Ukrainian Easter Egg Study Guide and Craft
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I know this seems a little out there, but I have a Ukrainian Easter Egg Study Guide and Craft project for you to help celebrate Easter today. We will take an egg and decorate it – simply with yarn and turn it into a carrot. It is nothing like a true Pysaty, but it helps get the message across to the littles.
Here is the fun thing about this craft, it ties into a fantastic history lesson for the littles on Eastern Europe egg crafts.
One of the things we learned from hosting a Child of Chernobyl for a few summers was the art of Ukrainian egg decorating. For Easter, Ukrainians make pysanky – Easter eggs decorated in the batik method. They use real eggs, blow out the yolks, and clean them before actual decorations start.
These traditional Ukrainian folk designs are created using a wax-resist method. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, “to write” or “to inscribe”, as the designs are not painted on, but written (inscribed) with beeswax. Then they are colored, from lighter tones to darker ones, before the wax is melted off to show the final design.
An egg with a simple pattern could take at least 2 hours to do, but most take a lot longer.
Here is a great video that can teach you more about Pysaty:
You can see the layers and layers that are added slowly, from light dye to a darker and progressively darker dye. There is painstaking care to first remove the wax plugs at the end of the eggs before the slow melt and wipe process of clearing the wax off the eggs.
It is funny to know that ONLY women were historically credited for this art form – men weren’t allowed in the rooms that these gems were decorated in, historically. And what a history they have! They have found some that date back to the 1600s!
That is beyond amazing as these eggs are delicate, yet very fragile, making them worth so much. They will last indefinitely if they are carefully stored.
Now, this craft is something you can do with the littles – I show a REAL egg being used, but you can get plastic eggs at your local Dollar Tree and use one of those instead. It is easier for the little hands to work with.
I am NOT using hot glue here either – you can get plain white glue on little hands and wash it off easily. It is water-soluble. They may need a little help cutting or working with the green carrot top – that would help eliminate their frustration.
Ukrainian Easter Egg Study Guide and Craft
Now, let’s talk about turning this into a learning opportunity!
I have whipped up an unofficial Homeschool guide for Ukrainian Eggs.
You can get it here: Ukrainian Easter Egg Study Guide
It goes into a little more detail about how to make the Ukrainian Eggs, what tools are used, the history of them, as well as giving kids a chance to not only decorate their own egg but study up a little more on decorated eggs and how they relate to Easter. I added a few fun sheets too like a word search and coloring sheet! It is 10 pages of fun.
So, we don’t want to work with hot wax or dye that stains their clothes – that is how we came up with Crafting A Carrot from An Egg! It uses four simple things and is easy enough for the littles to do.
List of Supplies:
- Empty Egg Shell
- Yarn – orange
- Felt – green
- Craft glue or hot glue
Drain, wash and dry the eggshell. Poke a small hole to drain the egg. Make sure that the hole isn’t too big. Cut out a piece of paper into a round shape, slightly bigger than the hole on the eggshell.
Apply glue around the hole of the eggshell and then place the round paper cutout on the glued part around the hole.
Step – 3:
Cut out a small piece of green felt (2 cm X 5 cm)and cut even fringes along either side of the length.
Step – 4:
Roll the fringed felt piece nice and tight.
Step – 5:
Place the eggshell on a small cup-like object; I’m using a bottle cap. Start to wrap the eggshell with orange-colored yarn. Start from either narrow ends. Apply glue on the shell and then coil yarn around the egg to cover the shell.
Step – 6:
Continue to wrap the eggshell with orange yarn.
Step – 7:
Try to cover the eggshell nicely, making sure that the shell part isn’t visible.
Step – 8:
When you’re done covering the whole eggshell you can cut off extra yarn from the bundle and apply a drop of glue to secure the end of the yarn wrapping.
Step – 9:
Attach the felt coiled piece (the leaf) on either narrow end of the yarn-wrapped eggshell to complete the craft.