Crafts #3: Pająki

January 9, 2012

One of the best things about the holidays are the decorations that seem to festoon every nook and cranny. But now, with the ornaments and lights gone, you may feel that in comparison to just a few weeks ago, things are looking a little plain and colorless. We’ve got the perfect remedy!


And it not only uses up leftover wrapping paper, but can give you a much needed respite from the dreary winter weather – the pajaki! Pajaki are traditional Polish paper chandeliers. Typically made from straw and pieces of colored scrap paper, the pajaki was a cheap way for 19th and 20th century homemakers to decorate their abodes. They can be insanely intricate, somewhere in-between, or refreshingly simple. But don’t be daunted. Though making these delicate mobiles take a lot of time and a hefty dose of patients – it’s well worth your time and effort.


Our simple guide will show you how to make the basic elements required in the creation of a pajak. Use them as a stepping stone to get started – and trust the power of your ingenuity to fabricate your very own masterpiece.

What You Need

Colored paper (tissue paper, crepe paper, leftover wrapping paper, etc.)

Polish stars

Natural straw (can be purchased here.)

Strong thread

Long tapestry needle



Prepare The Structure

Soak straw in water for a few minutes so it doesn’t snap or break when cut. Once soft, cut the straw into 1″ to 3″ pieces, depending on what sort of configuration you want.


Meanwhile, figure out your plan of attack. Using toothpicks and glue, create a miniature mock-up of what you want the main structure of the mobile to be. Remember, the skeleton is made up entirely of individual pieces of straw strung together with string and manipulated into 3-D shapes. Think pyramids, cubes, octahedrons, prisms, etc.

Create Decorative Elements

Use assorted paper to create several polish stars, pom poms, and/or flowers. In addition, cut out enough 1″ paper shapes (circles, triangles, flowers, etc.) to be strung in-between each piece of straw.

Put It All Together

Use assorted paper to create several polish stars, pom poms, and/or flowers.


Using strong thread and a long tapestry needle, assemble the straw and decorative elements together. Alternate straw, paper shape, straw, paper shape, etc., for the longer segments on the top half of the chandelier. Once the skeletal structure is in place, use thread to attach the paper stars, pom poms, and flowers at each of the intersections.


Remember: Patience, time, and a little planning go a long way 🙂