Let me start by saying these are far more than little heart baskets made from paper. These Julehjerter are Christmas therapy. They’re a key to recapturing the nostalgic Christmas celebrations you long for.
I have a theory that what makes us feel like Christmas has lost some of its magic isn’t really all of the extra things that crowd out the peace and joy.
It isn’t that there are more commercials and shopping and creepy watcher elves sneaking around causing havoc.
It’s that we’ve forgotten the sweet, simple things. The hyggeligt things. Things like paper hearts.
The great news is that this is an easy fix. It won’t take much time. You can do it while you listen to Christmas carols, or watch your favorite Christmas film, or visit with your aunt or niece or grandma.
And as a special bonus, I’ll share a fun little variation that my daughter learned from her Danish friends!
Printable Heart Basket Template
This printable template includes a few different variations on two pages. The simplest, three strip design will be easiest for young fingers to manage.
Just click here to download the printable template in pdf format, then print each page twice – once on white and once on red paper. Or see an alternative way to use the template below.
Fold and Cut
Once you’ve printed the template on red and white paper, fold the paper on the fold line. Then carefully cut around the shapes and up each line to create a strip. You will cut through the fold to make the strips, but do not cut along the fold line!
To hide the ugly printed lines, simply refold the shapes along the fold line so that the lines are on the inside.
Weave the Two Sides Together
And now we come to the magical part! The unique weaving technique weaves both sides of the basket separately, at the same time.
- Start with matching shapes in red and white.
- Weave the first strip of the white shape between the two layers of the first strip of the red shape.
- Thread the next red strip between the two layers of the white strip that you are weaving with.
- Repeat the alternating weaving pattern until all of the strips are woven together. *See above
The trick is to be sure that you’re always weaving one side between the two layers of the other side, keeping the middle of the basket open.
I’ve made the lines on the template a little extra long to make the weave a little less tight and easier to manage. Even so, children may need a little help tightening the first rows so that the last strip can be woven in the final row.
Handle With Care
As a final touch, cut a strip of the scrap paper for a handle. Trim it to whatever length you wish and then attach to the inside of the basket with glue or tape. You can also reinforce the sides of the basket with a bit of tape if you’ll be filling it full.
The Danes sometimes hang these from the tree, which would require a bit longer handle than if you’re using this as an adorable place setting at your holiday feast. You can also punch a hole and tie it with string or ribbon if that works better for your project.
And now you can fill it with candy. Or a Christmas cookie. Or a love note. And can you think of a classier way to present a gift card? Perfect!
But Wait! There’s More!
When I told Milly that I would be making these and sharing on the blog she shared a little Danish secret with me. The secret of the wrapping paper. It’s a thing.
Instead of using plain paper, the clever Danes use up their scraps of wrapping paper (especially double-sided wrapping paper) to make colorful, pretty little Christmas heart baskets with a bit of festive flair.
I pulled out two of my very favorite papers and was thrilled with how beautifully they wove together!
These pretty little variations are just as easy to make as the originals.
- Print the template from above, and instead of folding and cutting, simply cut the entire shape including the fold line.
- Fold your wrapping papers, and then stack them together with the folds lined up.
- Place your template on the paper with the fold line matched up to the folds of the wrapping paper.
- Cut around the shape, and then up each line to create the strips.
- Weave as instructed above.
Warning: because the wrapping paper is thinner and more delicate, it can be easier to rip and may be a little harder for little fingers to manage.
I tied these with string handles after reinforcing the hearts with a bit of tape where they were punched. They’re beautiful filled with Christmas candy!
More Than Paper Hearts
These are so much more than just bits of paper shaped into a little basket. The act of creating lovely things with our hands really is calming. The heart shapes are a beautiful reminder of why we celebrate. John 3:16
Whether you weave them for a bit of quiet time on your own, or gathered together with loved ones, they are a powerful way to recapture some of the simple joys of Christmases past.
And with all my heart I wish you a very Merry Christmas!