Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Crafting: Danish Hearts

Okay, so Christmas has clearly come and gone, but I thought it was worth sharing some of my end of the year projects/adventures. I wrote these awhile ago, but it took me a bit longer to add in the pictures...

My mom's family has Danish roots and they have embraced many Danish traditions that they are now passing on to the younger generation. Each year, we come together for Cookie Weekend, where we bake Klejner, a Danish cookie.

While at cookie weekend this year, one of my aunt's brought the supplies to teach us to make Danish hearts that look like little woven baskets, which you may have seen gracing the Christmas tree before. My sister was interested in learning, and I was all for it too!

We freestyled it, but you can also find instructions in the book, Delectably Danish: Recipes and Reflections, by Julie Jensen McDonald. You better believe that each of us has a copy!

Here would be my basic instructions, complete with some really terrible pics that I took while crafting.

Supplies you need:
1. Wrapping paper, in at least two colors. Red and white are the traditional Danish colors from the flag, but you can definitely throw in some fun patterns or non-traditional colors.
2. Scissors
3. Tape

You start by cutting rectangles of even size out of your wrapping paper. The instructions in Delectably Danish say, three times as long as they are wide. You then fold them in half, hamburger style.

Utilizing the open end of the folds, you want to round them off into a semi-circle. I just free handed it, but you could definitely use a glass or a template of some kind. I lined mine up so that they at least had a similar round.

Then, using the folded end, you cut your slits on the folded side. Your folds have to be cut high enough to acount for the width of the other rectangle to be woven in, but not too high into the top of the heart. You can measure and mark off a top line for your cut if you want.

 You can get creative on this in terms of how simple or how intricate you want your weaving to be.

I did one basket with two slits (easy), one with three slits of different widths (a little more complex), and one with four (that's as challenging as I get folks).

Some people get uber fancing and do patterns in the weave, or shapes. Not my thing.

Then the obvious next step, is to weave the two pieces of your heart together. You want to start your weaving with the inside pieces of the heart, alternating your pieces like so. The bottom weaving can be a little tricky, especially if you have a lot of narrow pieces. Work delicately!

The last step is to add a little paper handle, which is just a skinny piece of paper folded in half.

Pretty, right?

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