Easter Fun for Kids of All Ages: "Faux Pysanky" and Norwegian Easter Cookies

P1100390 Making more "faux Pysanky" was not on my calendar! But I had so much fun making the marker Pysanky when I was playing with different ways to decorate brown eggs for Easter, that I just HAD to blow out more eggs to make more.

I have shared a few tips below - but first....


Norwegian Easter Cookies!

Baking cookies wasn't exactly on my calendar either, but while reading the current issue of "Sons of Norway" magazine, I noticed a cookie recipe that reminded me of a Norwegian cookie recipe I had been saving to try for three years!

Norwegian Christmas Cookies are featured on Epicurious. Since I made mine at Easter time, I sprinkled a little pink sugar over the tops and voila! - Norwegian Easter Cookies!

The cookies are delicious! Kids will have fun helping to roll the cookie dough in balls, making little nests with their thumbs and filling with sparkling sugar crystals.

And the recipe makes about 10 dozen so you will have cookies to celebrate May Day too!

But bake these cookies about three weeks ahead!  They just seem to need the storage time to develop their full flavor.


Now, back to eggs!

Before I share tips for making "faux" Pysanky, I wanted to introduce you to brilliant egg artist - Katy David. I just popped over to her site so I could share a couple links with you and I see that she has just posted a beautiful series of images showing how she creates her amazing Pysanky eggs. Don''t even hesitate! Go see!

And while you are visiting Katyegg Design, be sure to scroll through past posts because you will not want to miss seeing the gorgeous traditional eggs she shares on her blog like this one or this one or this one!

Don't miss her less traditional Turtle in Space and  Lavendar Iris and Tippyloo!


Because there is NO special equipment needed and the process is NOT messy, "faux Pysanky" are perfect for kids! Bake up a batch of Norwegian Easter Cookies for them to munch while working and they should be happily entertained for a whole afternoon!

All you need to have on hand are blown out eggs, pencil and Sharpies (or the washable markers for the wee little ones).

I use brown eggs for two reasons - I am playing with only brown eggs this year, and brown eggs give your Pysanky an instant background color. If you are lucky enough to be able to get your hands on some blue eggs, all the better!

Added after posting: a request from a reader prompted me to add these links to "how to blow out an egg".  Mouth blowing method here and syringe method here.


Of course you or your kids can draw anything you want on your eggs, but to create more traditional looking designs, you will need to make a series of straight, intersecting lines on your egg. Using rubber bands stretched around my eggs and tweaked until the band is as straight as possible makes a great guideline.

Refer to Gail's Pysanky tutorial on That Artist Woman for the basic divisions you will need.

Gail just draws her lines on her eggs.  How do these egg artists draw straight lines?  No matter how hard I try - never a straight line!


Once the divisions are in place, draw your designs in pencil. Daisies and hearts were my favorites.

The cool thing about playing with "faux Pysanky" is that you can erase your mistakes. (Mistakes must not be erased when using the traditional dye method as it interferes with the color application).

If you want inspiration, google Polish Easter Eggs or Ukrainian Easter Eggs and you will find links to amazing collections of google images. But fair warning, you will most likely be there for hours!


Once your drawing is completed, start playing with the markers!

(You can see what I mean about my straight lines, can't you,)

I found that the more saturated colors like blue, turquoise, red, orange, purple and green seemed to work best. Pale colors like yellow, pink, lime or aqua don't show up well on brown eggs.

Draw the major design elements in pencil and apply color. The tiny parts of the design can be added directly with the marker.

I would suggest spraying lightly with an acrylic spray once the inks are dry, especially if you are using washable markers.

And if you are not into blowing out eggs and would prefer decorating boiled eggs, check out this how-to for making edible pysanky!

You might also like trying out this tutorial for creating intensly colored marbled eggs (using brown eggs!).

And this one which shows how to experiment with onion skins and colors to create one of a kind egg surprises!

Or onion skins and Koolaid to create a nest full of Dinosaur Eggs!

Thanks for this lovely idea,

Thanks for this lovely idea, we did it with our art playgroup, and then strung them up as ornaments. We also coated the inside and outside with Mod Podge, which saved more than one egg from certain doom. http://oneinchworld.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/sharpies-and-blown-eggs/

Beautiful eggs! I can't wait

Beautiful eggs! I can't wait to do this but can you tell me how you blow out your eggs...I tried and have not been successful :)

Sara, in answer to your

Sara, in answer to your question - here are a couple different methods - if you can get past all the advertising.  Here  and here.

I have come to accept that the holes will not be tiny little pin diameter size.  They do need to be enlarged a little.  The second tutorial suggests a tiny drill bit and I personally use an ice pick.  I have found that twisting the ice pick slowly while applying just a bit of pressure works well and most times the results are a round hole.

But unless you make a Mosaic egg, there is no getting around a hole at each end that is about the diameter of an ice pick - regardless of the technique used..  

The good news is that if you create Pysanky designs, usually the hole is almost invisible - especially if you use a dark blue or red around the hole areas.

Blowing the contents out of the egg can be a real pain.  Be sure to break up the yolk with a long needle.  There is always a glob of albumin that likes to make the job difficult, but once that is out of the way, you will find blowing goes quickly.  Just be patient and don't give up.

Hope this helps you!!


Thirdly, I am really really

Thirdly, I am really really really excited to make designs on eggs! I have Sharpies of all varieties. These are so pretty, Pam. So many things on my back burner, but... it's Easter time and this has been bumped up to first!

I actually missed the last chat of my class with Diane yesterday. Things are slipping through my fingers, and I feel like we must grab the bull by its horns!!

No more cliches at this time.
Thank you.


Secondly: the CURRENT issue

Secondly: the CURRENT issue of Sons of Norway magazine?!?

I had no idea there WAS such a publication!

This will be just my first

This will be just my first comment, because I have lots to say. For one thing: I made those cookies three years ago! They really are yummo, but I had to make them twice. It's an art, I tell you! I loved them. I made them in honor of a man who used to be important to me but turned out to be a creep. So of course, I have very fond memories of them!

I'll have to make them again this weekend.

These are gorgeous and look

These are gorgeous and look easy (well, sort of!). Easier than the originals anyway. Thanks for sharing this technique!

Beautiful! Thanks for

Beautiful! Thanks for pleasing the eyes!

Pam, We did regular Pysanky

We did regular Pysanky last year and I loved it. I was fretting about not having the tools this year (because my sister bought them and then moved across the country with them!). But now you have given me my solution! So cute. Thanks!


Beautiful eggs and neat trick

Beautiful eggs and neat trick of using markers, nice! :)

And I must try those Norwegian "Easter" Cookies, they look delish!!

The cookies ARE delicious,

The cookies ARE delicious, Kathryn!  I am amazed at just how good they are considering they are made of such simple ingredients.  Norwegians must put magic in their cookies is all I can figure out!

We can not keep out mitts off of them.  They are only an inch around so very easy to pop "just one" in your mouth as you pass by the cookie jar!

Wow, these are truly

Wow, these are truly gorgeous. I love that you're using brown eggs this year! Such a good idea to do something different. Thanks for the ideas!

We did some eggs today and I

We did some eggs today and I have added them to your Flicker photostream. Some wanted to use white and some wanted to use brown. Thank you for the tip about using a rubberband because there was some frustration with trying to make the lines straight. We will try again later on in the week.

Phyllis I am putting in the

Phyllis I am putting in the direct link to the egg post from today1


Looks like the boys had a great time playing.

tyhank you for adding their work to my flickr.

Pam I love all of these

Pam I love all of these wonderful egg crafts so much. Your posts are so generous with lovely links and information. Your rubber band trick is brilliant, you are brilliant! Jx

Thank you Meg and Robin for

Thank you Meg and Robin for the tips on drawing a straight line.  I will try them both out.  I remember the drafting trick from college but hadn't thought to apply to an egg. 

I look at some of the major intricate eggs and am convinced there are secrets!  And of course - practice!

Again, thanks so much.


How did I not know you were

How did I not know you were on Flickr? That's what I get for not paying attention to a blog's sidebar I guess.

Sharpies are such wonderful craft tools. My kids love to draw on everything so why not eggs? We used to draw on our eggs with crayons so that when we dyed them it would a resist but Sharpies would be much easier.

p.s. My Grandmother used to say I couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler lol. After a drafting course in high school I did learn a little secret that helps me alot. When drawing a straight line you should look where the line will end not where your pencil is. It makes your lines much straighter. Not sure that would help on an egg though.

Sons of Norway? Seriously?

Sons of Norway? Seriously? You can't imagine how much this made me smile with glee, and I don't even really know why. Maybe because it's so whimsically absurd and makes such perfect sense!
Love your take on those eggs, girl, you rock! (I was about to say your eggs rock, but let's not go there...)
Again I am SO darn glad I found your blog, you amaze me.

So pretty- they look

So pretty- they look fantastic. It looks like you've been having a lot of fun with these.

Something that helped me make straighter lines on the egg shells was to move the egg and not the pencil when I was drawing. I slowly turn the egg while concentrating on keeping my pencil in the same spot. You've probably already tried doing it that way but thought Id mention it just in case!

: )