How many times has this happened to you? You go to the grocery store in the days leading up to Easter, hoping to find white eggs that will take those traditional pastel dyes so nicely. But you’re not the first one with that idea, and all that’s left are brown eggs.

Relax—all is not lost. You can still enjoy Easter egg dyeing this year. Just give your Easter eggs a natural look this holiday. Rather than dousing your eggs in a variety of paints across the color spectrum, let the natural brown color of the shell form a base for a cohesive egg collection that’s more elegant than buoyant. 

Start by gathering the materials you’ll need to create three variations on natural Easter eggs: brown eggs, paper towels, washi tape, two small bowls, fine-tipped paintbrushes, a toothbrush, and edible paint. 

On one egg, create a stencil pattern using the tape (which also prevents mixed-paint faux pas), then paint between the lines. Carefully peel off the tape as your design is revealed. The best designs contrast the brown background. Paint another egg with an eye-catching gold color, then use a paper towel to blot. This simple design creates an aesthetic that’s weathered yet sophisticated. For the third version, use a toothbrush to lightly splatter the egg with paint. First, lightly dip the toothbrush in paint. To create the splattered effect, gently brush your fingers across the toothbrush, directing paint to fly onto the egg. Not only will you save dye, you’ll avoid having your fingers stained the colors of the rainbow for several days after. (And you won’t have to spend the weekend before Easter frantically driving from store to store trying to find the last carton of white eggs in the state.)