Thursday, December 15, 2016

Making Traditions:Lithuanian Straw Ornaments

After many years of just not getting around to it, I attempted to make some Lithuanian Straw Ornaments for my son and daughter-in-law. She's a genuine Lithuanian/American who has been here since her 20's. We have often talked of making them, but the holiday season is always so busy.
I am half Lithuanian and half Danish. Both sets of my grandparents were immigrants, they came here to make a better life. Chicagoland has a huge population of Lithuanians, while many Danes settled in Southeastern Wisconsin.  I have been to mass with my d-in-law when all said in Lithuanian.
I found some very basic directions---and from there had to improvise. The actual Lithuanian ornaments were made of bleached straw. But white plastic straws are used here. These were a little wide. I think thinner ones might work better.

The straws are connected by using a LONG darning needle with crochet thread to make a continuous loop through the entire ornament. This does involve some pre-planning. The only detailed instructions I could find were for the simple triangle based shape above.
The shapes can be very basic or very intricate. I'm not ready for three-tiered chandelier type ornaments, or the intricate snowflakes.  So far I have made ten, and maybe I can get a few more done before Saturday.
You cut the straws to equal lengths and then use geometry to create the 3-dimensional shapes.

They don't show up that well on our sparse primitive tree. But the kids have 2 cats and do a minimalist approach on a thick pine tree. They will be perfect on there.
A traditional 5-point star turned out well. Once my 68 year old brain traveled back to all those math classes I had through college, I began to see how there could be infinite patterns.
The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture  has an interesting post on their website about straw ornaments. They sponser a tree at the Museum of Science and Industry's Christmas Around the World  Exhibit, you can find out more here.

Whatever your background, culture, or neck-of-the-woods, 
we hope you have the 

Merriest Christmas!

Thanks always for visiting. 
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All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own, I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions or posts. Please do not use photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

I will be sharing at these fine Parties!

Vintage Charm


  1. So interesting!! Being of Polish descent with my Paternal grand parents immigrating from Poland, we still follow many of the Polish Christmas traditions but as far as I know,there are no Polish ornaments. These are so unique!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I didn't really go into it, but some of the shapes are church/religious symbol related as Lithuania is an Eastern Orthodox Christian. I have to do more research on that, and they use thin paper straws, which I wasn't able to find without more lead time. Grins, and Merry Christmas again, Sandi

  3. So pretty Sandi! So sweet of you to try these out for your daughter-in-law. Thanks so much for linking your ornaments up with Vintage Charm, and Merry Christmas!

    1. The Straw ornaments were fun and she lived them, we are going to try and find the smaller straws. Merry Christmas to you! Sandi


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