Pleated Christmas hearts

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Various plaited Christmas hearts

Plaited Christmas hearts (Danish: Julehjerte) are a Danish and north German Christmas tree ornament.[1]

The exact age and origin of the tradition of making paper hearts is unknown, but the oldest known plaited Christmas hearts were made by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in 1860. However, as Andersen's heart has no handle, it seems unlikely it could have been used as a Christmas tree ornament. That plaited heart is today located in the Hans Christian Andersen House in the city of Odense in Denmark. We know, however, that Andersen did make decorations for Christmas trees, and that the predecessors of the plaited Christmas hearts were made from wicker baskets.

The oldest known guide to making plaited Christmas hearts is found in the Official Nordic handicraft Journal from 1871, and the oldest plaited Christmas heart (from 1873) is preserved at the National Museum in Copenhagen. But it was still some 40 years before the paited Christmas hearts became more widespread.

It is believed that kindergartens from around 1910 started spreading the use of the plaited Christmas hearts which were made from glossy paper in order to enhance the children's creative abilities, patience and fine motor skills.

The first plaited Christmas book, called Julehjerter, was released by the Lottrup Knudsen brothers in 1975.

A more recent book, which includes a big variety of plaited Christmas heart templates, is Francis Jordt's Flettede julehjerter.


  1. ^ Hjerter og glaskugler til jul from In Danish. Retrieved 30 July 2009.

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