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Willow Sunday Pysanka Design

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Learn this simple spring design, perfect for your Easter Basket.

Chernobyl Photography Exhibition

An easy Easter design broken down into a step-by-step guide.


Check out our blog post here on the supplies you will need, and how to prepare your egg ready for writing.

Step 1: Designing

Lightly sketch out your design on the egg.

Begin with four vertical lines dividing the egg into quadrants. Then add a further four vertical lines, one down the centre of each of the four segments. Next, add a horizonal line across the centre of the egg.

To divide the egg into the triangular pattern, drawn crescent shaped lines horizontally across the egg, starting from where the vertical line meets the horizontal line.

Once divided, alternate each triangle with the pussy willow branch and a large petal. Add four short simple lines at the centre of each egg face, resembling an 8-point star.

Step 2: Writing

To begin writing with the beeswax, heat your kistka over the flame of the candle for thirty seconds. Scoop up some wax into the back of the tool and reheat until melted. Once heated, test the flow of the wax on a piece of paper.

Start with waxing the straight lines of the egg. Use long broad lines to ensure a smoother flow of wax. Once they are connected, wax the outline of the pussy willow motifs before filling them in, to ensure they stay white in the final design.

Remember to plug each of the hollow holes with a dot of melted wax to ensure no dye enters the centre of the egg.

Step 3: Cleaning

Place the egg into the vinegar solution for five minutes to remove any excess oil and debris from the eggshell. Remember to use a plastic cup filled with water to weigh down a hollow egg.

Step 4: Dyeing

Place the egg in the orange dye. Keep checking the egg to see if it is the colour you require, leaving it in for a maximum of 15 minutes. Once done, carefully remove the egg with a spoon and dab dry with a napkin. It should look like so.

Step 5: Writing

The next step is to wax the areas of the egg that we want to retain the orange colour. In this case these areas are the eight lines at the centre of each face of the egg, and the inside of the petals in each triangular section.

Step 6: Dyeing the Final Colour

For our final colour, we chose to use a light green design for a bright spring design. If you wish to finish with a darker colour, we recommend using a dark green, royal blue, or even a dark red. As this is the final colour, leave the egg in longer to achieve a stronger colour.

Step 7: Melting the Wax

Hold the egg next to the flame of a candle to melt off the beeswax. It is important unseal the holes in the egg first, otherwise the egg will crack due to a build-up of pressure. Do not hold it too close, as this will singe the shell. Wipe the melted wax off the egg with a clean napkin. Repeat this process until all wax is removed.

Step 8: Spraying the Egg

Once the wax is removed, your pysanka egg is finished and ready to display. If you want to achieve a glossier finish, you can spray your pysanka with a clear varnish or lacquer.

Written by Leah Dorotiak for Huddersfield Ukrainian Club.

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