By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Pajaki are paper chandeliers, a Polish folk craft made to decorate the home with bright spring blooms. Traditionally made with wooden reed straws, and tissue paper, here’s a fun version to make with plastic, or paper straws, and other various crafting materials.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- Paper or plastic drinking straws
- Embroidery hoop
- Fabric strips, or ribbon to cover hoop
- Colored cardstock
- 1-inch circle punch
- Crepe paper
- String or yarn
- Large tapestry needle
- Hot glue and glue sticks
- One chenille stem, for helping you to hang your pajaki while you’re working on it
To begin, separate your embroidery hoop, and decide which ring you’re going to use. Cut strips of fabric, glue the end to the hoop, and begin wrapping the hoop with the fabric (or ribbon) to cover. Glue end to secure.
Use the circle punch to make various colors of paper circles from your cardstock.
Cut your drinking straws into pieces about 1-inch long.
Cut 4 pieces of string, or yarn, that are 14-inches long. Tie one end of each string onto the hoop, evenly spacing them around the hoop. These will be your hanging strings.
Thread your tapestry needle onto one of the hanging strings, and thread a piece of straw onto the string, push to the bottom by the hoop, then push the needle through the center of one of your cardstock circles, and down the string so it is against the top of the straw piece you just strung. Continue alternating straw pieces and paper circles until you are left with about 1.5-inches of string left at the top.
Thread your needle onto the other 3 strings, stringing them the same way as you did the first string. When you’re done, bunch the ends of string together at the top, and tie them together to secure. For ease of construction, make a hook from a chenille stem, affix it to the top of your strings, and now hang your pajaki from somewhere above you, like a light fixture, so you can work on it while it’s hanging. I secured mine to the chandelier above my table.
To make tassels, wrap some yarn around your fingers.
Slip the loops off, thread a piece of yarn though the loop, and tie it together at the top.
Hold the bundle of yarn together, and tie another small piece of yarn a bit down from the top to form the top of the tassel.
Cut the loops at the bottom, and trim. Make as many tassels as you need. I used 8.
To make the first loop in the bottom layer, cut a length of string, about 14-inches long, and tie one end to the hoop below one of your top strings. Thread your needle onto the end, and string a pieces of straw. Thread a paper circle next, and then repeat the pattern a few times, then thread the a tassel. After the tassel, work the same pattern you did on the first side, up the other side. Tie off the end on the hoop directly below the next top string. We’re trying to evenly space our strings to make a pattern.
Repeat the above steps 3 more times, each time tying the lower strings so they line up with the top strings. You should now have 4 lower loops with tassels in the middle.
The next set of bottom loops will be staggered between the first set of loops. To begin, tie a length of string onto the hoop in the middle of one of the first loops. Thread the straws, paper circles, and tassel pattern, making this new loop longer, so it will hang down a bit below the first set of loops. When done, tie the end of the string to the hoop in the middle between the next loop over.
Repeat the above process 3 more times, so you have 4 new longer loops, staggered between the first 4 shorter ones.
To make felt flowers, cut a circle about the size of a DVD disc, and cut the circle into a spiral, leaving a circle in the center. Begin rolling the spiral from the outside, gluing to secure as you roll. Keep rolling and gluing until you get to the center circle, then glue that circle over the back of the coiled flower to secure.
To make pom-pom flowers, cut a strip of felt, cut fringe onto one side, and then roll the strip, gluing as you go.
Glue your flowers onto the hoop, using them to cover the places you tied the strings onto the hoop.
Now that you have your basic pajaki, contiue embellishing and decorating with felt, crepe paper, and whatever else tickles your fancy.
I tied a long piece of pom-pom yarn onto mine, so it hang down from the center, and made a felt flower to dangle down through the middle.
Hang your pretty pajaki up to brighten a corner of your home, of make one for a party or wedding. This fun folk art craft makes a cheery decoration that’s equally as fun to assemble, as it is to look at.