Wednesday, November 26

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas

A little while ago I was asked by Stitch Craft Create whether I was interested in taking part in a book tour about Handmade Christmas Decorations. One of the books immediately caught my eye: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt.*

Having spent a few years in Norway I'm familiar with some of the Scandinavian Winter/Christmas traditions. To me a Scandinavian Christmas means: light, warmth and bringing nature inside your home. I was pleased to find all of these elements in this book.

The projects in Handmade Scandinavian Christmas are not just 'inspired by' but 100% Scandinavian. There are too many projects to mention: they range from knitting projects (more about that in the interview) to decorations for your home made with berries, branches and pine cones to wrapping ideas. There are typical Scandinavian recipes (I for one can't wait to make the Rice Pudding with Cinnamon!), a chapter about flowers and also simple projects involving food that make great Christmas Gifts. Another thing I definitely want to try are these cute bird feeders.

The project descriptions are rather concise at times but with a little common sense you can work it out. I must admit that the simplicity of many of the projects make it all seem very doable even if you are not especially gifted in cooking, crafting or making decorations. Some of the projects in the book (like the one pictured below) however involve sawing branches and using a drill, which is a little outside my comfort zone. ;)

Me and my daughter Luna opted for the safer paper ornaments (no sawing required) and we were pretty successful! Also: it's hard to stop at one so we made several :)

We did change a little detail, using needle and thread rather than a paperclip to bring the whole thing together. We also made a paper 'woven heart' which again was easy to do with very satisfactory results. There is actually a separate chapter in the book with projects for kids but I found that these paper Christmas decorations were very suitable to make with children too.

I thought it would be nice to learn a bit more about the author of the book, Hege Barnholt and she kindly agreed to answer the questions I sent her! Hege lives in Norway with her husband (a photographer) and works as an interior stylist. Their blog and Instagram account are well worth a visit/follow because of the beautiful photography and styling.

Is there much difference between the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Christmas Traditions?
The original Scandinavian Christmas is in the colours red and white. And we use a lot of natural materials. The Swedish and Danish Christmas are almost similar. Only the food is a little bit different.

The book has many projects and I read that some of the recipes were passed down from your grandmother but how did you source the many other projects? Where they also passed down from your family or did you make new ones in a traditional style?
I made all the projects my self.  Some in traditional style but also some with a new design or look. All the Christmas cakes are old recipes from my grandmother and mother. My mother made them for me, she died last January. So this book means a lot to me. She made me to the creative person I'm today. 

There are quite a few projects in the book that require knitting. What is it with Scandinavians and knitting? It’s seems immensely popular in the Nordic countries!

We live in a country where part of the year is darkest and cold. We stay inside and love to have crafty projects. And we love to wear them when its cold. The Scandinavian design use a lot of old pattern in a new way,  and the wool is typical Scandinavian style.

Do you have a special Christmas tradition in your family?
I loved when my family sat around the table preparing for Christmas with scissors and paper needles and thread. Making homemade presents and decorations for Christmas. We also used all things we had collected from the nature in the autumn such as cones, moss and crooked branches. And my husband and I always make each other an advent calendar, Its so nice all the 24 surprises until Christmas.

Santa or Julenisse (the Norwegian Santa, but a little different)?
Of course - Julenisse,  it is the cutest. 

Thank you for a lovely interview Hege, God Jul!

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas is perfect if you want to bring a genuine piece of Scandinavian Christmas into your home. Many of the projects are easy to do and require little expertise. 

Now if you'd like a chance to win £100 to spend at Stitch Craft Create you can share a picture of your own handmade Christmas on the share board of Stitch Craft Create or use the hashtag #SCCXmas on Twitter or Instagram. Definitely worth a try I think :) 

Happy Crafting everyone! 

*I received an e-book version of the book for the review. All my opinions are my own. :)


  1. Thank you for a very nice presentation of our book.
    Best regards Hege and Bjørn Johan

  2. NB:
    And You ca see more on our blog:
    Best regards Hege and Bjørn Johan


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