Got some time and a lot of patience? Dial up your Easter egg dyeing game with pysanky

Garden-goers in Honolulu try their hand at the deceptively-difficult Ukranian Easter Egg

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Want to dial up your Easter egg dyeing game this year? Try taking a crack at pysanky.

The vibrant and intricately-designed eggs are made by using a repetitive wax resist batik method.

Pysanky are Ukrainian — the name means "to write" — and the art form dates back more than 1,000 years.

In Ukrainian folklore, pysanky were thought to protect people from evil spirits, catastrophe, lightning and even fires.

Foster Botanical Garden Instructor Melody Fanning has been making pysanky for more than 30 years. And earlier this month, she sat down with a group of people of all different ages to share how she makes these beautiful eggs.

Warning: If you're not a patient person, best to step away from this craft project. It's also not recommended for kids under 6. 

How to make pysanky 

Step One: Hollow out an egg, then draw a pattern on it using a pencil (pressing very lightly). If your stencil is off, don't try to erase it — that could mess up the dying process. Instead, put a rubber band around the egg to help you make straight lines.

Step Two: Plug the hole you made to hollow out the egg with a small amount of melted wax.

Step Three: Over the lines you've drawn with the pencil, apply beeswax. Traditionally a metal funnel-shaped tool called a "kystka" is used in this step. If you can't find a "kystka" at the craft store or online, there are several DIY options available for making the tool.

Step Four: Dip the egg in the lightest dye you want to use. The waxed areas will shield the dye from the egg. Dry in a cloth or paper towel.

Step Five: Do not remove the wax as you repeat the previous steps until reaching your desired layers of color (light to dark). You can use a cotton swab or toothpick to fill in larger sections with dye.

Step Six: When finished, melt the wax off the egg using a candle flame. Hold the egg close to the flame but not directly on it. Wipe the wax away as it melts.

Step Seven: If you desire a shiny finish, spray the dyed egg with shellac.

Upcoming Easter Events 

While the city is not hosting anymore Ukrainian Egg classes this year at Foster Botanical Garden, the Department of Parks and Recreation is sponsoring  a number of other Easter events in the coming days.

  • March 29 Easter Eggstravaganza  (4 p.m. -7 p.m.) at Windward Mall
  • March 31 Kamehameha Community Park Easter Egg Hunt & Fun Fair  (9 a.m. -12 p.m.)  at Kamehameha Community Park
  • March 31 Koko Head Complex Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza  (9:00 a.m.)  at Koko Head District Park

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