I’m not a big Easter decorator but once in a while, I find things that I really love and want to add to my Easter decor. I’ve found many beautiful pysanky egg designs lately and I want to tell you more about these beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs.
Pysanky egg designs
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Pysanky egg designs can be incredibly intricate and beautiful, featuring a wide variety of symbols and motifs. The designs typically use various shapes, such as triangles and squares, to represent the sun, stars, and the eternal cycle of life and rebirth.
The appearance of pysanky designs can be greatly impacted by the region where they are made. For example, those from the Carpathian Mountains often showcase complex geometric designs, while the designs from the Hutsul region frequently include intricate floral patterns. Overall, pysanky egg designs are diverse and meaningful, with each element carrying its own symbolic significance.
Flowers are also a popular motif and represent love, beauty, and nature, with roses, lilies, and tulips being the most common.
Many designs feature animals, and each animal carries its own symbolic meaning. For example, a rooster may represent the coming of a new day, while a deer may symbolize beauty and grace.
Religious designs are popular as well and often incorporate symbols such as crosses, angels, and the Virgin Mary, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the renewal of life.
The geometric patterns tend to be my favorite. Usually, they are shaped with dots, circles, triangles, and squares and the tools used are pretty much the same as the dotting tools used for mandala patterns.
Since I love to craft, I bought dotting tools and started to practice on some wooden eggs. It’s not easy but definitely fun. If you remember, I’m not entirely new to mandala patterns. Below you can see a small basket full of my first attempts from this past weekend.
This is a fascinating YouTube video where someone is painting a similar pattern with a dotting tool.
The history of Pysanky eggs
Pysanky eggs originate from the Ukrainian tradition of egg decorating. The word “pysanka” comes from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty”, which means “to write”.
Pysanky eggs have a long history in Ukraine, with evidence of decorated eggs dating back to pre-Christian times. The tradition of decorating eggs for Easter became more widespread with the arrival of Christianity in Ukraine. People used the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection and new life.
Pysanky eggs have different names depending on the region or language. In Ukraine, they are called “pysanky” or “krashanky”. In Poland, they are known as “pisanki”, while in Belarus, they are called “pisanki” or “krashanki”. Russians call them “krashenki” or “krasnye yaitsa”.
Regardless of the name, the tradition of decorating eggs for Easter is a rich and meaningful part of many Eastern European cultures. That includes Germany too.
How to make Pysanky eggs
Believe me, I really wanted to learn how to make them myself and after reading about the history and how to make them I noticed the complicated craftsmanship behind them.
To make Ukrainian Pysanky eggs, one draws designs on a blown-out egg using a special tool called a “kistka” and hot melted beeswax. Next, one dips the egg into a series of egg dyes, with the wax serving as a resist to protect the design. Finally, after applying the final dye, one melts off the wax to reveal the colorful design.
There are even Pysanky egg DIY kits for sale to help with all the steps to make them.
And yes that sounds complicated for sure. As I mentioned above already, that’s why some people (me included) just try to replicate the designs and patterns by painting them on an egg/wooden egg with paint. It’s certainly a bit scary to put so much time and work into decorating a fragile eggshell that can break so easily. Here are some beautifully painted wooden egg examples:
Maybe one day I will try to come up with my own version and tutorial. For now, here is a great tutorial on how to make Pysanky Easter eggs with beeswax, tools, and dyes.
And there are different websites that offer free Pysanky designs for download.
Where to buy Pysanky eggs
Etsy is always my favorite place to look for unique handmade items. There are beautiful pysanky eggs for sale. Even better is that some of them get shipped right from Ukraine. It would be great to support these small businesses and Ukrainian artists, wouldn’t it? This Ukrainian gift shop has all kinds of beautiful traditional Ukrainian merchandise, even clothing. Check them out!
The below eggs are all crafted with real eggs. Yes definitely super fragile! There are even ostrich eggs that fascinate me.
You can also buy the wooden version on Amazon which is a great option if you need them fast. I definitely always try to support small businesses first. However, keep in mind that there are small businesses on Amazon as well.
Aren’t they all beautiful works of art? They would make great gifts as well, especially a hostess gift for Easter.
If you want a much easier craft then check out how to make DIY gold foil Easter eggs.