Making Woven Paper Heart Baskets to Celebrate Santa Lucia Day


I have been wanting to learn to make Danish woven paper heart baskets for years, but always felt intimidated by the instructions available to me. So this Fall, Diane and I spent the day together figuring out how to make them. (Of couse, SHE caught on right away and by the time I had finished my first practice basket, she was already in the middle of constructing a 5-strip basket with variations in the strip widths.) Sigh!

I thought I'd share the process of making a basic three-strip basket with you...

Before we begin: I have tried to write this as if you and I are sitting together at my craft table and I am showing you step by step. This project may seem a little tricky at first, but just be patient and follow the photos and instructions slowly, one step at a time. Once you have completed the first one, you will understand the trick to the weaving process. And... you will be addicted to making them!

Hang them on your tree and place little treats inside. A great gift for young and old alike when they come to visit.

Added November 2012!!  

Danish Woven paper Baskets

Once you have mastered the weaving process described in this tutorial, you might want to check out these pretty ways to "dress-up" your hearts or these ways to make heart baskets with recycled paper.


Wrapping paper or letter weight crafting paper in two colors




Elmer's or Aleene's Tacky glue

Select two pieces of paper in contrasting colors. Although white and red is traditional in Norway, I am using colors that will show up better in photographs.

Measure and cut a strip 3" wide and 9" long from each piece of paper.

Fold each strip of paper exactly in half crosswise, as shown.

Place a 3" diameter biscuit cutter on the OPEN end of the folded papers. Use a pencil to trace the outline of the biscuit cutter onto the paper to create a half circle. (Or, you can draw the half-circle freehand.)

Normally, I would draw my lines very lightly, but for this tutorial I am drawing them dark so you can see them! Cut along the curved lines you have drawn. Again, be sure you are cutting the curve on the open end of the paper.

In the steps that follow, you will be dividing each folded piece into three 1" strips. You'll be cutting these strips most of the way across each piece, leaving those rounded ends un-cut. To help you gauge how far in to cut your strips, place one piece over the other, as shown. The cut lines you'll be making in the coming steps should be 3/8" longer than the point where these two pieces overlap. (When you've read the rest of the steps, this should make more sense.)

So, as we just discussed, mark three 1" strips on each piece of paper, and draw them on the paper. See how these lines begin at the fold and end in the curved edges? Now you are ready to cut! Reminder: The curved edge is on the OPEN end and the lines are drawn from the FOLDED end.

Cut through both layers of paper along the lines you drew, beginning at the fold and cutting toward the curve.

For your first basket, you may want to number the strips as shown above. (Once you have made your first basket, you will not need to number the strips again - it just helps you with learning the process.) Lay the two folded paper pieces in front of you on the work table in the position shown above. (Don't worry if those numbers are hard to see here - they'll be clearer in the coming photos.)

Slip strip #1 between the top and bottom layers of strip #4.

Now, slip strip #5 between the top and bottom layers of strip #1.

When you have completed the first two weaving steps, your "heart" will look like this.

Now slip strip #1 in between the two layers of strip #6.

Congratulations! You have completed the first row! And it should look like this!

To weave the second row, begin by slipping strip #4 between the top and bottom layers of strip #2. (See how I had to slide the two halves of the heart into different positions so that I could manuver my second row of weaving in?)

Now slip strip #2 between the top and bottom layers of strip #5.

Slip strip #6 between the layers of strip #2. Your "heart" will now look like this. (And the weaving pattern begins to emerge!)

Now that you have finished weaving the second row, slide the woven strips down toward the curved ends of the heart until they can go no further. This will give you some "wiggle room," which you'll need in order to weave the last row. Weaving the last row can be a little "fiddly," but just go slowly and be patient while you get the feel of it.

Slip strip #3 between the layers of strip #4. You will need to gently bend the strip in order to do this. As you can see, the first two rows of weaving are being held in place by your other hand.

Pull strip #3 through strip #4 and flatten it back out. Your heart will now look like this.

Place strip #5 between the layers of strip #3. Stay with me! You're almost done!

Finally, slip strip #3 between the layers of strip #6. This is probably the most fiddly step, so it may feel a little awkward. Keep working with it until it falls into place.

TaaaaaaDaaaaaaa! You did it! All the strips are woven together. A couple more little steps and you are done.

Holding the curved tops of each side of the heart, gently pull them outward so that the edges of the heart become nice and even.

Now to add a handle. Cut a strip of paper about 8" long and between 3/4" to 1" wide. Glue each end of this strip to the inside of the woven heart, as shown. If you are thinking of putting little treats inside, then you may want to also tape down each end of the handle on the inside of the basket with some clear tape.

Make a couple more three-strip baskets to get the process down, and then you're ready to make a four-strip basket, like the one on the right. It is constructed exactly the same way, except that you divide those initial pieces of folded paper into four strips instead of three.

You can make hearts that are smaller or larger by using a copier to enlarge or reduce the template in this tutorial.

Try making heart baskets with patterns and different colors if you wish. Craft stores and scrapbooking outlets have so much to offer as inspiration. (Just be sure to stick to lighter weight papers.) Embellish with whatever your heart desires - from sequins to buttons, to beads..... Fill your baskets with cookies, candy, small gifts, baubles, or even dried flowers.

Have fun! And thank you for crafting with me today!

Looked at lots of directions

Looked at lots of directions and still I was confused. These are the best. Got the basket put together on the first try. Thanks....

Kathi!  Thank you for your

Kathi!  Thank you for your lovely note.  Had it not been for your comment, I most likely would have missed replying to others that had posted here.  I am thrilled to hear the tutorial is helpful.  When I first attempted them I was really frustrated.  Short cuts don't work for all of us!! lol.  

Thank you so much from the

Thank you so much from the bottom of my HEART! (lol) I thought I could do it from other instructions, and brought all the supplies to my activity day class for girls. Ha! Talk about frustrating and embarrassing! I just gathered up all the supplies and told the girls I would somehow find out how to do it right and take one to each girl for Valentines. I went through several more instructions and was ready to tear my hair out until I found your wonderful, clear step by step instructions! THANKS A MILLION!

Gina dear, I just found your

Gina dear, I just found your comment!!!  I have not been on this site much the past couple years.  I apologize for the delay in saying THANK YOU!  You made my day reading your words.  I was equally frustrated when I tried to learn in 2008 with what was available at that time.  I decided to hopefully make it easier on others.  

Thank you so much for this

Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial. I tried to make these baskets last night with my granddaughters and we could not figure it out. I successfully made a practice one following your tutorial. My granddaughters 10 and 12 wanted to make these so much. They will be so happy to learn how.

Shelly, I am so sorry I

Shelly, I am so sorry I missed your comment.  It just recently showed up in my comment feed.  Thank you so so much for letting me know the instructions worked for you.  It means so much to me to know that.

The instructions and

The instructions and photographs are crystal clear. Thank you so much. I have tried other directions that were unintelligible. I could not figure out what on earth they meant. Weaving my first heart basket went so easily with your step by step directions. You did a terrific job!

Miranda, I know this reply is

Miranda, I know this reply is a "bit" late but I haven't been on the blog much these past three years.  But I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your lovely comment.  I had a miserable time in 2008 trying to find anything other than "unintelligible  directions".  Hence my tutorial.  XO

Thank-you so much for such

Thank-you so much for such wonderful instructions! I am super excited to teach my children tomorrow :-D You've made it so simple and clear to make them, I can't wait to see their finished awesomeness from your clear directions!

I appreciate you taking time

I appreciate you taking time to let me know the instructions are working for you!  And I hope your children have fun with them.  It takes a bit to get the weaving and a bit of patience to wiggle the last arm through - but just one of those practice things that gets easier the more you make.

loved these! We will be

loved these! We will be making these
in Sunday School this week.
Thanks for the detailed a d easy instruction!

Janice, You are welcome!!  I

Janice, You are welcome!!  I hope everyone will have fun making them.  And thank you for taking time to write.  I appreciate that so much.

Thank goodness for your

Thank goodness for your weaving tutorial! I had made the sides based on a post somewhere else, but the weaving part was a disaster, was not working at all. Then I found your post. What a difference! The precious basket is formed!

Oh Lisa, thank you so much

Oh Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know the directions were helpful.  

After fiddling around with sketchy instructions - always ending in frustration, once I actually learned, I decided to do my best to create instructions anyone could learn from.

You made my day!!!

I learned how to do this in

I learned how to do this in Sunday school or Sunbeams a long time ago, but couldn't remember how to get started. Thanks for your very easy to understand instructions. I'm glad I found you.

I received one of these from

I received one of these from my kids' third grade teacher who has since passed away. I always wanted to know how to make them. Thank you so much! Theresa

My son's teacher gave me a

My son's teacher gave me a precut heart kit and included instructions. I could not figure it out. I decided to take the kit home and google instructions.. Lo and behold, yours is the first site! Your instructions are so clear I figured it out in minutes. Thanks so much!!

OMG I finally figured it out!

OMG I finally figured it out! Thank you so much. I'm going to practice a little more and then teach my 6 year old how to make them so she can give them out at Christmas to her classmates with a little treat inside. :)

I love you so much! I did it!

I love you so much! I did it! I did it!!!

I'll try the advanced weaving next. Thank you so much, Pam.

I really love your instructions -- very clear and very encouraging. You're such a patient and kind lady.

What a nice way to start the

What a nice way to start the day - with your lovely message!!!  I am so happy that you took the time to let me know you did actually try to make one and it worked out so well for you.  

I think you will be very pleased to find out how easy it is to make modifications and with your origami background, the sky is the limit!!!  Hoping you will send pictures or share on your own blog!!

I have spent an hour and a

I have spent an hour and a half trying to make these from instructions on another site, I nearly gave up but thought I'd google it to try one last time, I found you and finished it in 3 minutes. Thank you so much, a brilliant example with clear concise instructions, your time and effort is greatly appreciated!

I <3 your blog, I had to stop

I <3 your blog, I had to stop and make one right now. I was on pinterest. and found your blog. I thank you for your time.awesome instruction. love Vickie Lee xx

Just blogged about this

Just blogged about this tonight. Tried to do a tutorial but yours was obviously way better than mine, so I give you lots of credit! Thanks for this!

I've been looking at old

I've been looking at old files in Springpad and I had a tutorial from you about staining mason jars. While I was looking at that craft I saw a link to another craft and decided to look up Swedish crafts on e-how. They give great written tutorials but there are no pictures, so I thought ok..I'll Google Swedish Heart Baskets and I found your link. I said "what do you know" the link is yours. Then I saw Dala Horse in the side bar. Are you Swedish or do you just like Swedish stuff. My parents are from Sweden and I was born and have lived in California my whole life. Anyways, I a new fan!!! Katharine

I love this instruction. I am

I love this instruction.
I am from Denmark, and we make them every christmas. Almost all children would learn to make them. So its really strange that your pictures were almost the only ones I found.
Maybe I should take some pictures of mine. I love to make them in all shaps and sizes.

"She" found this tutorial for

"She" found this tutorial for me because I have a girlfriend I would like to send a Valentine to. You might not expect your average cat to do this but my name is Romeo and well I am anything but average ;) So being brave, I tried this.....and I must say that your tutorial is purrfect in every respect!!!! I made my girlfriend a heart based only on YOUR fabulous directions! You made it so easy to follow along that I did it all myself ;) Yep, sure did! Thank you furry much!

Wow! This website helped me a

Wow! This website helped me a lot!

It is close to Valentine's Day over here in America and I am searching for some ideas on cards. I saw this immediately and thought I would give it a try. It looks like it's make mostly for the winter holidays but I guess it would work for Valentine's Day right?

I just have some questions...
Regular paper would be able to hold tiny yet heavy objects correct?
By increasing the length and width it wouldn't make much of a difference except that the basket would be larger, am I right?

Sadly, I don't have any round items and I'm not that great at drawing rounds shapes so that part would be troublesome for me.

Once again thank you for the tremendous instructions on how to create this. It was very helpful!

Many thanks for these good

Many thanks for these good directions.

Some 40 years ago I made hearts from a pattern in a women's magazine and hung them on windows and on our Christmas tree. I made mine with gold and red wrapping paper. I continue to put these same, old hearts on our tree. I particularly liked the shiney gold paper because we burn candles on our Christmas tree and the gold catches the light. For years I have wondered how I made them.

I now have two grandchildren and I think they will enjoy learning to make the hearts. Your instructions are just what I needed. As I took the ornaments off of the tree today I realized that the internet would probably have directions. Thanks again. Sara

This is a FANTASTIC recipe

This is a FANTASTIC recipe for success! I've just made 5 on the trot (without handles) and stuck each one onto a door of the house with Blue Tack (5 pieces - one on each round bit and two down the middle). They look brilliantly festive and even better - each one is big enough to hold two chocolates!!! (The reason for all the Blue Tack!) THANK YOU PAM! Merry Christmas to all.

I love this. I am making

I love this. I am making them with fabric. I would be interested in finding a pattern book, templates or site with difference shapes. Please send anny ideas!

Thank you so much!!!!! I had

Thank you so much!!!!! I had no idea how to make these but really wanted to learn. I made about 24 of them and have memorized the whole patern now! :) Again, these instructions are PERFECT! Thank You!

Thank You from the bottom of

Thank You from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful instructions. My maternal grandmother had these all over her Christmas Tree. She was a 100% Norwegian. My mother was ill for the majority of my childhood,thus I never learned how to make these beautiful heart baskets. I am so thrilled to have clear instructions. With heartfelt gratitude, Carla (my one and only niece found these for me)

Lovely! Your photos and

Lovely! Your photos and written directions are superb. Thank you.

Love this! I'd made them

Love this! I'd made them years and years ago as I child but thought this might be a good time to make some more.

Thank you so much for these

Thank you so much for these clear directions! I had been admiring a juletre in VIKING magazine and wanted to copy it this Christmas. I had tried to make the woven hearts years ago without success but thought I would give it one more try and you explained it so that I could understand it and do it. My adult daughters and I will have fun when they come home from school for the holidays.

Pam, I have been searching

Pam, I have been searching many sites to find directions for the woven heart and your instructions along with the pictures are the very best I have seen!
Thank you for making assembly so easy!!
I am using them for Vacation Bible School on our day about God's love.
Thank you so much!!

Ann from NJ

Thanks for your great

Thanks for your great tutorial, Pam! I linked to it today at All Things Paper.

Thank you so much. I have

Thank you so much. I have always wondered how to make these baskets. Growing up my grandma always made these for Easter baskets for myself and all the other grandkids and would fill them with candy and hide them around her house with the names on them. It is such a special memory. I have two little boys now and I want to start making them for their Easter baskets. I will have to make her one and mail it this year to show her what it meant to me and what fun memories I have from that.

Thank you for your easy to

Thank you for your easy to follow instructions! My 7 year old daughter will have the BEST Valentine's Day cards in her class! Using the numbers as the guide really helped! Thank you very much!!!!

THANK YOU! The first set of

THANK YOU! The first set of instructions that were clear enough to get the job done.

These baskets ROCK! I am

These baskets ROCK! I am making a giant one to put my girls treats hair bands and fun holiday jewelry! The intructions are super! I am thinking that very small one would be nice to attach to hair clips??? We will see how they turn out!

Vicki C

thank you so much for sharing

thank you so much for sharing these directions. About to start on my first one...hope they look good enough to put in Library window for display

Pam, another fantastic

Pam, another fantastic tutorial! I'm going to try and squeeze this one in with my children before leaving for our holiday. I thought they'd be nice gifts toppers too. Thanks!

Ooh, these are fun! I totally

Ooh, these are fun! I totally made them out of an American Girl craft book one time. I think. Are they Swedish too? (Man I wish I had held on to those books. Ah well.)

That is the best tutorial for

That is the best tutorial for making woven hearts i have ever seen.
Margit Ammentorp

Can you believe how pretty

Can you believe how pretty and wonderful? I love this!

I'm thinking of making miniature ones with leftover take-out coffee sleeves. Is that silly? To hold teeny plush toys. What do you think?

Hey, Pam, I supported you in your dream.

I love the idea Chris! Am a

I love the idea Chris! Am a little concerned the coffee sleeves may be a little too stiff for this application, but if anyone can make it work you can. Let me know how it turns out! You have my full support!

Okay, I am making some of

Okay, I am making some of these. I can weave baskets so I should be able to do this. I've seen these and wondered how they were made. These are really clear instructions!! And great photos to help along the way.