Yes, You CAN Dye Brown Eggs

You Can Dye Brown Eggs

You Can Dye Brown Eggs

Brown eggs aren’t better for you than white eggs, but you’re much more likely to find brown eggs than white eggs in your local grocery co-op, farmer’s market, or backyard chicken coop.

So don’t think that you have to go buy a flat of conventional, battery-caged, white chicken eggs from that giant grocery store chain just because Easter is on its way!

We dye brown eggs, since that’s what our two VERY spoiled hens, Fluffball and Arrow, lay for us. The experience of dyeing brown eggs instead of white is just as fun for the kids, and the results are just as lovely and satisfying. Nevertheless, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

You Can Dye Brown Eggs1. Think jewels, not pastels. Since your base isn’t white, but taupe, all of your colors will come out a couple of shades darker, so instead of pink, think rose, and instead of blue, think indigo.

My kids actually prefer this–they’re not impressed by pale pastels. They like big, saturated colors, which are much easier to achieve with brown eggs.

This does mean that any dye that’s intended to be pale may not work with brown eggs. We haven’t had a lot of success with yellow, for instance; it turns our brown eggs *maybe* just a slight shade more orange, so we just go for orange from the beginning and skip the yellow.

2. Increase your dye time. Depending on what dye you’re using, you may need to increase the amount of time that the egg spends in the dye. We generally have several pots of dye prepared, so we’ll immerse an egg into each pot, then go back to the beginning and start checking on them.

3. Remember that your base coat is brown. When making batik eggs, tie-dyed eggs, or Pysanky eggs, remember that you’re starting with brown, not white, so you may want to increase the contrast of the overlying colors to get the full effect from your technique.

In my family’s experience, those are the only things that you should keep in mind! We’re big experimenters, so we’ve done all the trendy egg decorating fads successfully with brown eggs. We’ve dyed them naturally, with food coloring, with silk, with liquid watercolors, we’ve stenciled them, we’ve drawn on them with crayon first…

We’ve decorated ourselves a lot of brown eggs!

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