Gilded & Naturally-dyed Easter Eggs


Growing up, I had so much fun dipping perfectly white eggs into their colored baths and watch them instantly emerge in vibrant hues. Now that I’m a mom and try my best to keep artificial colorings and such out of the house, I wanted to experiment with coloring our eggs with none other than….REAL FOODS! Beets, onions, turmeric – all things that I wouldn’t mind if they seeped through the pores of the eggshell a bit…maybe it’ll even count as a serving of veggies ;). Even the glue used to adhere the gold-leaf was made with rice.


So an idea I’ve had for a while was to take these naturally-dyed (and even more edible!) eggs and use gold-leaf to bring it to another level of pretty.  The concept had been floating around in my head for a couple years, but it wasn’t until this year that I was able to try it out. It took a bit of organization and preparation, and some turned out different form my expectations, but I was so happy with the results! I love that you don’t have to be perfect with the dying or the gilding, it’s a very forgiving design that I was able to do with my 3-year old wanting to “help” with every step.

What you’ll need:

-a dozen eggs (white results in more vivid colors than brown)

-dye materials as described below

-a couple teaspoons of rice flour or cooked white rice

-a couple Tablespoons of water

-small paintbrush

-4-5 sheets of gold leaf

-sponge, the kind with a scratchy side works well



First I made the dyes, using this guide and made about 4 cups of dye per color (2-3 eggs at a time).

-Blue: red cabbage

-Green: red cabbage plus a 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

-Rich orange: yellow onion skins

-Beige-y: beets (was supposed to be pink…tried twice…maybe bad beets?)

-Deep Rust: red onion skins (on brown eggs)

Next, I made some “perfectly” hard-boiled eggs – mostly white ones, but I threw in a couple brown eggs as well just to compare. They soaked in the fridge overnight….this step is more an art than a science, just rotate when you can to prevent white spots and take them out when you like the color!


The next day was for drying and gilding. As the eggs dried on a plate in the fridge, I noticed the colors changed a bit. The blue tone warmed up a bit and the pink (beet) eggs turned more beige. Use bit of parchment paper in between to keep eggs separated, if needed.


Meanwhile I made a little batch of rice glue and carefully tore the gold sheets into randomly sized pieces. Using a light hand, I dabbled the glue all over a dried egg and applied the gold leaf, lighting pressing down the edges. After about halfway dry, I took the sponge and broke up the edges. Dry fully and refrigerate until they are ready to be hidden and eaten! Enjoy 🙂



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