Naturally Dyed Eggs (in Onion Skins)

A simple method using around the house items makes a lovely naturally dyed marbled egg.

Last year around Easter, I was in the worst of my morning sickness so making special eats let alone natural dyes wasn’t on my to do list. Survival was my only thought. This year, I wanted to explore the fun world of natural dyes in the kitchen. I really hate using those chemically laden dyes. I decided to start with the simplest method. Wrapping eggs in onion skins and boiling as usual makes a lovely marbled egg, as shown above. It’s so simple,so easy to do, and pretty too! What I love about some of these natural dyes is the subtle color, instead of the fake brightness of the dye kits.

I hope to make some dyes, like shared on Martha Stewert here for the kids to cool dip their eggs. Meanwhile, here are the instructions on these lovely eggs.

You Need:
White Eggs
onion skins (try to keep them as big as possible
rubber bands or twine
thin cloth, such as cheesecloth (cloth napkins or cheesecloth are probably your best bet)
Pot with lid to boil eggs


1) Wrap each egg in the onion skins.

Place in the cloth or cheesecloth and wrap it in the towel, securing it with a rubberband or twine.

2) Place in a pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover. Allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. Then pour off the hot water and cool with running cold water. Unwrap your eggs and admire the pattern. Serve or put out for decor.

What about you? Have you naturally dyed eggs before? I would love to hear about your experience!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. KimiHarris says

    I should have also mentioned that some people put in herbs, grasses, bits or rice and other edible items inside the onion skins on the eggs to create more texture. This would be really pretty. To make it work, you should probably wet all of the ingredients, so that it sticks on the eggs better.

  2. Amanda says

    Awesome! I have some questions:

    1. Does using red onion skins make a difference in the color? I only have reds right now, but I’d be super excited to see if it comes out red/purple/pink-ish!

    2. Will it dye brown eggs or deepen the color? Or will it just not show up well at all? I might need to buy some white eggs.

    3. Does it stain the cloth? Will it wash out?

    4. If you put rubber bands around the egg itself before wrapping it in the onion skin will it not take color where the rubber band is? I’m thinking about a tie-dye stripe look …

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this!

    • Judy says

      Amanda, I used red onion skins and the color was very pale blue/purple which was very pretty but only on white eggs. You can use the orange onion skins to deepen brown eggs but I doubt you’d get much of a pattern. I often put onion skins into the cooking water for hard boiled eggs just for the beautiful deep, deep, orange color, even though I’ll soon crack them for devilled eggs.

  3. says

    Lovely! Some years back I colored some eggs with natural things loose in the boiling water –onion skins, beets, grape juice — but I didn’t know about wrapping them close in cheesecloth like you describe. I wish I had! They’re beautiful.

    Happy Easter!

  4. Annabelle says

    Hi Kimi I read your two Easter posts with great interest, the eggs look amazing and I think I might buy one of those special pans!!

    I did want to ask though, if you were to try making soaked hot cross buns, what would you soak the flour in? Do you think it’s possible?

  5. says

    I also have Annabell’s question. Hot cross buns are our Good Friday tradition, but I’ve never tried a soaked version.

    The egg dyeing looks lovely, I will surely try it.

  6. nickyb says

    My mother used to dye eggs like this when we were little…she used rubber bands to hold the onion skins on which made really interesting curvy patterns on the eggs. I’m going to try this this year – thanks for the reminder!

  7. Lynda says

    I now this isn’t as natural as onion skins and such, but as far as non-toxic, we make the most beautiful colored eggs with grated crayons, any colors. Easy for the little ones, dramatic results for the big ones. 🙂 I like to do a few to quench my creative spirit. My 3 year old is really into it this year.

    Of course, you have to do it when the eggs are still hot from boiling, so be sure to handle with tongs or towel. Hold in the towel for them to scribble with actual crayons, put on a holder (we use mineral water lids) for sprinkling with grated crayon. It’s not an issue with them getting burned, so don’t worry.

    It’s a nice activity to stretch over a few days too. Six at a time, depending on your little one’s attention span.

  8. Nannie says

    Wow! I am so impressed with the beautiful natural-color materials for Easter egg dying!!!
    All these years when my children and I thought we needed special dyes for Easter eggs, and I really had all I needed on hand already. Just sorry I have to wait until next Easter to try this. Having no children around now, I used food coloring and instructions on the box to make colored eggs for a centerpiece. They were the pretty bright rainbow colors (and yes, I had to keep them in the fridge each night.) My granddaughter has enlightened me on several great and healthier ideas now, and I am loving it! Really, Dear, you are a wonderful mom. Nannie

  9. annie says

    Afte creating these beautiful natural-looking onion skin dyed eggs, I buy/make/find a vine and fashion it into a nest shape, place it in a basket with some moss and put the eggs inside for a natural looking centerpiece for the Easter table. It definitely brings Spring a bit closer!


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