If you ever go to Denmark during Christmas you are in for a treat! Denmark does Christmas so beautifully. One thing you’ll notice is their use of the heart–it’s everywhere and I love it so much! You’ll see this woven heart on Christmas trees, as a decorations, and you’ll probably do some yourself at an event. They are such a classic Danish tradition. I realized I hadn’t done some myself here on Lars and thought I’d show you in case you’re looking for a good Christmas break activity.
Christmas hearts, or julehjerter, have a long history throughout Scandinavia, but we know about them through Hans Christian Andersen, who, in addition to his writings, was a wonderful paper cut artist. Danish children would practice them to increase their fine motor skills and I can say that they still do them today!
The hearts are typically done using red and whites. We had to add our touch to it so we used a few different colors in reds, pinks, and teals. The traditional method is to do it using scissors and of course, you are welcome to do that, but we put them into our Cricut to get those lines super crisp. Both ways work! We have four different templates to try out ranging in difficulty levels. See below!
How to make a woven Danish Christmas heart (julehjerter)
- paper (you can even find kits here)
- scissors or Cricut machine
- glue stick
- templates (you can find them in our shop)
- Using the Cricut (or your trusty scissors) cut out the shapes from the template including the cuts in the middle, using two different colors of paper
- Fold both of the shapes with the two ends meeting
- Next you will combine the two sides of the heart, weaving each of the strips together
- Choose a side to start with, and take the first strip closest to you in your hands
- Pull the strip through the loop of the nearest strip on the other colored paper
- The strip that you pulled through, will now go over the next strip of the other color
- Pull that same strip through the loop of the next strip
- Continue this pattern with each strip of each side, alternating each one, until your heart takes shape!
- Glue a long strip of paper to the inside of each side to create a loop to hang your heart on your tree!
Scandinavian Christmas hearts video tutorial
If you’re looking for a visual, here’s a video to show you how we did it!
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These would make a wonderful holiday break activity. If you make them tag us with #holidaysWithLars so we can check them out!