How to decorate eggs; egg decorating

Among the most intricately decorated eggs are pysanky from the Ukraine. Uncooked eggs, or whole egg shells from which the egg has been blown, are colored by a wax-resist method similar to batik. Beeswax is applied with a stylus called a kistka. The eggs are then dipped in chemical dyes and varnished. If you want to try this intricate art, you might look for a kit of materials and instructions in a museum shop or a crafts-supply store.

An easier method is to use cooled, hard-cooked eggs, a wax crayon or melted candle wax and paintbrush, and vegetable dyes. Dip the eggs in vinegar so that the dye will adhere better; drain and dry them. Prepare the dyes according to package instructions and let them cool.

With a white wax crayon or a small paintbrush dipped in melted candle wax, paint a design on the part of the egg that is to remain white. Lower the egg into yellow dye with a spoon; leave it there 5 minutes or more, turning it for an even coat. When the color is deep enough, lift it out and let it dry.

Next cover the areas you want to remain yellow with more wax and go on to dye with other colors: orange, red, green, blue, purple. It’s best to limit each egg to three colors; otherwise the final shade will be dull.

After the final dye bath, place each egg on paper toweling in a warm oven, leaving the door open. When the wax looks shiny, remove the eggs and wipe away the wax with paper toweling.

Another resist method is to apply lines of masking liquid (sold in art stores) to cooled, hard-cooked eggs. Color the eggs as above, using chemical dyes, then peel off the masking material. Do not eat the eggs.