With Easter just a hop, skip and a jump away, it’s time to plan your Easter feast, dig out the plastic grass and set up your Easter egg hunt. I like to save one of my favorite traditions, dyeing Easter eggs with food coloring, for the last minute. It feels extra festive to create a basketful of pastel and candy-colored eggs on the day before Easter.
Yes, many grocery stores stock egg-dyeing kits. But it’s just as easy to do at home with ingredients and tools you already have. Best of all, coloring eggs is a quick, fun activity that’s simple enough for kids of all ages. Let’s get started!
Curious how Easter traditions have changed? Take a peek at Easter celebrations from the 1950s to today.
How to Dye Easter Eggs With Food Coloring
What You’ll Need
- Food coloring
- 1/2 cup of boiling or very hot water per color
Step 1: Hard-boil the eggs
Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with water by about an inch. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for 12-15 minutes. (Find a detailed recipe here.)
Drain the pan and cool the eggs by running them under cold water.
Step 2: Prepare the dye
Bring a few cups of water to a boil. Get several heatproof bowls or mugs ready; you’ll need one for each color you plan to mix. In each bowl, pour 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and the food coloring of your choice. You’ll need between 10 and 20 drops of food coloring, depending on the shade and intensity of the color you’d like. Pale coloring will have a delicate finish, while darker colors will look bright and candy-like.
Experiment with mixing different colors together, too. You can create most any color using yellow, red and blue food coloring:
- Red + Yellow = Orange
- Red + Blue = Purple
- Yellow + Blue = Green
Looking for more fun Easter activities? Here are some of our family’s favorites.
Step 3: Dye your Easter eggs
When the eggs are completely cool and your colors are mixed, the fun begins! Protect your work area with a tablecloth or newspapers, and set out the cups of dye, paper towels to catch spills and an empty egg carton for the finished product.
Using tongs or a wire egg holder, submerge the eggs in the food coloring and allow to sit for five to 10 minutes to fully absorb the color. The longer they bathe, the more vibrant the finished color; you can tug them out of the bath to check periodically.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you don’t have an egg holder, use a whisk! Simply ease apart the wires of a whisk and slip the egg inside, then use the handle to dip the egg. Whatever you do, don’t use wooden utensils, as the wood will take on the coloring.
Step 4: Dry and store
Remove the eggs from the dye and allow them to dry on paper towels, or right in the carton. Once the top of the egg is dry, flip them so the bottom can dry. Store in the fridge until you need them.
Test Kitchen Tip: Planning an Easter egg hunt? We suggest using plastic eggs, or creating a very thorough map of your hiding places. You don’t want to come across a hidden egg weeks later—trust us.