Craft projects are one thing, “immersive design experiences” are another. Over the last few years, Crafting Community’s events, including their incredible annual retreat for families at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, have been thrilling children and parents with crafting workshops that are next level. Karen Kimmel’s whimsical sense of design guides the organization’s event esthetics – usually characterized by explosions of dreamy colors in everything from dip-dyed string to frothy tissue paper garlands.
If you’re a design lover with kids, get in on all this crafting goodness with this weekend’s Handmade Holiday event here in LA – think Martha Stewart ornament bar, Sugar Paper photo booth, and cookie decorating like you’ve never seen before. We’ve got a special code for Chalkboard readers to use below – get in on some kid-friendly, but intensely design-oriented fun!
Not available this weekend? Try your hand at Crafting Community’s DIY paper lanterns below. It’s the perfect family project for those cozy days between Christmas and New Year’s!
Paper chandeliers, or pajaki, are a traditional Polish folk craft designed to brighten up the home with bold spring blooms during the long winter. Traditionally made from reeds, tissue paper and foil, these ornate decorations can be made from many supplies found kicking around the craft closet. Once you’ve mastered the principles, it is easy to adjust their scale and materials to make the perfect pajak for your home!
PAJAKI PAPER CHANDELIERS
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES:
For the pajaki:
9” wooden hoop marked around the outside with 6 equidistant dots (dots should be about 4.7” apart)
tissue paper in assorted colors
string (6 strands, measuring about 60” apiece)
12 paper straws cut into 1 1/2” pieces
1” circle paper punch (if you do not have a paper punch, circles can also be cut freehand)
small hole punch or skewer
cutting mat or tape measure
super glue (optional)
For the tassels:
For the flowers:
For the pajaki:
Prepare the materials. Mark 6 equidistant dots on the outside of the wooden hoop, cut down straws, and cut your 6 strands of string. Punch or cut circles out of your tissue paper and metallic foil to thread onto your strings, or cut circles freehand, about 1” in diameter. These punched circles will be threaded onto the strands of the pajaki, so you will need to put a hole in their centers with a small hole punch or a skewer. If you like, you can also create your fringed tassels and flowers ahead of time.
Gather your six strands of string and fold them in half. Thread the folded strands through a wooden bead, and secure them with a top knot. Be sure to leave a large enough loop on your top knot for your chandelier to hang from.
There should now be 12 strands of thread hanging from your top knot. Take two strands at a time and begin threading them through your straws, tissue paper circles, foil circles and beads to build the top half of your pajak. Use your binder clips to hold everything in place as you thread each strand.
There are endless patterns and materials you can use to thread your pajaki – have fun with it!
To create the look in our example, thread six 1” tissue paper circles between your straws, crunching the tissue paper rounds with your hands as you go to create volume. Keep going until you’ve decorated about 9” of each strand.
Connect the hoop. Separate the two threads inside each beaded strand, and tie them in a knot around the wooden hoop at the locations you marked earlier. Secure these knots over the marks on your hoop with a piece of tape.
Continue threading straws, paper and beads onto each of the 12 strands until they have about 4” of decoration apiece. Next, pull each couple of strands apart and pair them with the closest strand at the neighboring dot on the wooden hoop. Connect these two strands with a bead.
Add your small tassels to the six pairs of string, facing outwards.
Continue adding straws, tissue paper, and beads underneath the tassels for an additional 3.5.” Next, gather all of the strands together and thread them through a single bead. Secure all of your threads with a binder clip.
Attach the large tassel. Divide your strands into two groups, and thread them in opposite directions through the loop at the top of your tassel. Pull both groups of strands taut, until your large tassel is snug against the bottom of the wooden bead. Knot the strands on either side of the tassel, and trim the edges. Dab your knot with super glue for extra security.
Finish your chandelier. Remove the pieces of tape securing the string over the marks on your wooden hoop, and attach one flower to each of the marks with hot glue.
For the tassel:
You will need to create six small tassels and one large tassel for your chandelier.
Cut a small piece of wire and a thin strip of tissue paper. Put a long piece of double-sided tape along your strip of tissue paper, and roll the tissue paper strip around your wire. Fold your wrapped wire in half.
Cut out a rectangle of tissue paper. For small tassels, the rectangle should be 10 x 6” and for the large tassel, the piece should be 20 x 12.”
Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise. Fringe the open end of the fold with fringe scissors. Put a strip of double-sided tape along the outside fold of the tissue paper. Take your bent wire, and carefully roll the taped edge of your rectangle around it to create a tassel.
For the flower:
Cut three tissue paper circles – two with a diameter of about 3,” and one slightly smaller circle out of a different color of paper. Stack the smaller circle on top of the two larger ones and secure in the center with a staple. Use a glue gun to attach a 1” metallic foil circle on top of the staple, and fluff the layers of tissue paper around it to form your flower.