There are many variations in folk crafts throughout Sweden, due in part to its historical contact with continental Europe and various religious traditions within the country. Through numerous festivals and holidays, modern generations continue to create and display these traditional folk crafts. Make Swedish folk crafts for your home and keep the traditions alive.
Dalamalning, or traditional Swedish decorative folk art painting, features bright colours and flowing lines to create flowers, leaves and vines. Similar to rosemaling, or one-stroke painting, use dalamalning painting techniques to decorate utilitarian wood, metal and glass household items like clocks, trays, plates, furniture and bottom draws. Create decorative wall art with floral designs and landscapes painted on wood, glass or canvas. Make an assortment of hand-painted glass balls or carved wood ornaments featuring traditional Swedish motifs for the holidays.
The Dala horse is a common symbol found on many items in Swedish homes. Originally a child's toy carved by woodworkers, it is symbolic of Swedish handicrafts. Carve a simple Dala horse from a block of wood. Draw and paint them on canvas or paper and frame. Decorate them with folk art motifs of flowers and swirls in bright colours. Have children draw pictures of the Dala horse on coloured paper and decorate them with flower and leaf images. Make personalised wood signs for your front door.
The reindeer is native to Sweden and has been bred for centuries. Add images of reindeer to wood plaques using paint or wood burning techniques. Let kids make fun reindeer crafts using three clothespins for legs and antlers and googly eyes and a pom-pom for facial features. Use both regular and hinged clothespins for different sized reindeer. Glue two flat sides together for the legs. Glue the third upside down to the top of one side for the antlers. Hang the reindeer on a holiday tree or create a festive scene with a grouping among small artificial trees. Clip them onto the edges of flowerpots or use as place-card holders for a get-together.
A traditional summer celebration in Sweden is midsummer, celebrating the long days and short or endless days of sunlight in summer. Traditionally villagers danced around the Maypole holding trailing vines. For decorative purposes, make a Maypole for your garden. Decorate a pole with leaves and garlands of flowers draping from a cross bar. Use artificial flowers or plant vines at the base and train them on the pole. Make traditional flower hair wreaths, or "krans" to wear to summer festivities. Attach flowers and leaves to a frame of twisted wire and cut it to fit your head. Wrap and decorate with flowers and garlands. Hang the wreath as a decorative wall display when not being worn.
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