Friday, March 12, 2010

Polish Paper Chandeliers

I recently came across this article in decor8 about Polish Chandeliers or Pajaki as they are called. Seriously click on the link because there are about 5 or 6 different interpretations shown by some hugely talented artists. It got my creative juices running and inspired me to have a go myself in my own way. I'm pretty sure I'm doing the Polish a great injustice by calling mine a Pajaki as it's quite a bit different from the intricate and glorious traditional pieces so maybe I'll stick with paper chandelier :)

So to create your very own pajaki here's what you do.....

1. Ingredients

You'll need:
  • Paper of course. I just used up lots of scraps. And glue.
  • Punches. Use a variety of punches depending on what shapes you want your 'beads' to be. I used two different size circles, and ended up using a butterfly as well.
  • String. I used embroidery floss because it's a bit thicker than cotton and comes in lots of colours. And a needle.
  • Pipe-cleaners. Doesn't matter too much what colour you have - I ended up covering mine with ribbon so put that on the list too.
  • Drinking straws. I used clear ones so they were more camouflaged.
  • I also added beads to mine as a last minute addition.
  • And I cracked out the Cuttlebug for the larger butterfly in the centrepiece.
2. Cut

Decide how many strands you want hanging from your chandelier and how long you want them to be. I did 5 which are about a foot long. You could think about doing them all different lengths if you want to jazz it up a bit! Cut pieces of your string a bit longer than you want so you've got some length for tying. You'll also need more for the centrepiece. Cut your straws into pieces too. Cut out the bendy bit if you're using those kind of straws!

3. Punch

Punch or cut out all your shapes. For each bead I used 5 pieces, but you could easily use more for a 'fluffier' look. I was just conscious of the time and effort!

4. Fold

Fold each piece in half. You want to fold the side you want showing inwards on itself.

5. Create each 'bead'

By gluing your 5 pieces together. Don't glue the last side together (hence completing the circle) yet because it might become impossible to thread.
I worked out how many of each size and shape 'bead' I needed at the start and made them all first. Then I lined them all up in the order I wanted, so I Could still do some shuffling around at this stage rather than having to un-thread the rows should I end up with 2 of the same colour next to each other or some other artistic disaster!

6. Assemble

Assemble each strand by threading a 'bead', a straw, a 'bead' and so on. I glued each 'bead' shut as I went along, and then I added a real bead at the bottom. If you're using a shape that had a top and bottom (like the butterfly) then made sure you put it on the right way! I found that out the hard way and had to start a row again!

7. Create the frame

Create the frame with your pipe-cleaners. I then wrapped ribbon all the way around to match the colour scheme better. You can see I've just got a bulldog clip holding it together at this point rather than completing the circle because I need it to be adjustable to fit around my light shade.

Sorry, I got a bit carried away at this point and stopped taking photos. But it should be easy enough to work out from here. Tie each strand onto your frame, nicely spaced apart.

In the very centre I made a larger butterfly 'bead' the same way as the others, but used a cutting die in my Cuttlebug instead of a punch. Then, instead of threading just one piece of string through the middle of it, I threaded 3. That way you can tie each strand nicely spaced around the frame so that the butterfly hangs squarely in the middle. It might be a bit hard to see in this photo - it appears much better in top photo.

Here it is hanging in our bedroom / nursery, and now you can see how I've tried to mimic the colours from the bird decoration for a bit of continuity. Now Girl No.2 has lots of eye candy to keep her amused when she's in her crib rather than a plain white wall and ceiling.

Thanks for making it this far. Let me know if I didn't make something clear enough, or if you give one of these beauties a go. Don't forget to enter the giveaway.


  1. WOW Natalie this is gorgeous!!!
    love your birdies on the nursery wall cute

  2. I've been wanting to find a way to spruce up my daughter's nursery, and this looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is just gorgous Natalie, wow you have fantastic instructions to go with it also. Just love this, looks great with the birds on the wall in the background.

  4. Wow Natalie! These are gorgeous ... I like your's better than the article ones ;-) Might even give the kids a project to do over the weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love that paper chandelier! So creative!

  6. Okay this is the coolest thing. EVER. I'm totally making one. I'm going to probably interpret a little different, but hot dang how cool! Yours is gorgeous!!!

  7. Oh that's fantastic Natalie.... i'm busy making a mobile for jorja's room with all my chipboard designs... but I've stopped because e i want to change i am rethinking the design...way to much thinking and not enough action takin!!!

    heaps of great scrappy inspiration here thanks heaps for sharing... lee xx

  8. Hello there! I know this is an older post but it was a keeper for me! They are so cute and you did a lovely job. I've linked your chandelier to my project post here today too, well done!


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