so keep track of this unless you aren’t going to eat them.

 

Method

  1. Chop (veggies/skins) or mash (berries) each item that needs it and put a cup or more in each saucepan with the egg(s).  The typical four burner stove allows four saucepans/dye colors to be done at one time.
  2. Measure about two cups of water  – or just enough to cover the egg(s) – add one tablespoon of white vinegar for each cup of water. Stir it.
  3. Boil the eggs for 20 minutes and turn the heat off or remove pan from burner.
  4. Check the color of the eggs.  Leave them in the water longer/add more dying material if you would like a deeper value.
  5. You can even leave the eggs in the water overnight if you refrigerate the pan with the water and the eggs. (Cool before putting in your fridge.)

Leaving three eggs  in red cabbage/water overnight (in the fridge) resulted in the gorgeous blue pictured below!

Make Your Own Natural Easter Egg Dyes!

Other Method

 

Another method is to use the procedure above but without cooking the eggs until you have boiled the material for an hour and strained it.

Once the dyeing material has been boiled and removed by straining, use the water to boil the raw eggs  for 20 minutes.  This probably results in a more solid, uniform color, rather than the “textural” look of our eggs.

I have never tried this.

Perhaps I was too impatient to boil it for an hour….

While You are Waiting

While you are waiting for the eggs to cook/dye to take, you might read and talk about the history of dye creation. Here are a couple of links to get you* started:

General historical info about dyehttp://www.ehow.com/about_5422885_history-fabric-dyes.html (Science)

Dying silkhttp://www.advantour.com/silkroad/dyeing-of-silk-fabrics.htm (Science/history)

The famous “Silk Road” trading route: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/silk-road/ (History/geography)

*Please do not let your kids loose on links without first taking a thorough look – I did not read every word on every page connected to these.

The Results

When you are done cooking the eggs and you are happy with the color, remove them from the dye water, gently pat dry and refrigerate. The egg carton they came in is a perfect place to keep them. When they have cooled, shine them up with a little vegetable oil to bring out the color.  

Make Your Own Natural Easter Egg Dyes!

 

 

What About You?

Have you ever dyed your eggs using natural dyes?  How did they turn out? Do you have any dyeing material that you particularly like?

 

Dana Wilson at Train up a Child Publishing

Impatience or Grace?

March 3rd, 2015

Are we giving our kids impatience, or grace?

“Mom, will you play a game with me?”

I can’t believe that after hounding reminding this child several times this morning to finish his math and fighting “the writing wars” this afternoon, he now wanted to play a game. With me.

My insides were screaming, “NO, I really DON’T want to!”

But of course, I murmured a lack-luster “Sure.”

All I could think about was how early I had woken up to get organized for the day. How patient I had been when I felt like yelling.  How messy the house was and how I still had no idea what I was making for dinner.

His perspective, of course, was entirely different.

And, sadly, it took me WAY too long to figure out his perspective.

It wasn’t a coincidence that this child wanted to play a game with me after a frustrating school day.

This child needed the assurance he was still loved.

 Just like I do, regularly,  from my Heavenly Father.

Even though he knew he had fooled around instead of getting his math done. Even though he had been playing in his room instead of doing his copy work

He needed a hug and some focused attention, without the pressure of “school.”

He needed me to be “mom” for a while, instead of “teacher.”

As I looked into that unsure face, I finally got it. Hugging him close, I asked, “What would you like to play?”

“How about Monopoly?” he squealed.

“We can start it and play until time to fix dinner, but we will have to finish it later.”

“Mom, I am sorry I played today instead of working on school.”

Giving unexpected grace prompted a repentant heart.

Lord, please help me to be quicker to extend grace and less impatient with my children.

The light in his eyes and relieved smile on his face gave me a little spring in my step that evening.

Giving grace instead of the ‘expected’ reaction is an investment that will pay off great dividends.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Gal.6:9

How is your challenging learner doing this week?

How might extending him or her unexpected grace help?

Five Simple Ways to Say Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up in a week. Normally I post homeschool learning and ministry ideas for families before this special holiday, but this year my Valentine’s post is not going to be about homeschooling at all.

This year, I am reminded that there is a relationship we moms… especially we homeschool moms…are all too likely to put on the back burner.

When you are juggling a baby, chasing a toddler, grading an essay and answering an algebra problem, your husband is not exactly on the forefront of your mind, right?

I sure could be better at this… maybe you could be, too?

I know this doesn’t apply to everyone; you may be single.

But if you are not….you might have noticed that it. is. so. easy. to. put.  our.  kids first.  Sometimes they have to be first, obviously… but there should be regular times when we intentionally, mindfully do things to let our husbands know that we haven’t forgotten about them!  Do you agree?

Five Simple Ways to Bless Your Husband—and not Just on Valentine’s Day

1. Spend intentional, stop-everything-else-and-look-at-him-while-he-is-talking-time every day. We are exceptional at kissing ouchies, listening to stumbling new readers and chattering toddlers. We sometimes even do an admirable job of keeping the house relatively germ-free, pulling off regular meals and keeping the clothes clean. But we are so busy that we seldom just stop. listen. and look, giving our husbands our undivided attention.

2. You’ve read a thousand times about how important it is to have a regular “date night.” You may not be able to pull this off weekly, but why not find another couple with small kids and trade babysitting every other week? Your kids will have big fun and you will get some much needed, regular time alone with your spouse. (And  please work at talking about something else other than the kids!)

3. Study your husband like you do your kids. After teaching them all day, you know how they like to learn, what they get excited about, and how to bless them.

Hearken back to your dating days and remember what has been lost in light of the dirty diapers, messy kitchens and a plethora of homeschool projects. Seek ways to bless your husband, even if it is just an unexpected back rub at the end of a long day.

4. Use your talent or hobby to bless your husband on Valentine’s Day.Crafty? Make him a card or put together a basket of special food or hobby treats.  Musical? Write him a song or cover another song and make him a recording. Or make a playlist of “your” music.  Artistic? Paint him a picture. Writer? Write him a poem or love note.

5. Bite the bullet: plan and do something HE likes to do. You get extra points for this if he knows it is not your favorite activity. Watch the game, go on a hike, play golf, go fishing, play paintball, help him do yard work or share in a needed home repair.

Believe me when I say that your family will all benefit by you mindfully honoring your husband by conserving time and attention for him.

Now tell me, does this strike a chord with you? Could you do better at investing in your relationship with your husband?  Are you going to do anything special for him on Valentine’s Day?

Please tell me in the comments!

Are you Ready?

January 7th, 2015
Are you ready_young woman thinkingXSmall

Ready to begin the new semester?

The Christmas tree came down yesterday. I am always a little sorry to see it go. (And why is it that Christmas decorations go up so much more quickly than they come down?)

Today January, 2015 is now a week old! Are you ready for the new year?

I would like to say that by January 1st I had thoroughly reviewed 2014 and proactively set goals for 2015.  And that I was barreling down on those goals already.

But this year I want to hear from you, first.

Homeschooling is the most demanding job I have ever had. And now that our homeschooled-through-high school children are through college/graduate school, I want to help YOU.

Where do you feel most ill equipped to do the job you have been called to do? What do you wake up at night worrying about? Where do you need insight, ideas and support? What aspect of homeschooling do you want to learn more about?

Here is your chance to tell me! Please take a few minutes and fill out my 10 question survey, if you have not already done so.  We’ll thank you with a $10 off coupon* for any item in our online store. (Don’t forget to leave your email address at the end of the survey so we can send your coupon code.)
Speak your mind! It won’t take long, and hopefully it will make your year a little easier.

 

In Christ,

Dana Wilson at Train up a Child Publishing

 

 

Dana Wilson

Train up a Child Publishing, LLC
formerly Epi Kardia
trainupachildpub.com
dana@trainupachildpub.com
 

P.S. *For the first hundred respondents. We generally ship to the United States

 

Unto us a Child is Born!

December 10th, 2014
Child_is_bornTraditional school is winding down in favor of Advent readings, baking Christmas cookies, caroling for neighbors, wrapping presents and getting ready for travel or company!  Yay!
Below are ideas for fun things to do with kids during these busy days as well as some resources for you. From keeping Christ in Christmas to what to tell your kids about Santa to ideas for healthy holiday hors d’oeuvres… if you are like me, you could use the help! :-)
Also, here is a 10 question survey where you can give us input what you need to see in our blog posts this coming year, thoughts on our ordering process and our project priorities in 2015. We REALLY covet your input and will thank the first 100 respondents by emailing them a $10 coupon after we receive your completed surveys!
Thank you for taking a few minutes to help us out!
Praying you have a blessed and Merry Christmas as you focus on JESUS!

Christmas Fun for Kids

  • Talk about how God  gave us the first Gift — the gift of His only Son — and how that gift can be multiplied as we give that gift to others by telling them about Him. Then play this Christmas word game.

Listen to Online Christmas Music

 

 

Keeping Christ in Christmas

 

Our Favorite Christmas Books

 

Yummy Christmas Food

 

 

Don’t forget our 2014 Survey!

We need your input! Just ten questions!