Welcome to My Danish Christmas Advent
Calendar! Join me every day in opening a new door. I’ve got
a host of goodies to share with you – traditional Danish Christmas recipes,
traditions, songs, games, decorations, crafts and landscapes… So sit back,
relax and enjoy!
Time to get your scissors and glue out – today we’re at the craft table! The
Danes say that “Jul er hjerternes fest“. That “Christmas is the
festival of hearts”. Yep, look around and you’ll see hearts
everywhere. Gingerbread hearts, crocheted hearts, heart-shaped tree
ornaments and…the ubiquitous Danish woven paper hearts, which you’ll see hanging
in windows or on the branches of the Christmas tree.
So are you ready to “jule” (yep, the Danes even use the word
‘Christmas’ as a verb!) and make some easy peasy Danish Christmas heart
WOVEN PAPER HEART
My dearly departed Danish father-in-law loved to make things out of paper and
was a dab hand at the very intricate woven designs. But be warned: in order to
do paper weaving, you have to have nimble fingers, bucketloads of patience and
Danish blood in your veins. You’re still determined to try? Hmm, then I’d
suggest borrowing a book from your local Danish library. Or try, for example,
But I’m going to show you the two-minute version – the cheat’s version – as
taught to me by my daughter, aged 10. You’ll need two pieces of paper or carton
in different colours. (Red and white, if you want to be really traditional.)
Mark out the shape (see below) and draw a line in the middle, up to the point
where the edge starts to curve. Cut out the shapes and then cut along the
Turn the white carton at right angles and weave the first ‘finger’ through
the red carton.
Weave the red ‘finger’ over the white and – hey presto – færdig
(done)! Just add a dab of glue or a piece of sticky tape, to stop the heart
from falling apart. Use blue tack (or, as Danish kids call it,
‘pædagog-snot‘ = ‘teacher snot’!) to fix them on your window pane. Or
add a paper loop, and hang them on the tree.
You could, of course, buy these in the shops. But the cutest/kitschest/most
precious ones are, without doubt, those handmade ones that your little darling
brings home from kindergarten, nursery or school.
Super simple. Cut two heart shapes out of fabric. Tip: if you use zigzag
scissors, you won’t have problems with edges fraying. (Felt fabric is perfect
for this job.) You can make them any size you like, but hearts about the size
of your palm work well.
Sew round the edges, leaving an opening for stuffing. You can use a sewing
machine or do it ‘old school’ with a large needle and thick thread. Stuff the
heart, then sew shut.
Add a loop at the top of the heart, so you can hang it up (on the tree, on a
door handle, etc). You can also add some beads, glitter glue, etc. We went for
the simple look and used this plain ribbon that says “God Jul”. Which,
as you will remember, has
nothing to do with God!
Okay, we’re done at the craft table for today. Don’t forget to tidy up after
yourself and check back here tomorrow when we open the next door!