Geometric Mobiles

This stunning project is also surprisingly simple to make. Himmelis are geometric mobiles that are used as Finnish Christmas decorations. Traditionally they are made of rye straw and hung over the table to ensure a healthy rye harvest the next year.

  1. Ages: 5 - 16

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. A little messy

Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    These mobiles seem difficult and complex, but they're actually very simple and quick to construct.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Not surprisingly, my daughter Maddie chose a variety of neon colors for her himmelis.
    First we measured the straws to find their length, then cut each straw in half. We ended up with about 30 pieces.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    You need 12 pieces for each geometric shape. First, use your thread and needle to thread along four pieces.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Once you have four pieces strung together, bring the two ends of the string together and tie a knot. Madeleine has mastered many different kinds of knots lately, so this was a favorite step of hers!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Thread two more pieces, then loop the string around the bottom of the diamond, to tighten and secure the shape. Add two more pieces, and tie it up top to the end of the other (tied) end of the string. Now there are four sides.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    Drop the (still threaded) needle back down through one piece of straw, to bring it to the halfway point. Thread on a straw, crosswise, and secure it to the next side by looping it around once. Follow suit the rest of the way, making four cross pieces.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Step 7

    Bring the needle back up through any of the straws, towards the top where you have the other short end, and tie the string again. Your first piece is finished! Repeat this as many times as you'd like, making your mobile as elaborate as you choose.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

  • Done!

    Madeleine opted for two himmelis. After she tied the two pieces together, she kept the needle threaded and poked the needle through pieces of different lengths of straw at different intervals to decorate the bottom with a spinning spiral.
    We love seeing her beautiful mobile hanging on our bare and snowy branches in the backyard!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 8

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