Ukrainian Eggs

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Circle Weekend Crafts

Ukrainian Eggs click picture to see alarger view

Ukrainian dyed eggs (pysanky, as they are called in the Ukraine) are admired the world over for their detailed designs and delicate beauty. Now you can learn this surprisingly quick method of using beeswax and colorful dyes to create some of the diminutive works of art pictured here. These decorated eggs, considered to be symbolic of a gift of life, make wonderful gifts for cherished friends and exquisite decorations that can be enjoyed for years. //


– Water-soluble dyes: light green, red, pink and purple or colors of your choice – Pint-size widemouthed jars and lids for dyes – Fresh white raw eggs, at room temperature – Wax stylus (Kistka) – Candle in holder – Beeswax – Varnish solvent – Varnish or polyurethane – White vinegar; thumbtacks; stiff cardboard; tissues or paper towels; spoons;pencil

Ukrainian Eggs

If you make this project

we’d love to see it! Just send your photos and comments to the editor and it may get published on our Facebook fan page !

What you do

Note: Select eggs that are unblemished and clean. If cleaning is necessary, wash gently (do not rub) in a solution of I tablespoon white vinegar to 1 quart warm water. (Do not use soap to clean eggs.) Let eggs air-dry or gently pat dry with tissues. figure 1 figure 2

If you make this project

we’d love to see it! Just send your photos and comments to the editor and it may get published on our Facebook fan page !

What you do


Prepare dyes in advance according to manufacturer’s instructions so that dyes can cool to room temperature before being used. Using a wide mouthed jar for each color will make dipping and dyeing easier. Make a drying rack for each egg you wish to decorate by pushing 3 thumbtacks through a piece of stiff cardboard 1/2″ to 1″ apart to form a triangle. Turn cardboard over with tack points facing up. The egg will sit on th points when drying.

Dyeing and Decorating

Place egg on a spoon and lower into light green dye. When desired shade is obtained (after 5 to 15 minutes), remove egg from dye and pat dry with tissue. Using FIG. 1 as a guide, draw design (consisting of vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines) lightly on egg with pencil. These lines are used as guides and will not show on completed egg. Heat the head of the Kistka in the flame of the candle. Then scoop out a little beeswax into the funnel of the tool by scraping cup of tool on surface of wax (FIG. 2). figure 3

When creating different color elements of a design, keep in mind that whatever color dye is covered with wax is going to appear that color on finished egg. Start by creating the green triangles of the design: Hold the Kistka in one hand while rotating egg with other hand. Keeping the Kistka at right (45′) angle with egg, follow the pencil guidelines and fill in triangles, allowing wax to flow evenly (FIG. 3). (Be patient, this takes practice!) Reheat the Kistka as you work, being careful not to overheat the tool, because the wax will drip if the Kistka is too hot. The wax will appear black as it flows onto egg. figure 4 figure 5 figure 6

Place egg on a spoon and lower into the red dye (FIG. 4). (Always start with the lightest colors first when dyeing.) When desired shade is obtained, remove egg and pat dry with tissue. Do not rub. Now fill in with wax whatever lines or areas of the design you want to have as red (FIG. 5). Place egg in the pink dye and remove when desired shade is obtained (FIG. 6). Pat dry. figure 7 figure 8 figure 09

Fill in with wax the areas of the design you want to have as pink (FIG. 7). Place egg in the purple dye and remove when desired shade is obtained (FIG. 8). Pat dry figure 10

Removing Wax

Hold egg to the side of the candle flame (FIG. 9) and as wax melts wipe it off with tissues or paper towels. (Wiping will not smear or remove any of the dye.) Do not hold egg over top of the flame; if you do, the carbon from the flame will singe the egg and ruin it.

Repeat until all wax is removed. Remove wax remnants by placing a small amount of varnish solvent on a tissue and wiping entire egg carefully. Be sure that you do not use solvent near the candle flame. 12. Varnishing: Place a few drops of varnish or polyurethane in the palm of your hand and rotate egg until it is coated with a thin layer of varnish. Place egg on a drying rack to dry (FIG. 10). Repeat this process if you want a shinier finish on egg. Wipe off hands with solvent to remove varnish, then wash hands well with soap and water.

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This craft courtesy of Family Circle Weekend Crafts.

Family Circle Weekend Crafts (26 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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