Pioneer Easter Eggs

“Pioneer Easter Eggs,” Friend, Apr. 1980, inside front cover

Pioneer Easter Eggs

Have you ever wondered how children colored Easter eggs before egg dye could be bought in a store? Here’s one method used by our pioneer ancestors that your family might enjoy trying during a home evening.

The next time your mother goes to the grocery store, ask her to gather up some of the loose onionskins and put them in a sack. There probably will be no charge. Then have your mother buy some carrots with the green tops still on. You can also use parsley or celery leaves, dandelion greens, or any other type of greens available in your area.

When you are ready to color your eggs, put a large handful of onionskins into kettle of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and, while onionskins simmer, take raw eggs and wrap them in greens and carefully bind them tightly with string. The design will be printed only where greens are firmly pressed against eggs. The eggs should then be gently lowered into boiling onionskin water and hard boiled. As soon as they are removed from water, strings may be cut and leaves removed. You will be delighted to see what interesting designs you have made.

Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh