Crafting at Home With Harriet: Making a Pajaki
As the coronavirus lockdown continues in London our Creative Director, Harriet Vine, is of course spending every spare minute at home getting creative. We thought we would start sharing exactly what she's been up to and see if you have the right materials tucked away in your craft cupboards to join in with some of these fun projects.
Over the bank holiday Easter weekend Harriet set to making a Pajaki.
"I have always wanted to make one of these, I made one a few Christmas' ago but it was a gift for someone so finally, I have the time to make one for me. I was tidying my craft stuff and had a packet of tissue and 3 packs of straws from charity shops in Finland where I went for Christmas... so bingo, bank holiday Monday was all about binge-watching Tiger King, Jim Jarmush's film 'Coffee and Cigarettes' on Mubi and making Pajaki. It was a dream." - Harriet
Pajaki are traditional Polish straw and paper chandeliers and their history dates back to the 18th century. They used to be made by countryside-based women to decorate their houses during Christmas, Easter and other celebrations like weddings or christenings. According to Polish beliefs, they are supposed to bring happiness. How lovely!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Tissue paper (Harriet used orange, pale green, yellow and grey)
Scrap thin card (old birthday card, or easter egg box)
HERE’S A STEP BY STEP GUIDE FROM HARRIET:
Grab whatever size cups and tumblers you have available at home and chose the ones that feel the right size to make the pom-poms. These ones are 10cm.
Cut the orange tissue into circles and snip into them a little way 8 times and curl each section with a pencil. Each pom pom uses about 16 circles.
First divide your circles into 7 piles and thread them on to strong cotton, alternating the curved side to create volume for each of the paper pom-poms. Harriet used a small piece of easter egg box on each end like a washer, tie a knot to secure your pom-poms are held together.
Cut the pale green tissue paper into long strips, fold it and make lots of tiny snips along one edge to make long strips of fringe. Use these to then wrap around the inside hoop of an embroidery ring, and then secure it with a glue gun or any other strong glue you have to hand.
Cut your straws into 50mm pieces, you’re going to need to cut more than you think, around 120! Then cut the grey and yellow tissue into small circles by drawing around a spirit measure or anything else you can find that’s a small circle.
You’re going to need to cut a piece of long thread, there’s no exact science here - Harriet recommends holding the string up in the space that you want to hang it as a guide.
You’ll need to measure out 6 long pieces of strong thread, twice as long, and a bit more, then the overall length you want it to be. These get folded in half and then tie a knot at the top to secure them all together so you have 12 strings. Tie them around the centre of one of the orange pom pom balls so the pompom covers the knot.
Start threading the straws and small grey circles on to each thread until 6 strands had the same amount on each one. Harriet did this again with slightly smaller yellow circles too on the other six pieces of thread but made these slightly longer so they would swag on the inside.
Divide your green fringed circle into 6 equal sections, 60 degrees each and tie off your 6 grey strands, then adjust the tension before tying the yellow ones off in the same spots.
Take the orange pom pom balls you created earlier and use the same thread holding them together to tie these at the same point, making sure to cover any knots or loose threads.
To finish your Pajaki, cut and thread more tissue paper circles in the green tissue paper and straw on to the final pieces of string which will hang below the fringed embroidery ring.
Tie each one end-to-end from the placements of the orange pom poms and there you have it - your finished Pajaki!
Make sure to tag @tattydevine, #TattyDevine and @harrietvine in your crafting at home activities, especially if you had a go at making yourself a Pajaki. See more of Harriet’s make on her Instagram story highlights.