How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Three Parts:PreparationApplying the DesignFinishing Up

Pysanky - The ancient Ukrainian art of decorating Easter eggs. It's pretty hard to do, but once you get the hang of it, it's a breeze. Your loved ones will be mystified by the beautiful handiwork and might not even believe you did it by hand.

Part 1

  1. Image titled Pysanky
    Choose your design. You can look at various websites for a template.
  2. 2
    Place newspapers on your work area to prevent staining and make sure you choose a place with good lighting as you don't want to mess up.
  3. 3
    Mix your dyes. There should be instructions on the package. If the dye package says to add some vinegar, add vinegar. If it doesn't, don't do it. If you add the wrong items when you are mixing the dye, it can have a negative effect afterwards. Meanwhile, take out the eggs and let them reach room temperature.
  4. 4
    Pour the mixed dyes into jars and place the eggs on a bed of tissues.
  5. 5
    Clean your eggs with a mixture of vinegar and water (look in the Things You'll Need section for more information). Always dab the mixture on with a tissue.

Part 2
Applying the Design

  1. 1
    Draw the selected design onto the egg lightly with a pencil. If drawn on lightly, it's okay to make mistakes because the lines won't show in the final product.
  2. 2
    Heat the head of the kistka in the flame of the candle for 20-30 seconds. Then, scoop a little beeswax into the funnel of the kistka. Reheat the kistka in the flame until the wax is melted. If you leave the kistka in the flame too long, it might catch on fire. (Don't worry, they are very easy to blow out!)
  3. 3
    Test out the flow of the wax - this is crucial - on some newspaper before applying on the egg. You don't want mistakes.
  4. 4
    Cover all pencil lines on both sides of the egg with the wax. When done, double check for any unsealed wax lines. Dip the egg in your preferred base color. Leave the eggs in for about 15 minutes then dab dry. You should dye your egg in the sequence of light to dark.

Part 3
Finishing Up

  1. 1
    When you have reached the stage of the final color, recheck the wax for any unwanted gaps and then dip your egg in the dye. Wait for about 15-20 minutes, dab the color until dry and let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. 2
    Take the egg and hold it near the side of the flame. Do not hold it over the top. Wait a few seconds or until the wax looks wet, then wipe off with a tissue. Try to use a fresh side of the tissue every time you wipe the wax off.
  3. 3
    If you wish to varnish the egg, do it now. You're almost done!
  4. 4
    Let the egg sit for 15-20 minutes and then you can put it on display! Congratulations, you have just made some Ukrainian Easter eggs!


  • Be sure to purchase Ukrainian Easter egg dyes and not the regular food dyes. This art requires special food dyes. It's best to order them online as it is quite rare to find.
  • The eggs must be raw and at room temperature. Should you come upon hairline cracks in the egg, don't use it.

Things You'll Need

  • Dyes - There are 6 basic colors: yellow, orange, light blue, light green, scarlet and black. There are other colors but they're usually for the more advanced egg artists.
  • Orange dye wash - Only to use when you want to include streaks of orange on your egg.
  • Kistka (stylus) - This art style uses a similar stylus to the one of batik (the canting). You can get electrical kistkas or traditional kistkas.
  • Beeswax - You use this to block out the patterns on the egg. You need a kistka to apply the beeswax.
  • Varnish (optional) - Make your egg glossy and so it won't lose its color so fast.
  • Eggs
  • White vinegar - 1/2 cup water to 1 tsp vinegar
  • Newspaper
  • Tissues
  • Candles
  • Spoons
  • Pencil
  • Cotton swabs
  • Elastic bands
  • Drying rack

Article Info

Categories: Easter Crafts