Looking for some clever ways to decorate Easter eggs without harming your family or the environment? While traditional egg dying kits are non-toxic by FDA standards, they do contain artificial dyes, which have been linked (albeit vaguely) to a number of health conditions. Even if there is no conclusive evidence that food dye causes ADHD or other medical concerns, it’s better to err on the side of caution, especially when there are so many other egg decorating ideas out there that don’t rely on artificial colorings.
Read on for 20 wonderfully fun and eco-friendly ways to decorate eggs, then check out a few tips to help you come up with your own ideas.
Top 10 Safe & Eco-Friendly Ways To Decorate Easter Eggs
Along with some safe alternatives to artificial dye, I’m also including some eco-friendly “upcycled” ideas for both real and decorative-only eggs (these can be stored and reused year after year). Check them out. We’ll start with my top 10 favorites (with pictures), then I’ll share a list of some other tutorials for adorable Easter eggs that I really love.
Just a quick head’s up, I included affiliate links below for some of my favorite egg-decorating products. If you buy anything through them I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you.
1. Use Washi Tape to Decorate Your Eggs
I love using Washi tape to decorate Easter eggs because it’s inexpensive, easy to use, and comes in a zillion different colors & patterns. Plus, it peels right off and leaves no sticky residue behind. You don’t have to get super fancy with it. Just hand your kids a few rolls and let them get creative. If you do want something with a bit more pizazz, though, check out this Washi Tape Easter Eggs tutorial.
2. All-Natural Farmhouse Dyed Easter Eggs
These Easter eggs are super easy to make and look so beautiful. Use berries, veggies, and different all-natural fruit juices to create farmhouse-style earthy colors, then put them all together in a cute rustic basket. This one is super cute (see it below)! Check out this tutorial for tips on what works and what doesn’t, along with some decorating ideas.
3. DIY Easter Egg Dyes Made with Spices
As much as I love using berries and veggies to dye eggs, produce isn’t exactly cheap right now (especially since I try to only buy organic produce as much as possible). Fortunately, there’s a cheaper solution sitting right in my pantry: spices! You’d be surprised at the rich colors that you can create with different spices. For example, use turmeric for yellow and gold shades, paprika for orange, and cinnamon for brown. Learn which spices to use and how to make the dye here.
4. Natural Stenciled Easter Eggs
Once you’ve settled on a natural dye- be it herbs, spices, or berries- add a little extra oomph to them by stenciling on some pretty designs (I love these). Just follow this tutorial from Upstate Ramblings.
5. Decoupage Eggs created with napkins
If you don’t want to use food-based dyes at all, here’s a fun and inexpensive idea: Head to your local dollar store and grab a bunch of different pretty napkins! Then follow this tutorial from Cutefetti on how to turn them into beautiful Easter eggs, or check out the video below for another way to do it.
6. Yarn Wrapped Easter Eggs
Another cute food-free Easter egg decorating idea is to just wrap them in different colors of yarn. Fuzzy, chunky, knitting yarn, embroidery yarn…literally any type of yarn works. If you don’t have any on hand, you can usually find it in dollar stores. Or you can buy a sampler with mini skeins in different colors. I like this one because it’s inexpensive and comes with 40 colors. It’s actually a crochet kit, so you could also use it to take up a new hobby once you’re done decorating eggs.
7. No-sew Patchwork Fabric Easter Eggs
If you have leftover fabric from other projects, old (clean) clothes that aren’t fit for donations, or any other scraps of material laying around, you have everything you need to make these eggs. Just cut the fabric into strips, wrap it around the eggs, and secure it with some edible glue (or even the regular stuff, but the edible kind is totally non-toxic). If you need some inspiration, I love this tutorial from Pillar Box Blue
8. Bath Bomb Easter Eggs
Bath bomb Easter eggs are perfect for kids who can’t eat real Easter eggs. Plus, they double as a fun homemade gift to put in their basket. Follow my simple DIY bath bomb tutorial. When you get to the part where you have to shape them, either shape them into ovals by hand or use a cute silicone mold like this one.
9. DIY Easter Eggs with Temporary Tattoos
Stickers are great for decorating eggs, but I think temporary tattoos actually work better. Stickers fall off too easily. Plus, temporary tattoos are REALLY cheap. You can get a huge assortment, use what you need this year, and tuck the rest away for years to come. I really like this set, but you don’t even have to go with an Easter theme. Just like with yarn, anything goes.
10. Earth Paints Egg Dye Kit
This last non-toxic egg decorating idea is perfect if you’re not really all that crafty, or if you really just prefer buying a kit and calling it a day (no judgment at all). The “truly worry-free” kit comes with four all-natural colorings. They’re dye-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Even the package is eco-friendly and printed with vegetable-based inks. Plus, it’s made in the USA.
10 More non-toxic Easter egg decorating ideas
- Upcycled Eggs Made with Vintage Book Pages
- Upcycled Denim Eggs
- Marbled Eggs Dyed with Onion Skins
- Colorful Yarn-Wrapped Decorated Eggs
- Tissue Paper Chicks Easter Eggs
- Silk Tie-Dyed Eggs in the Instant Pot (literally uses silk ties!)
- How to Make Natural Egg Dye (includes a handy color chart)
- Create Cute Easter Egg Designs with Paper Napkins (a little different from the napkin decoupage eggs above, this one will show you how to make fun Easter designs)
- .Paper Mache Easter Eggs (another good one for kids with egg allergies)
- Beautiful Blueberry Dyed Eggs
5 Tips To Decorate Easter Eggs In A Safer Way
Whether you use some of the above ideas or want to come up with your own, these tips will help you decorate a safer egg.
1. Stick to the shell
I mean that literally. Choose decorations that stay on the shell and don’t seep through to the egg. That’s the biggest problem with artificial dyes. If they stayed on the shell, they wouldn’t be such a concern. However, I’ve yet to eat an Easter egg that doesn’t have at least a little dye on the egg itself.
Things like temporary tattoos and stickers work well because they stick to the surface of the shell and come off when you peel the egg.
2. Use food instead of food coloring
Once upon a time, before artificial coloring was even a thing, people turned to nature to dye Easter Eggs. Yep, the tradition actually began way back in ancient times! Eggs symbolized rebirth and renewal, so painting them was part of spring rituals.
Using food as egg dye does require a bit more patience. It’s not quite as easy as just dunking an egg in a plastic bowl and waiting a few minutes. In some cases, you’ll need to leave the eggs in the dye bath for an hour or more.
3. Upcycle plastic eggs
Plastic eggs aren’t exactly environmentally friendly, so I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying more. However, most of us have a bag of them somewhere in the deep recesses of a craft bin or storage closet. If your kids have egg allergies, I think it’s okay to buy a bag of them to reuse each year. That way, they don’t feel left out of the egg decorating fun.
Many of the ideas above work well for plastic eggs, especially things like yarn-wrapped eggs. You can also use old clothes or even colorful socks (clean, please!) to wrap around the plastic eggs.
4. Create an egg from scratch
Another great idea for kids with egg allergies, this one doesn’t rely on plastic! Look through your home (or your craft bin) for things that you can use to create a whole new egg! Paper mache is always an easy option. You can even just cut out egg shapes from cardboard and let young kids decorate that.
5. Buy a Plant-based egg dye kit
If you just don’t have the time to make your own natural dyes, you can still use a kit. Just make sure it includes plant-based egg dyes. Like I said above, Earth Paint is a good one with high ratings.
Again, although the FDA says that artificial dyes are safe, I’d rather err on the side of caution. Especially since the European Union requires all products containing them to carry a warning label stating that it “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” That’s reason enough to forgo the fake stuff and DIY your own egg colorant!
Last update on 2021-05-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API