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Norwegian Baskets

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I was quite young when my Grandmother taught me how to make Norwegian Baskets out of wrapping paper. This is one tradition she passed on to me from her childhood growing up in Oslo. I would like to share it with you.

The selected wrapping paper would usually be two contrasting solid colors; or, a solid paired with a faintly patterned color. Red, green, blue and white provided contrasts that were perfect for the season; the look was very Scandinavian!

Everything was learned by observation and by hands-on, trial-and-error practice. There was no measuring before cutting, just eyeballing it. When it came time to glue on the baskets’ handles, my grandmother taught me how to make paste out of flour and water.

I hope you enjoy learning this new craft or remembering a long-lost skill. God Jul!

PAPER PREP

  1. Choose wrapping paper in solid colors (make sure there is NO cutting grid with those gray, dotted lines printed on the back side). You may also use construction paper for a younger group; each piece measures 9”w x 12”h.

  2. Working with construction paper in the images below, fold in half lengthwise.

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3. Measure along the folded crease and cut two baskets, each 2.25”w; one basket from each color. (I chose two colors that would photograph well for these instructions. Suggested colors would be contrasting, bright colors.)

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Each basket will have three 0.75”w strips for weaving. Each strip will be cut 2.5”h.

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WEAVING

  1. Hold each basket color, or half, at an angle, with the folded edges away from you.

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  2. Each strip is woven this way: By looking at the example colors, start by weaving the inner most strips first; you will always work with two strips simultaneously. Because you are weaving, each strip of one color will pass through the inside or over the outside of those strips of the opposite color.

    1. Weave the first green strip and first brown strip: the slightly ‘opened’ first green strip is on the outside and has the ‘closed’ brown strip woven through the inside of it;

    2. slide the basket halves and strips towards the top of the cut slits as you are working (this makes more room for the next strip to be

      woven);

    3. next, slide the first green strip through a slightly opened middle brown strip;

    4. finally, the slightly opened green strip has the brown strip woven through it.

  3. The strips take turns being slightly opened or being closed, or passing through the inside, or going around the outside. Following this alternating pattern creates the weave. When one color is slightly ‘opened’, this allows the second color’s strip which is ‘closed’ to pass through it.

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  4. Every row, or strip, alternates the opened or closed passing of each strip’s color. In this example:

    1. the second green strip will be closed passing through the first brown strip; then,

    2. the second green strip will be opened slightly allowing the brown strip to pass through.

  5. Continue weaving all of the strips.

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  6. Once the weaving is complete, this is how your basket will look.

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  7. Here’s a look of the inside of your woven heart basket before its handle is placed on it. If you like, date the inside of your basket.

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8. Round the tops: gently hold the two halves together and cut a rounded top to create the heart shape.

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9. Now you can secure your handle with tape or glue made for use with paper.

These baskets can be hung on your Christmas tree annually, adding new baskets every year.

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Other ideas -

These baskets don’t have to be used just for Christmas. During one special occasion, I placed a basket (without handles) on each plate set on my dining room table. Each basket held a folded napkin in it at every place setting. Or, a special note can be written on a separate piece of paper and placed inside the basket. A thought, prayer or word of thanks conveys a truly meaningful message when delivered in a card or accompanied with a remembrance gift.

Enjoy – Martha

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6 thoughts on “Norwegian Baskets”

  • Vivian Sutphin

    This is a project I would like to do. I've seen these baskets in the past but never tried to make one. Thanks for the excellent instructions. Merry Christmas to all of you!!

    Reply
  • Claudia Rae Hoier
    Claudia Rae Hoier December 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Made these as a child except we made them for May Day. Filled them with candy, popcorn, etc., and left them at the doorstep of friends.

    Reply
  • Ninon Anderson

    I have been making these since childhood..am 81 now...
    grandmother from Denmark taught me and we used
    last years Christmas cards that had been received....\

    we were recycling way back in 1940 and 1950...

    Merry Christmas

    Reply
  • Karen Wesley

    Nice activity for my active grandkids this Holliday.

    Reply
  • Phylis Seitz

    Thank you for posting this. Years ago a co-worker showed me how to make heart ornaments this way; but, she did not make baskets. These are adorable and it is good to they come from Norway. Merry Christmas.

    Reply
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