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How To Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs With Children and Adults
Have you ever had a chance to make Ukrainian Easter eggs? Anyone can do this, from beginners to advance. It is a lot of fun. Children can even make them. And the reason why I know this is because I taught this to a lot of children. The best age to start them making Ukrainian Easter eggs is age 5 or once they start kindergarten. The reason for this; it is a good age where they can hold the egg properly. This will also improve their small motor skills. The children will have to be supervised by an adult. Also this is a good project for the parent and child/children bonding together. So as you can see not only is this a good way for the children to use their small motor skills, this is also an excellent way to get the parents closer with their child/children and have fun doing so.
Traditional Designs for Ukrainian Easter Eggs and There Meaning
Horses and Deers – means wealth and prosperity.
Birds, Roosters and Hens – means fulfillment of wishes.
Wheat, Pine Trees, and Hens Feet – means health and eternal health.
Flowers – means love and charity.
Circle and Sun – means good fortune.
Triangle – means trinity.
Belts and Ribbons – means eternity.
Dots Any Size – means Virgin Mary’s tears.
Cross – means crucifixion. The cross can be any style (ie: triangles shaped like a cross).
Traditional Colors and There Meaning
The first 7 colors are the most popular used. And they are used in this order.
Yellow – means spirituality.
Green – means money
Blue – means health.
Orange – means attraction.
Red – means love.
Black – means remembrance.
Purple – means high power.
Brown – means happiness.
Pink – means success
You can buy powder dyes shown in (Photo 1), and by following the instructions, or you can buy Wilton’s cake decorating pastes shown in (Photo 2), and make your own edible dye.
To make your own egg dye:
Use hot boiled water, pour 1 cup into a short wide mouth clear glass jar. Then take Wilton’s colored pastes (ie: yellow). Take a wide butter knife and dip in paste and scoop out about a ¼ teaspoon and stir in water till dissolved. Then add ¼ cup vinegar, and stir. Let sit overnight or until completely cooled.
Now if you really want to be creative try making your dye this way:
Yellow onion skins steeped makes the color yellow.
Spinach steeped makes the color green.
The juice from beets makes the color red.
Tea or Coffee already brewed makes the color brown
Remember whichever dye method you use; if it is making your own dyes the natural way, using edible pastes, or buying the commercial dyes, you need vinegar to bring the colors alive. Also you can mix your dyes. (ie: I had some powder dyes made up, but I didn’t have a certain color that I needed, so I made a edible dye with my Wilton’s pastes).
Now each color needs there own jar, dipping the egg in a commercial dye and then in an edible dye turned out okay.
Different ways to prepare your egg before you start
Hollow Egg – To make your egg hollow you have to poke a hole at both ends of the egg and blow the inside out. First of all I don’t recommend this if you are a beginner or a child. The hollow eggs are very fragile and they will float when dying them.
Boil Egg – I recommend this with the children. If they crack the egg, you won’t have to clean the mess. The only thing that you might have when boiling the eggs is that you might get the odd grease spot on them and the dye might not cover it.
Raw Egg – This is the most popular in Ukrainian Egg decorating. This is better for beginners but not for children. These eggs are very fragile and if it cracks you might have a mess to clean. So when you dip the egg in the dye be very careful and when you take it out.
Now that you have all the information, next is drawing your design on paper that you will be putting on your egg. Now at the same time figure out what colors you will be using and where they are going to go on your design. This should be done before you start decorating. And then choose what kind of egg you will be using; boiled, raw, or hollow.
Stuff you need for eggs
What you will need for decorating eggs.
Newspaper - to cover table
Candle – tapered candles are the best
Clear glass jars with wide mouth – for each color, and lids to seal jars when finished
Matches or lighter
Tablespoon – used for dipping and taking out egg
Stylus – used for drawing on egg with wax
Pencil – to draw on egg
Soft clean cloth – for polishing egg when finished
Paper towels – for dabbing wet dye on egg and taking wax off egg
Elastic bands – different sizes
White wash – for bleaching egg (optional)
NOW LET’S GET CRACKING.....In Other Words…..LET’S START DECORATING
Start decorating the egg
- Use the elastic band to make lines on egg (Photo 4), and draw your pattern on the egg. (Photo 5) and (Photo 6)
- Heat the wide part of the stylus first to make it easier to scoop some of the wax. Put a little amount of wax into the stylus. Then heat the wax a little bit at the wide end, then heat the tip part of the stylus a little bit until the wax comes out.Then use the tip to outline or/and cover whatever you want white with the wax. Keep doing this until you have finished with the white. See (Photo 7)
- Now using the next color (ie: yellow), dip the the egg using the spoon into that color. Let sit till the desired color you prefer. The wax will keep the other parts white. (Photo 8)
- Once you covered the yellow egg with wax that you wanted yellow. Dip into the next color (ie: green) (Photo 9). Now keep repeating this procedure over and over again to the rest of the colors you want to use, until you get to your last color. (Photos 10 - 17 ) shows you the order that you would be using. Just remember when you dip the eggs in the colors, make sure you start from light to dark. These pictures show you the front and side where the wax covers the colors on the egg.
- The last color (ie: black) was used in (Photo 17). Now you could leave the egg with black as your background color and then melt all the wax off the egg. Or you can white wash the egg for the finished background color.
- If you white wash the egg, but you want to use some of the black color in the egg design, then you have to fill in the black with the wax to keep that color. Once you have done that making sure you have not taken any wax off the egg, you then dip the egg in the bleach solution till the background goes white. (Photo 18 & 19)
- Take the egg out of solution, damp it dry. Then melt all the wax off the egg very gently with the paper towels a little at a time. You might find that the wax does not come off the egg as easily when bleached. (Photo 20)
To make the bleach solution: Use 1 cup of warm water and 2 tablespoons of bleach and stir well. Make sure that your glass jar has a tight lid to seal the jar when finished. You can keep using the same bleach solution and the dyes over and over again. I have stored my dyes in tight sealed jars for years and they are still good. The only thing I did was add hot tape water if needed (some water might have evaporated a little if the jars are not sealed tightly enough) and a little more vinegar.
I have a neat tip for you which works great!! After you have taken the wax off your bleached egg, take a BLACK SHARPIE MARKER that has two ends, a fine and ultra fine end (Photo 21) and touch up the black that you had in your design. Because when you put wax on the black egg, it is hard to see if you covered it completely.(Photo 17)
Once all the wax is taken off your egg, you will see the awesome results of your finished egg.
For the final touch you can polish your egg gently with a soft cloth to give a nice shine or you can glaze them with some type of varnish, but then you would have to let your egg dry. But for me just shining them with a cloth works just as good.
Now you might think that your egg is not good enough. Well neither are mine. But I am still going to make them. Mine may not be perfect, but there are a lot of Ukrainian Easter Eggs out there that are not perfect either. But they are still beautiful and they are one of a kind! And just take a look at what you accomplished and how much fun you had making them with your child/children.
I also found that these eggs don't have to be just for Easter. You can make them for any occasion (ie: Christmas; drawing a Christmas design) I know that at the beginning of this hub I mentioned the symbols and colors of tradition, but that does not mean you can't put any design on your egg.
Be creative and have fun making them!!