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How to Color Potatoes for Easter (Instead of Eggs)

With the high price of eggs and the lack of availability, you might think that your Easter egg coloring days are done. But don’t despair! Did you know that you can color potatoes for Easter instead of eggs?

Yes, weird, but true! Coloring potatoes with Easter egg dyes is easy to do. And much cheaper than buying eggs.

Dyeing potatoes with Easter egg dye is especially fun for Easter “egg” hunts and Easter egg displays because they look so much like eggs!

Helpful Tips for Making Easter Egg Dyed Potatoes

Dyeing potatoes instead of eggs is something that most people haven’t had to do until 2023. So you probably have some questions!

Here are the helpful tips and tricks we found along the way while doing this new method:

  • White and gold potatoes work best. The smaller, the better.
  • Baby potatoes look the best Easter egg alternatives. Plus, they are great for kids to handle during Easter egg hunts.
  • Don’t peel the potatoes beforehand! It will cause such a mess!
  • Yes, you can eat the potatoes afterwards as long as you don’t use a material to prevent the dye from transferring (see supplies section below). This makes a colorful meal for Easter dinner!
  • Gel food dye doesn’t dry, so it would create a huge mess to use the gel version. 

How to Color Potatoes Instead of Eggs for Easter

These Easter egg dyed potatoes use the same types of materials as you are used to for dyeing eggs. You only need two ingredients and about 15 minutes to make dyed potatoes that will have all of your friends and family saying how smart you are!


  • Water-Based Food Coloring (no gel food coloring!)
  • Baby Delicious White or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Small Paint Brushes
  • Water (optional)
  • Small Bowls (optional)
  • Paper Towels (optional)
  • Rubber Gloves (optional)
  • Hairspray (optional)


Step 1

Prepare your work area so that you don’t stain things with the food coloring. Have your rubber gloves, water and paper towels nearby in case things get messy (and they will)!

Using one small potato, put one drop of food coloring dye directly on the potato.

Use only one drop of food coloring at a time!

Then, with a paint brush, spread the dye around on the potato.

We chose to use only one color on each potato. However, you can do multiple colors by applying drops on the potato in different sections.

Depending on the size of the potato, you might need to add more than one drop of dye to completely cover the spud. Only use one drop at a time, though, because these colors are super concentrated.

Repeat with all of your potatoes.

Put the potatoes on paper towels and let dry for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could rest the potatoes on cookie cooling racks with paper towels under the rack. That way, the dye won’t come off on the paper towel.

If you don’t want any of the dye to rub off when handling the potatoes (such as with an “Easter egg” hunt), then spray a light coating of hairspray over the potatoes, making sure to cover all of the surfaces.

Let the Easter egg dyed potatoes dry for a few more minutes to allow the hairspray to harden. 

Be sure to see all of our DIY Easter crafts!

FAQs About Dyeing Potatoes To Look Like Easter Eggs

Can I Use Gel Food Coloring?

We definitely don’t recommend using gel food dye because it takes so long to dry. In fact, it doesn’t ever really dry.

If you are in a pinch and really need to dye potatoes with gel food coloring because it is the only thing you have on hand, you can add a very thin layer of dye to the potatoes. Then leave them to try overnight.

Can I Use the Traditional Vinegar and Food Color Method to Dye Potatoes?

No. The traditional and common method of using food coloring, water and vinegar in a cup does not work on potatoes. Very little color is absorbed by the potatoes.

Related Post: Beginner’s Guide to Dyeing Easter Eggs with Food Coloring

Can I Use the Kool-Aid Method to Dye Potatoes Like Easter Eggs?

No. The easy Kool-Aid Egg Dyeing method does not work to dye potatoes.

Related Post: 5 Colorful and Natural Easter Egg Dyes to Make

Do I Need to Wash the Potatoes?

Probably not. If you are buying small potatoes, especially if they are bagged potatoes, they are often washed already or not too dirty.

If you feel like you want to wash the potatoes first, do so and then allow to dry completely.

Should I Peel the Potatoes First?

No! Peeling the potatoes creates a starchy wet, gooey mess! You know how when you cut a potato there is moisture that releases? Well, peeling the potatoes releases that moisture and it isn’t great for dyeing potatoes like Easter eggs.

Yes, peeled potatoes will absorb dye and will be colorful. But the outer edges will be jagged and rough, not at all like a smooth egg.

Can I Eat the Potatoes if They Are Colored?

Yes! These dyed potatoes are definitely edible and can be used in recipes after dyeing them.

However, if you have covered the potatoes with hairspray to prevent dye transfer, then no, you should not eat the potatoes.

You can rinse the potatoes to get off as much of the food coloring dye as you can. However, it is not necessary.

Or peel the potatoes to remove a lot of the coloring, which sticks in the skins. However, some of the potato flesh could be dyed, as well.

These colorful spuds would make such a pretty mashed potato dish or colorful French fries afterwards!

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