If you live in Montreal and get the newspaper on the weekend, then there's a chance you saw me in Saturday's La Presse. I contributed some thoughts to an article on the DIY movement, and a step by step guide to create your own traditional Finnish holiday ornament, himmeli. It doesn't seem that the article is on the web, or I would have added the link here for you to check out :) Instead, I've attached the English version of the DIY text below incase you'd like to give it a go!

Himmeli is a traditional Finnish decoration made from natural rye straw and string. It is generally suspended from the ceiling like a mobile during Christmas time. The beautiful and delicate structures can be elaborated upon to create complex geometric shapes. 

Since finding the natural rye straw outside of Scandinavia can be difficult I am going to use paper drinking straws that are available here in Montreal (Omer de Serres) and artistic wire (Omer de Serres). Once you have mastered the basic shape feel free to get creative and see how simple or complex you want to make your himmeli.


• Plastic or paper drinking straws
• Artistic wire (28 Gauge)
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Pencil
• Wooden beads (optional)


1. Cut your straw into twelve 5 cm pieces. My straws measure 19.5 cm, so I cut three straws into 4 pieces each just short of 5 cm.

2. Cut 1 m of wire.

3. String 4 pieces of straw onto the end of your wire.

4. Secure them by twisting the end of the wire to the working part of the wire. You should have a closed square shape.

5. String 2 more pieces of straw onto your wire.

6. Secure them to the opposite end of the square.

7. String 2 more pieces of straw onto your wire.

8. Secure them to the opposite end of the square (the place where you first tied off the original 4 pieces).

9. Now feed the wire through one of the straw pieces so it comes out in the middle of your himmeli.

10. String 1 piece of straw onto your wire and secure it to the middle of the next segment.

11. Repeat.

12. Repeat.

13. String the final piece of straw and fasten it to the middle of the final segment. String on a wooden bead, or two or three, and loop the end of the wire tucking the excess into the hole of the beads. Hang your himmeli on your Christmas tree, or to create a garland, use string to join your himmeli together, you can make as many as you wish and in differing sizes.

It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it, here's a video that provides some good visuals:

1 comment:

  1. Ahh so fun!! Look at you in the paper!! Such a lovely photo of you, and awesome DIY to boot :) Congrats Bess!!


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