Upcycle Magic! Revisiting Danish Woven Paper Heart Baskets.

Danish paper heart baskets

Traditionally, Danish woven paper heart baskets are brought out to trim Christmas trees and hang in windows as signs of welcome throughout Scandinavia. But why limit their charm to the winter holiday season when almost every paper stash offers unlimited potential and possibility - woven hearts for every season and in every color?

Sweet little woven heart baskets bring smiles to our hearts in winter. And I can pretty much guarantee they have magic enough to bring smiles no matter what time of the year they are displayed.

Paper stash

So to prove my point, I began making Danish paper hearts - lots and lots of hearts - using paper from my stash of out dated calendars, colorful pages torn from magazines, scraps of wrapping paper, bits and pieces of leftover scrap booking papers. Even tried junk mail and newsprint!

Paper saved from every source!

Glossy white papers covering an adhesive surface on each album page now have new life as woven heart baskets!

There isn't much more to say except that if you have never made a Danish woven paper heart basket - also known as pleated baskets - you can find my original tutorial here. It is very detailed - and written just as if you and I were sitting together learning how to make them. Every single step from beginning to end is pictured.

Kids between 9 and 12 will pick this up quickly. Start them out on a three strip heart. They will get a huge kick out of discovering the variety of hearts waiting in a big stash of paper!


             Now - eye candy and inspiration!

And then break out the scissors and your paper stash and start cutting and weaving!

Danish Woven Paper Heart Baskets

Traditional red and white make striking baskets and once you get the hang of weaving, you can get creative! A short how-to for creating designs like these can be found at the bottom of this post. They are much easier to weave than they look.

Danish Woven Basket Rainbow!

Every color sparkles when woven with white! Multi-colored garlands in soft colors woven with white would be perfect in children's nurseries or welcoming spring in the breakfast nook window.

Danish Heart Baskets

All those bits and pieces of wrapping paper saved from Christmas morning and those small bits that are just not big enough for a gift become beautiful hearts just waiting to be discovered!

I even tried one using craft paper woven with a bit of printed brown paper Christmas wrap. I think it would make a cool card or gift tag.

As you can see my selection of wrapping papers tends to be monochromatic! Your stash of wrapping paper no doubt will offer much more interesting possibilities!

Danish Woven Heart Baskets

Saved paper from birthday gifts like this softly colored vintage paper make very sweet woven heart baskets - these will reappear on my Easter Tree next spring.

Colorful Upcycled Danish Hearts

Like I said - possibilities are unlimited! Half the fun for me - the surprise results at the end of weaving! Kinda gets addictive.

Garlands of hearts in bright strong colors like these would brighten any mirror or window or shelf during summer and fall.  Or maybe a mobile! Party favors!

Graphic Danish Paper Heart Baskets

Boldly lettered ads deliver very bold and graphic hearts - certainly out of the ordinary.  Experiment!  Play!

Danish Woven Paper Hearts

I especially had fun with these - selecting "fabrics" so each one would look like a mini heart shaped quilt.

The more I look at this "quilt block" the more I love it. I am thinking if I made enough hearts for three "blocks", framed each of them, and hung them together in a grouping they would be dramatic and cheerful accents on a studio or study wall.

Danish Paper Heart Baskets

Batik! I love these! This paper was one that had me thinking " I don't know about this one". But I gave it a try and ... look how beautifully the weave worked out.

Danish Woven Paper Heart Basket

I just had to see what would happen if I wove these two scrap book papers together!

Danish woven heart baskets

And I just had to give news print and junk mail a shot. Not really working for me. I think junk mail works better as snowflakes! Go to the "junk mail snowflake guru" to see why!

BUT - they are great for learning and practicing heart basket weaving!

Danish Woven Paper Heart Baskets

Again, my original tutorial for weaving Danish heart baskets is here.

But if you already know how to weave and want to spice thing up a bit - here's how!

Irregular weave pattern step 1

Once you have cut two heart halves from your pattern, fold each in half with wrong sides facing out. Place identical marks for thin and thick strips on both halves of the heart as shown.

Try out lots of variations. The bigger the heart, the more possibilities because you have more area to work with. These hearts were made using the little tiny heart pattern I use for my little 24" high Scandinavian Advent Tree.

Irregular weave pattern step 2

Using the marks as guides, cut strips from the folded edge toward the rounded end. The cuts should be a little longer than the width of the pattern so there is a little room to weave and wiggle.

I usually don't draw full lines before cutting. If you can't cut a straight line, drawing lines is suggested!

I have observed that heavier papers tend to shift slightly while being cut with scissors so you may wish to use a craft knife and ruler if you like accuracy. If you look closely you can tell that some of mine are a little "off".

Irregular weave pattern step #3

Turn both halves of the heart so that the wrong sides are together and the right sides are facing out. Pencil lines are now hidden on the inside!

Irregular weave pattern step #4

Begin weaving as for a three or four strip heart.

Irregular weave pattern step 5

Continue until all strips have been woven together. If you have many strips, weaving may be a little challenging but just keep shifting your work toward the rounded end and all will work out. Patience will win out!

You will find more ideas for adding simple and pretty  creativity to your woven hearts in this "how-to" here.

A very Scandinavian way to display them here!

And if you find you like paper weaving, especially with recycled papers, check out this idea for making a storage canister by weaving bits of recycled papers around an oatmeal container.

i'm still suprised by all

i'm still suprised by all your briliant versions. wooow this one is so awesome, i love the versions you have made all.
the irregular cuts are cool to trie and the upcycled one as well.
Hard to choose wich i want to start with.LOL
and again a great tute.
thank you my dearest friend.
this is a great valentine idea as well!!!!
i'm still knitting teacups and saucer lightshades at the moment, it's too snowy outside here.
So i'm stucked to my home. My sheels don't like the thick snow layer-S
We have every year when it becomes under Zero Celcius degrees the same stupid dutch fever about ice skating of the elfstede tocht. ugh.
It's a big ice event that almost never will place.LOL It' s a bug huge ice skating event in Friesland on the ponds and rivers and elf cities.
The last time that it was happening is 16 years agoo.LOL but every year the same fever become the dutch people would it be this year.
Foreneigners and tourist don't get this, i don't get it either.LOL
but... this day i heart the first would it be happen on the radio and i thought ooooh noooo please....LOL
Do you have the same strange things with ice outside?
till soon.
many dutch hugs of me.XD and xo's

Ever since you put this post

Ever since you put this post up I've been wanting to try this with fabric! I just haven't had the time yet -maybe this weekend I'll give it a try.
I love all your variations, very inspiring!

Pam, you're so right. It's

Pam, you're so right. It's crazy to think these would only work at Christmas. NO way José! Anytime of the year would work for me.

I'm going to play favourites if you don't mind. First, I love the "quilt block". It should be an actual quilt block in an actual quilt in my opinion. So pretty! Second, I think the colourful ones with white which you've arranged in a wreath shape should become a real wreath. That wreath would sing.

I'm ashamed to say I've yet to try these but when I do (not if) I know for sure where to come. Thanks for the tutorial!

If not for YOU, Michele,

If not for YOU, Michele, inspiring me to take a second look toward recycling and reuse craft, the little "quilt block" - which i love too - would not have made an appearance!  When I viewed the image in iphoto for the first time - the negative space LeMoyne Star really popped out at me! 

Regardless of my limited quilting skills - I am going to attempt to make a small quilt using this block pattern!!

Thank you once again for becoming one of my muses and so beautifully demonstrating the art of recycle and reuse.

These look very versatile for

These look very versatile for decorations besides Christmas. Really love them and can hardly wait to try making them. I'm not too bright when it comes to going by directions, need to see it done then DUH the light comes on and I get it. But I'll try.
Thx for sharing this again. I saved the how-to also. Hope it helps. DUH! lol
THey're so pretty, I"ll be looking at junk mail very differently. Will try with that first so I don't waste alot of paper.