How to Make a Pysanka - Ukrainian Easter Egg What you will need: 1 clean white egg (there is much debate on jars for dye what eggs work best, some swear by farm old or plastic spoons for dye eggs, others say store bought work just as Kleenex well) paper towels kistka - writing tool white cotton rags dyes - traditional colors are yellow, orange, iron red, black candle bees wax 1. Come up with a plan of how you want your egg to look. My mother uses different thicknesses of elastic bands to make lines on her eggs. You can use pencil but do so sparingly as it shows through the white, and NEVER erase on an egg. 2. Make sure your egg does not have any cracks and is free from blemishes. It’s best not to hold it with your bare hands as the oils from your hands may get on the egg and hinder the dye taking. Use a kleenex. 3. Mix your dyes according to directions. If you can’t find these dyes where you live you can go by the traditional methods, boil onion skins for yellow and beet juice for red. 4. Light your candle. Hold just the tip of your kistka in the flame. Be careful because they catch on fire occasionally. When it is warm enough put a small amount of the bees wax into it. Heat it a little bit more, keeping it upright from now on or wax will spill out on your egg or worse on you. (It’s a good idea to do this on a covered table and wear grubby clothes because wax is a real pain to get out.) 5. Start writing on your egg. It will be difficult to make straight lines at first on a curved surface so it might be good to start out a first egg just with dots. 6. You will need to heat your kistka regularly as well as add wax when necessary. 7. If you want to do some small areas with blue or green you can use food coloring and a toothpick to apply. Make sure you cover the area with wax after so that it will hold its color. 8. When you have done enough that you want to remain white on your egg, dip it into the yellow dye for about 5 minutes. Take the egg out carefully into a paper towel do not rub, just blot dry. 9. Now you can start working on those areas you want to remain yellow after the wax is removed. 10. The next color is orange – wax those areas you want to be orange, then red - make sure you get everything you want covered because at the last dying into black you’re done! 11. Now take your black egg in a cloth because it’s time to remove the wax and see the beauty underneath. There are a number of ways to get the wax off. My Baba (grandmother) uses an old iron and rubs a rag onto it, then presses the hot rag onto the egg to wipe off the wax. Others carefully put the egg into a candle flame and wipe off the wax. I find that the carbon from the flame gets on the egg. Another way is to put the egg in a warm oven and wipe the wax off as it starts to melt, watch it carefully because you do not want a cooked egg. 12. Options - you can leave your egg au natural, with the insides intact or you can blow out your egg. Sometimes the full eggs explode so it may be wise to empty it out. My Baba carefully makes a hole in one end with a pin then inserts this giant syringe and sucks the yolk out. Other people make two holes in each end of the egg and blow it out. Do so carefully as the egg shell is very fragile. You can also varnish your egg with clear varnish, not water based or your dye will run. 13. Enjoy your pysanka! Display it proudly for it can last centuries.