I was craving something different for our Christmas decor this year - a break from all of the vintage Shiny Brites in hot pink and teal that we've used the last six years - but didn't want to go out and buy a whole new set of ornaments and decor because, duh, baby on the way. Himmelis have been on my radar all year as seen here, here, and here. I love their shape and that they're new to me but rather traditional if you're Finnish. There's a long history of people making himmeli ornaments for Christmas or mobiles throughout the year from straws and brass but I wanted something sparkly and inexpensive that I could pump out in about an hour. Gold pipe cleaners! Yes!
1. Each ornament takes three pipe cleaners. You will also want yarn or twine to hang them. First, fold two pipe cleaners over each other to form an X. Don't just lay them on top of each other, they need to fold back so that they are two right angles that hook in the middle. 2. About 2" up from the center, fold each end up to the ceiling. 3. Take your third pipe cleaner and fold it around one of the bends about 1/4" as shown and then wrap it all the way around the next bend. Make it as tight as you can without bending everything out of shape. 4. Continue to bend that third pipe cleaner around each bend until you come back to the beginning. Fold over and trim extra if there's any. You'll want to make sure you're leaving an equal amount of space between each of the bends. 5. Take the shorter two pieces at the top of your open himmeli and fold over each other. 6. Then take the next two and fold over. Trim edges. Gently reshape any bends in the lines if you need to. Attach some yarn or twine to the top and hang.
I really love the way they look against the white tree. I've got no plans to get rid of any Shiny Brites but it's fun to have so many different colors in my collection that I can change things out every year or two. This year I added a finger-knit garland (only one half of it has been hung because I'm still working on the other half!), wrapped the tree in a thrifted afghan instead of fussing with yet another handmade tree skirt, pulled all of the gold bulbs from my stash, and made the tree topper out of leftover pipe cleaners. It was more of the same twisting and folding of pipe cleaners. I'll be sure to share more of our holiday decor in a future post.
Ruby got in on the pipe cleaner action while I was working and made herself a handful of candy cane pipe cleaner ornaments for the shorter white tree we have. We also made some twisty hearts and she climbed on top of that deer and hung them all near the top. It's quite charming.
The great thing about this kind of project is how versatile it is. You could string together a dozen or more himmelis to make a garland for your doorway, add them to a wreath, or make mini himmelis and attach them to presents. Feel free to link back to this tutorial to share your own!