When it comes to decorating, I’m all about keeping it DIY. Why feed into the big business of the holiday season when you can make something really cool yourself? This year I’m keeping my Christmas décor simple, with earth tones and lots of natural elements, but I still really needed a modern pop. That’s when I started playing around with the idea of making a himmeli.
This geometric Finnish ornament has been having a moment in the craft world for some time. Himmeli are traditionally made of straw and can include hundreds, even thousands of pieces depending on how complex they are. I decided to keep it simple and make a 12-piece version with one of my favorite holiday spices: cinnamon!
I picked up my cinnamon sticks at the local co-op from the bulk bin section both to save on costs and pick and choose the best pieces. Make sure you look for ones with a hollow middle where the bark has rolled enough to fit a needle through.
Start by threading a 3-4 yard piece of twine through your needle, I found a needle threader makes life a lot easier for this task. Next, use the needle to pull your twine through three cinnamon sticks. If your sticks have begun to crumble, you may need a pair of pliers for this part.
Gather your your first three sticks near the start of your piece of twine, then tie it tightly with a regular old square knot. (Left over right, then right over left.) I found it easier to take the needle off in order to do this, but any knot should work as long as you’re securing the connection tightly.
Next, thread your needle again and slide on two more cinnamon sticks. These are the sides for your second triangle. Take your need through the middle of the triangle you just made, pull and secure with another square knot.
After the first couple, you’ll really get the hang of it. Repeat until you’ve created five triangles, all tightly secured, then thread one more cinnamon stick on the end.
Now for the fun part! This step almost feels like a magic trick. Take the two ends of your string and tie them together. This should pull the last cinnamon stick into your final triangle and create the base of your ornament.
Secure your last triangle with a firm knot. Then cut a piece of twine to hang your ornament from. This is going to be doubled over in a loop, so give yourself plenty of length. Pull this through the two open triangle on either side, pull them together and tie in place. String on a few wooden beads finish the end of your loop with a knot.
Fair warning, once you get the hang of this, you won’t want to stop making these sweet smelling himmeli, which is totally fine since they’re absolutely adorable. These also make great presents for a home cook to in their kitchen year-round… until they need a cinnamon stick that is!
Project and styling by Gwen McKenzie for Jojotastic.
Photography by Meghan Klein.
pssst… more DIY projects right this way!
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