To celebrate the start of spring, last weekend we were invited by Lisa and Robb to attend their 2011 Egg-Stravaganza.  The purpose of the event was to spend a crafty afternoon learning the art of Pysanky.

My first attempt at creating a Pysanky-like egg

A Pysanka is a traditionally decorated Ukranian Easter egg.  The eggs are decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method.  Patterns are scribed onto the eggs using melted beeswax with a stylus tool called a kistka.

An assortment of traditional and modern Kistas used for decorating eggs with wax (Image Source: Luba Petrusha - Wikipedia)

We began on Sunday by blowing out some eggs from our hens.

We used eggs from our own hens for this project

Easier said than done with a very fresh egg.  Although we could have left the eggs whole, by removing the contents of the egg, they can later be fitted with string and hung as ornaments.

A tiny hole was made in each end of the egg, and the contents removed before decorating

The eggs are dipped in various colors of dye throughout the design process. Anywhere the wax is applied prior to dipping in dye, the egg will resist absorbing the dye.  By alternating wax and dye layers, intricate and colorful designs can be created.

This brown egg has been dyed in yellow dye after melted wax was scribed on the egg surface

When we arrived, Lisa taught us the basics of the Pysanky egg-dying method.  We primarily focused on the mechanics, rather than traditional designs this time, and had a lot of fun simply being creative with the wax and dye.

This egg has been dyed in two colors, yellow and red, with wax applied between dye coats

The egg was further decorated and dyed with a final coat of black dye

Once the wax is removed, the total pattern is revealed

Despite being somewhat artistically challenged, we had a ton of fun, and were quite proud of how our eggs turned out at the end of day.

This egg is about to receive a final coat of black dye

After the last dye step, a heat gun was used to melt the wax off of the egg, and the egg is then buffed with a paper towel

The finished result

We now have an entirely new appreciation for what it would take to produce some of the more intricately patterned eggs such as these.

Traditional Pysanky (Image Source: Luba Petrusha - Wikipedia)

Everyone had a great time being creative.  Unfortunately, we were so absorbed decorating our own eggs, we kept forgetting to take pictures, but here are some egg-samples of some of the other egg-quisitely decorated eggs that were created by others attending Lisa’s Egg-Stravaganza on Sunday. We think they’re all egg-cellent!

There were dinosaur eggs...

...Expressive Emotive Eggs...

...Fish Eggs...

...Stars and Nebulas...

...Circus-style Eggs...

...Simple Color-Blocked Eggs...

...Egg-stravagantly Patterned Eggs...

...even Curbstone Valley Farm eggs!...

I admit the chicken and spiral need work though

Possibilities were only limited by one’s own imagination, but for those short on ideas, Lisa also had a lovely collection of inspiration eggs on hand in various colors and patterns.

Egg-samples of Pysanky Eggs

Unfortunately, the time went by too quickly, but we can’t wait for the next Egg-Stravaganza so we can try our hand at this again.  We can honestly say that an egg-cellent time was had by all!

Curbstone Valley Eggs


Thanks for inviting us Lisa!


If you’re interested in creating your own Pysanky eggs, some craft stores, and numerous online retailers, have supplies and kits available.

For more information about Pysanky:

Instructions for creating Pysanky by Jennifer Minnis

Pysanka Museum – Ukraine