Easter nails – Pysanky! (Ukranian Easter Eggs)


It does NOT seem like it’s almost Easter.  Nope.  Uh-uh.  It’s March 24, and it just snowed about 4″ (and it hasn’t stopped).  This is unbelievable.

And yet, I must accept the fact that Easter is next week!  Know why?  Because my friend Katie P. (Her name is Katie, but I always add the “P.” because Facebook tells me to) clued me in that there is a spring nail art contest over at Lydia’s Nails.  I hadn’t planned on entering, but I’m snowbound, and the wheels in my head started turning, and voila.

Those wheels in my head came up with the idea of painting my nails like pysanky, or Ukranian Easter eggs.  My dad’s dad’s family comes from a region of the world that could have been Poland, or maybe the Ukraine, possibly Austria. (If you know world history, you know that region is messy.)  In any event, they’re Slavic, but they didn’t do anything specifically Slavic to celebrate the holiday. Easter to us meant going to Mass, Easter baskets, and a lot of ham.

However, I was  introduced to pysanka (plural term) when I met my husband, whose dad’s family is Slovak and also Byzantine Catholic.  Easter is a big deal to these folks – enough that part of their celebration involves spending  hours making complicated Easter eggs by dipping eggs into wax, scraping off a design, dipping the eggs in dye, and repeating over and over and over.  The end result is these incredibly delicate (and therefore sometimes temporary) works of art.

Given the intricate designs of pysanky, as well as the frustration level of the process, I think any nail artist can relate!

I’ve attempted to make pysanka before, and it didn’t go well.  But I figured I could make an easy approximation on my nails.  I think it turned out OK!  I know that the colors don’t necessarily scream Easter-peeps-jelly-beans-super-pastel-daffodils, but this is how a pysanky looks.  The colors and designs have  significance, so I tried to go as traditional as possible.

The designs I picked are: pointer finger is wheat (good health / good harvest); the middle finger is a net (Jesus & fishing); ring finger is curls (defense & protection); and pinky is pine needles (health / stamina / eternal youth).


The thumb is a deer for wealth / prosperity.  You can see the deer better in this picture:


All of it was hand-drawn, except for using some striping tape on the ring and pinky fingers for the main straight lines.

Colors used are as follows:

Base colors –

Thumb: OPI Dating a Royal

Pointer: Sally Girl Banana

Middle: Finger Paints Paper Mache (my favorite white creme)

Ring: China Glaze Salsa (my favorite red creme)

Pinky: Wet N Wild Black creme (my favorite black creme – so affordable, and such good coverage!

Nail art was done with Stripe Right black, white, and green stripers, and a Sinful Colors red striper.  Also, the underlayer of the ring and pinky fingers is Finger Painter Paper Mache, which was the base of the striping tape.

I hope you enjoy the design!  And to anyone who’s here from Lydia’s Nails, feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Khrystos Voskres! Voyistynu Voskres!  (Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!)

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