Create a Reflection of Your Ancestry with a Yarn Star Garland

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

Make a family heritage garland to celebrate the holiday season!

Every yarn star on my garland represents a part of my heritage - countries of my ancestors. The colors and designs are derived from the flag of each country and the center of each holds a small mirror - a reflection of who I am and where I came from.

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

And like many Americans, I am a melting pot!!!

If you are not - and have only one or two countries represented in your family tree, you can still make a garland - just try to arrange the yarn in as many different designs as you can think of!

This is a great way for kids to explore and get to know a little bit about their own ancestry. Why not make a family garland and then select a food or activity during the holidays to honor each branch on the family tree.

Yarn stars depicting the national colors of Estonia

Image made by Mermaid's Making

I was inspired to make my heritage garland last year when I found this post on Mermaids Making - beautiful Yarn Stars made to represent Linda's own heritage - Estonia. She used Estonia's national colors to create the yarn stars and added images of the national flower (cornflower) or bird (swallow) to the center.

She is a very clever woman and I have no idea how she came up with the weave but she has been improving on the original yarn star since day one!!!

I think Linda's blue, white and black stars are simply beautiful. And apparently I am not alone in that assessment - Linda has been asked to make sets of stars for several members of her family!

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

So - my own ancestry? Quite a list! English, Dutch, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, French and German.

Some of you may be surprised to see there is no Scandinavian country listed. However, Danes and Norwegians began establishing settlements in the British Isles in the mid to late 9th century according to Wikipedia; and Old Norse was once widely spoken in northeast counties of England.

There are blue-eyed blonds and gorgeous red-heads in the Sctoch-Irish-Welsh branches of my family tree.

I am thinking there is most likely Scandinavian blood present!!!

Be that as it may, let's get back to the garland! Below, you will find images of each star and the country it represents. Each star is woven using the colors found in the national flag.

In the interest of keeping this simple, if you are curious, you can refer to this site for images of the flags of all countries of the world.

And to make yarn stars of your own, here is the tutorial!

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

United Kingdom! The official flag of the United Kingdom - the Union Jack - is actually a composite of the flags of the three countries in the British Isles that have united to form the United KingdomÂ…

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

England's flag of St. George...

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

Northern Ireland's flag - Patron Saint of Ireland - St. Patrick... and...

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

Scotland's - flag of St. Andrew.

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

Wales - the flag of Wales is quite beautiful and unusual - green and white fields with a large red dragon in the center.

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

The Republic of Ireland. Not really knowing the actual details of my Irish ancestry, I am including both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland - member of the United Kingdom.

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

The Netherlands flag - horizontal bars of color - red, white and blue...

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

and the flag of France - vertical bars of blue, white and red... a bit of a challenge to make each star distinctive!

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

And Germany - a completely unique (to this collection) color pallet - black, red and gold.

Yarn Star Garland - Heritage Reflections at Christmas

And there you are! Like I said - a big ole melting pot!



Just so you know -  worked out a weaving pattern for a six sided Star of David and experimented with raffia as my weaving material.

Either option would be so pretty humg in clusters from a light fixture or an embroidery hoop over a table or scattered throughout a centerpiece - at Thanksgiving or Hanukkah!.

where do you find the

where do you find the directions for the star

These look wonderful! I want

These look wonderful! I want to try making the Union Jack. My dad was born in Derby, England, and my mum in Australia. My Heinz 57 is Scotch, English, German, Italian, and a little Dutch. I'm a redhead, too, and it was amazing when I rode the Tube in London the first time to see so many other people who looked like me, lol! Our family also has a legend about the Spaniards, only they say it's one of the survivors of the Armada that floated to shore and gave me my hazel eyes - the rest of the family has blue eyes. Love your blog - just discovered it, and it's a feast for a folk art lover's heart! Aloha from Hawaii!

Hello Pam, i love this idea

Hello Pam, i love this idea of yours, but first i'm whishing you a happy newyear full with inspiration and creativity with your love ones;-D
I thought without reading this looks the flags, soooo smart!!!
and the mirrows inside , wooow so briliant.
love it.
thank you again for t he sharing , i will email you soon;--D
many dutch hugs xo

I tell everyone that the

I tell everyone that the Vikings gave the Irish their red hair and no one believes me. lol My daughter and my neice were born with strawberry blond hair that later turned blond. I'm Swedish-American (both parents from Sweden) and my husband is a Heinz 57-Irish, English, Dutch, and Scottish. Thanks for sharing the great crafts.

So Katharine!  You have a

So Katharine!  You have a really great mix of countries to draw upon for a garland!

I vote for Vikings!!!  Although my mother who is a red head (as is my sister and grandmother) insists that the red hair comes from Spanish pirates who raided the coasts of Wales and Ireland.  I don't believe it.  Vikings all the way!!!

You are so creative! I want

You are so creative! I want to make a few of these as gift tags for my family and friends this year...two British, one Canadian and of course, one Swedish for my mother. How long does it take to make one? I wish I had more time to craft and add to my blog...*sigh*

Tina, It only take a few

Tina, It only take a few minutes to weave a star!  It might take a little practice to get the weaving technique but once you make one - the rest go so quickly.

What a lovely

What a lovely reinterpretation of your beautiful stars Pam.It must have taken so much patience to work out exactly how to represent each flag.

I have been mulling over your friends pepperkake problem. I think that there are several variables that could lead to the cookies being or becoming soft and then falling off the ribbons. Firstly, it could be the recipe she used, the type of fat used or the temperature and length of baking. All these factors affect the end result. Secondly, it could be environmental. Depending on where she lives, the weather could be quite humid, or the kitchen or room where the cookies hang could be humid, which could lead to the cookies softening. Here, the weather is bitingly cold and dry around Christmas.
My mother-in-law has a large kitchen, heated only by a woodburning stove, which keeps the atmosphere very dry.
She uses hard fat (butter-or a solid block margerine could substitute for the butter)never a soft spreading type fat. Also, the cookies are baked and thoroughly cooled before hanging. They could be made a week or so in advance. Hmmn. Some thoughts, but not much direct help.
My youngest son is off to his Grandmother this afternoon for his own special afternoon of pepperkake baking with her. It is one of our annual traditions to start off Advent. Starting the countdown tomorrow! Love Gill.

Your idea to speak about your

Your idea to speak about your family's story with this garland is great!
It gives to your work so much meaning! :)
Your garland isn't only amazing, but speaks of you! Lovely!

I couldn't imagine (before this post) that you have all this european blood in you :)
Of course I know that this is not so strange for US citizens, but I haven't thought this thing related to you before (uhm, probably my grammar is not correct here, sorry!).

Have you received my stars?

No - I have not received my

No - I have not received my stars yet, silvia, but I am sure they will be here any day.  I love all your snowflakes and stars and can not wiat to hang my very own on my tree!

Yes - European blood!!!  Dutch, French  and German are quite old but most of the others are quite recent - within the last three or four generations.

We know that some family trees have been explored, but we are finding it difficult to locate the work.  Sad.