DIY Himmeli Ornaments

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Himmeli.  Himmeli.  Himmeli!  I fell in love with Himmeli the first time I saw it!  So what is himmeli?  Himmeli is the traditional Finnish holiday decoration made out of straw.  Different versions of the straw mobile are found in other Nordic countries as well.  The root of the word “himmeli” is Germanic and means “sky” or “heaven” in Swedish and German.  (This info was found on finland.fi).  My maternal grandmother is 100% Icelandic and my other ancestors come from Germany, Norway, and other Scandinavian countries.  I love that making Himmeli is kind of going back to my roots that began in Scandinavia.

Years ago in Finland, Himmeli mobiles would hang above the dining room table to ensure a good crop for the coming year.  These Himmeli mobiles would hang above the table from Christmas until midsummer.  Himmeli are always made of geometric shapes and range from very simple to amazing and complex with thousands of pieces of straw (finland.fi). Check out the beautiful, complex straw Himmeli mobile made by Finnish expert Himmeli maker Eija Koski.  Isn’t it gorgeous???
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The Himmeli ornaments I made for my Christmas tree are of the simplest design.  As a beginner in Himmeli creation I wanted to start out with something easy and not get in over my head.  I hope to be able to make some more complex Himmeli mobiles in the future.
There are several internet sources I found with instrutctions for making Himmeli.  Some were in Finnish and not useful to me haha!  The simplest one I found here, from Vintage Revivals.
So here’s the how to:
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I made my Himmeli ornaments out of white cocktail straws, which I found at Smith’s Marketplace, and thin gold wire from Hobby Lobby.
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1.  Cut the cocktail straws to 4″.  Each ornament will need twelve 4″ straws.  You can cut them any length, so long as they are all exactly the same.  Then cut a piece of wire that is 60″ long (if you use 4″ straws).
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2.  Thread three of the straws onto the wire like so.
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3.  Connect the three pieces into a triangle shape and twist the wire to secure
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4. Then thread two straws onto the wire and pull down to the corner to twist the wire and connnect (so you would then have two triangles). Repeat this step until five triangles are made, like above. There should be a tail of wire left at the end off of the top corner.
5. At this point, there will be one straw left.  Thread it onto the tail of wire and then pull that end over to the original starting point.  There should be a little tail of wire left sticking out at the original starting point.  Twist the wire together and then thread the wire back through the straw to connect the ornament.  If you can get to this point, look carefully at your ornament and you will see what you need to do to hide the wire and connect the ornament, Once it is all connected, there should be some leftover wire to form a hook with.  Sorry, this is kind of confusing to explain and I didn’t take pictures of these last few steps.  The instructions on Vintage Revivals has more pictures and I suggest visiting her site if you need more instruction.
And there you have it!  These ornaments really are quite simple to make, and once you make one you will no longer need instructions.  I love how these added some Nordic design to my Christmas tree!
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 Check out the Himmeli on our Christmas tree!  I love the look of a Nordic Christmas!  It’s all about simplicity and keeping things clutter free with clean lines.  Less is more in my opinion!  I hope this will inspire some of you to fall in love with Himmeli like I have!

 

xo
Kemley

 

DIY Christ Centered Advent Calendar

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I have always loved advent calendars.  I have the best memories of my mom’s old quilted one that had a candy kiss tied onto each day with a ribbon.  It was so fun to eat the candy kiss when the day came around.  I decided it was time to start my own advent calendar memories for my little family for Christmas.  I had been brainstorming ideas for a DIY advent calendar when I found the idea for a Christ centered calendar.  The blog sunlitpages.com features an advent calendar with different pictures of Christ on each day.  I loved the idea of focusing on Christ while counting down to Christmas.  The advent calendar found on this blog looks quite a bit different from the design I came up with,  I love how my advent calendar reflects my own style.

Supplies needed:

1. Wood for the main part (I used 4″ wide tongue and groove pine that is actually left over from the walls of my parent’s cabin)
2. Thin plywood for the days of the month
3. 1/2 copper pipe with brackets
4. Twine
5. Black vinyl
6. Small pictures of Christ
7. Small copper nails
8. Wood glue
9. Cricket Machine
10. Fake pine sprigs
11. Wood stain

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Above are some other supplies that are useful for this project

So to start out I glued together 4 pieces of 4″ pine slats. The original pieces were about 12 feet long so I measured out what I wanted and cut them.  Like I mentioned above, I used some leftover pine that is on the interior walls of my parent’s cabin.  I love using leftover materials for projects– it saves money and prevents waste!  I then stained the pine with a dark walnut stain that I bought at Home Depot.  The wood glue is from The Wood Connection.

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I then cut 3″ by 3.5″ rectangles out of a thin plywood.  I actually bought a few small pieces of thin plywood at Micheal’s craft for this, which worked out really well.  And to clarify, my husband cut these out for me haha
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I bought the pictures of Christ at Deseret Book (an LDS bookstore).  The really nice thing is almost every card already had a scripture on the back related to the artwork on the front. I then trimmed each picture of Christ to fit on the little wood rectangles.  I typed up each scripture and put it on the front of the wood piece so that as each day comes, a scripture about Christ can be read.  I found some of the most beautiful pictures of Christ!  I also decided to leave the plywood pieces natural instead of painting or staining them.  I’m so happy I decided to leave them natural!
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I used the wood glue to glue the pictures of Christ to the wood pieces, as well as the typed scripture.  I find that this wood glue works SO much better than mod podge.  I am not a fan of mod podge, I don’t care how careful you are, it always seems to bubble at least a little.   I used my Cricut Machine to cut out the numbers for the day of the month on black vinyl.  This is the Cricut cartridge I used to cut out the numbers.  This is a great cartridge with a lot of different fonts.
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These are the little copper nails that I found to hang each plywood piece on.  I bought these at Smith’s Marketplace.  I love that they match the copper pipe.  I used a small drill bit to a drill a hole in each little wood piece.
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These are the brackets I found to hold the copper pipe in place.  Both the copper pipe and the brackets I found at Home Depot on the plumbing aisle.  I have been really into copper lately and was excited to incorporate it in my advent calendar.
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 I used some simple jute twine to hang the advent calendar.  The sprig of fake pine i found at Micheal’s Craft and cut a few pieces off of it to attach to the copper pipe with wire.  And that’s it!  I am in love with this advent calendar and I love that it is all about Christ which is what Christmas is all about!
xo
Kemley

 

DIY Geometric Garland

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So Christmas is in full swing over at our house and I’ve been working on several Christmas related projects that I will be posting on the blog!  This will be Nash’s first Christmas and that alone has really gotten me into the Christmas mood, even down to the decorating.  I want this Christmas to be very special in every way for little Nash and our family!

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I got the idea for this simple gold geometric garland from the blog Almost Makes Perfect.  I used several different sizes of triangles for my version and used a pattern of 2 triangles, then 3, then 2, etc.  It was so easy to make and I love how it transformed the mirror in my living room to something special and festive for Christmas.

Supplies you will need:

1. Metallic gold card stock paper (or any thick paper for that matter!)
2. Scissors/paper cutter
3. String
4. Tape

How to make:

Measure out the bases of your triangles and cut them out.  As you can see below, I made three different sizes.  For the southwestern vibe of this garland, you will want to make the triangles with a wider base and shorter in height, if that makes sense.  Not with three equal sides.  I found the metallic gold paper at Hobby Lobby and didn’t even use two whole sheets to make this garland.

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I used this simple string to connect the triangles.  I taped each triangle onto the string with basic clear tape.  As you can see below, I did a 2-3-2 pattern, keeping the same sizes of triangles grouped together.
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I found the pretty green garland with pine cones on Amazon and knew it would be perfect paired with the geo garland on this mirror.  The great thing about the geometric garland is that it can be used year round, it’s not necessarily a Christmas only decoration.  It is SO easy to make and also really inexpensive.  A perfect Christmas DIY project!  I hope this inspires some of you to make some easy gold garland to transform your home for Christmas!
 
xo
 
Kemley