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???
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:
I made my Himmeli ornaments out of white cocktail straws, which I found at Smith’s Marketplace, and thin gold wire from Hobby Lobby.
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).
2. Thread three of the straws onto the wire like so.
3. Connect the three pieces into a triangle shape and twist the wire to secure
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!
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!