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How to naturally dye eggs with onion skins

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Decorating Easter eggs offers countless possibilities, but one method that holds a special place for me is dyeing eggs with onion skins. This practice is particularly popular in Eastern Europe, it is a natural and budget-friendly alternative to store-bought dyes. While options like blue cabbage, turmeric, spinach, or beetroot exist, onion dyeing remains a popular choice for its simplicity and effectiveness.

My process begins shortly after Easter, as I gather onion skins throughout the year for the next holiday season. As Easter approaches, I prepare the eggs the day before, ensuring they’re already colored by Easter morning. Yellow onion peels produce dark brown color on eggs, while red onion skins result in a deep red hue.

Dye eggs with onion skins preparation

Preparing eggs for decorating

Before dyeing eggs, remove them from the fridge and let them sit for at least 30 minutes to reach room temperature. Then, rinse them under water and set them aside.

There are numerous items you can use for decorating eggs, which I will list below. All of these options are optional, and you can choose not to add anything and simply dye the eggs for a uniform color. In this case, you’ll only need to place boiled eggs in the colored water and leave them overnight to achieve a deep hue. If you wish to create unique patterns on the eggs, you’ll need nylon stockings cut into 10x15cm rectangles. You should be able to obtain about 12-14 pieces from one stocking.

Options for creating various patterns include:

  • Rice
  • Small flower tops such as daisies or ferns
  • Herbs like dill, parsley, thyme, spring onions, or grass
  • Yellow or red onion skins
  • Paper, which you can cut into any shape you desire or into small pieces

Take the stocking piece and place rice, flowers, herbs, or onion peels onto the stocking. Arrange them however you like. You can also use water to “glue” paper shapes onto the egg. Once finished, gather the ends of the stocking pieces into one place and tie them together with thread.

Dyed eggs with onion skins

Egg Coloring with Onions

Learn how to dye eggs with onion skins for a traditional and eco-friendly Easter celebration.
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cuisine Lithuanian


  • 40-50 g yellow or red onion skins
  • 1 l water
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 8-10 eggs
  • olive oil (optional)


Option 1 – Using Cooked Eggs

  • In a pot, combine the onion peels with 1 liter of water and bring to a boil. Allow it to simmer for 25 minutes until the water darkens. Let the mixture cool, then add 2 tbsp of vinegar.
    onions in the pot
  • Boil the eggs to your desired consistency. You can refer to my other article on boiling eggs for guidance.
  • Transfer the onion water to a separate bowl or cups, ensuring no onion skins remain, and add the eggs. Let them soak for several hours or overnight for a more intense color.
  • Alternatively, leave the eggs in the onion water with the skins for a beautiful pattern. After soaking, carefully remove the stockings and decorations, then allow the eggs to dry naturally on a paper towel. Optionally, lightly coat the eggs with olive oil for a shiny finish.

Option 2 – Using Uncooked Eggs

  • Follow the same process as Option 1 to prepare the onion water.
  • Once cooled, add the eggs to the onion water or the mixture with onion skins for varied decoration patterns. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the pot from heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 3-6 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
  • Remove the eggs and allow them to dry on a paper towel. Optionally, you can leave the stockings and decorations on the eggs and return them to the pot with cooled down onion water for additional soaking. After drying, a light coating of olive oil can provide a glossy finish.
Keyword dye eggs with onion skins, egg coloring, natural easter egg coloring, natural egg dye

In conclusion, experimenting with various natural decorations adds a special touch to Easter egg traditions, especially when dyeing eggs with onion skins.

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