DIY Mini Pajaki

A few months ago, I was invited to my beloved Castle In The Air for an afternoon of pajaki making. What’s a pajaki, you ask? Pajakis are traditional Polish paper chandeliers, made from straw and pieces of colored paper. Though they vary in shape and size, these mobiles are always incredibly colorful and festive. I had so much fun making my first pajaki, I knew it was a tutorial I had to share with you. They are definitely time consuming to make (but oh so worth it) so I asked creative geniuses, John McRae and Karima Cammell, of Castle In The Air to come up with a simpler tutorial just for you!

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You’ll need:

Start by creating crepe paper cockades. Cut fringe into each piece of crepe paper. Cut lengthwise along the grain and stop halfway. Then twist each piece of fringe between the fingers.

Continue twisting!

Glue the edges of each rectangular strip into individual circular tubes. Allow to dry and then accordion fold the circle into a tight bunch.

Take the floral wire and wrap and twist it around the middle of the bunch. Open the solid side and fan out.

Then open the fringed side and fan out. Trim away any excess wire. Repeat the same steps to the rest of the crepe paper. There should be 2 large cockades and 6 small ones.

Tie the two pieces of twine into a cow hitch knot around the bone ring so that 4 even strands are hanging from the ring. Spun cotton balls are used not only to hold pieces in place but also to add a bit of texture and ornamentation. Take a wooden skewer to open up some of the holes in the cotton balls.

Thread all four strands of twine through a large cotton ball.

Thread a single strand through a medium sized ball. Push the ball against the larger ball and tie the knot to secure it. This will be the strand that will hand down the middle of the pajaki. The other three strands will help create the chandelier-like shape. Before creating the shape however, add cotton balls or dresden medallions on each of the three strands. Remember to create a knot after each embellishment to hold them in place.

Now for the shape. Take one piece of twine and insert it into a paper straw. Take a neighboring strand and insert it through the other side of the straw.

One side of the triangle is complete. Repeat the steps on the other strands to create the other 2 sides of the triangle.

Add a few more cotton balls or other embellishments before adding on the smaller crepe paper cockades. Centering a cotton ball helps hold the cockade in place. Sandwich the twine between two cockades with a dollop of glue, fringe side facing in. Press firmly and allow to dry completely.

Add a few more embellishments and finish with some dresden medallions and/or ribbon cockades.

Glue on a small dresden medallion to the center of the crepe paper cockades. Repeat on the other three strands. They should be uniform in length. Then add balls, ribbon and dresden to the center strand, making it longer the other three strands.

Add the larger cockade.

Finish off with more embellishments.

And your mini pajaki is finished!! The best part about this project is that there is no right or wrong way to do this. You can always add crepe pom poms in place of cockades or any other embellishment or beads in place of cotton balls or dresden. Make it your own and have fun!

How incredible are the larger pajakis . . . perhaps we’ll tackle that tutorial next?

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(images by HonestlyWTF; tutorial courtesy of Castle In The Air)

Leave a Comment

65 Comments

  1. Mira wrote:

    Honestly this doesn’t look so simple but the pajakis are really beautiful 😀

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    XX

    glamdevils

    5.21.13
    Reply
  2. Your DIY are always so beautiful!!

    xoxo

    LEATHER & ICE CREAM

    5.21.13
    Reply
  3. Iren wrote:

    I’ve never seen anything like this!
    It’s very beautiful, thanks for sharing!

    xoxo Iren
    http://www.liakw.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  4. These are absolutely gorgeous! Perfect to freshen up a room for summer, or even on a porch!
    xx
    http://thescreensiren.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  5. looks quite easy and nice! xo, Alma
    http://www.soulofashopper.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  6. STEL STYLE wrote:

    Amazing diy, it’s so original and beautiful

    http://www.thestelstyle.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  7. Rachelle wrote:

    That is so cool, love it.

    xo
    http://pinksole.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  8. Paty wrote:

    I loved it!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

    http://www.thegavlaks.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  9. These are gorgeous. I’d love to know the history behind them. Are pajakis only made at certain times of the year or for celebration?
    Loving the large one. Both would work as a children’s mobile as well.
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

    5.21.13
    Reply
  10. This is so neat!

    5.21.13
    Reply
  11. Alisa Kiskis wrote:

    Just when I think Honestly WTF has found something amazing they out do themselves with a new DIY. Simply Awesome!
    CreationbyKiskis.etsy.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  12. Tibs wrote:

    They look so cute!

    ps. what do think of these shoes…
    http://shoptravelfood.blogspot.hu/2013/05/champagne-shoes.html

    5.21.13
    Reply
  13. This is so so cool! So fun! Thanks for sharing such a one-of-a-kind DIY!

    xoxo
    Juliette Laura
    juliettelaura.blogspot.com

    5.21.13
    Reply
  14. Those are so cute. Never heard of them before. Great photos.

    5.21.13
    Reply
  15. Denisa wrote:

    Great DIY. that looks so nice.

    http://www.fashiondenis.com/

    5.21.13
    Reply
  16. Karolina wrote:

    Pająk is a traditional decoration of main room in willage houses in Łowicz region.
    More info you can find here: http://www.interklasa.pl/portal/dokumenty/034/plast2.html
    And one more in english pająk means spider 🙂

    5.21.13
    Reply
  17. Karolina wrote:
    5.21.13
    Reply
  18. Karima wrote:

    The tutorial turned out beautifully! The photos are gorgeous. So fun to put together with you!

    5.21.13
    Reply
  19. lexi wrote:

    wow these are beautiful! definitely going to make one of these!

    5.21.13
    Reply
  20. OjKarola wrote:

    Hi. I’m from Polad and pajaki are very popular in my home town.

    5.21.13
    Reply
  21. that looks really cute!
    http://pilisstyle.blogspot.com/

    5.21.13
    Reply
  22. Alma wrote:

    I love doing arts and crafts. This looks a little difficult, but I am sure it is worth it. I am going to try to have some of my friends attempt it with me, and I will keep you posted:)

    5.21.13
    Reply
  23. coline wrote:

    Very nice job 🙂
    thanks for that DIY !

    International Beauty Giveaway :
    http://fashioneiric.blogspot.fr/2013/05/giveaway-inside-benefit-neutral-kit.html

    Coline ♡

    5.22.13
    Reply
  24. Anne wrote:

    Very ornate, and unique.

    5.22.13
    Reply
  25. Jeanatte wrote:

    I always love the DIYs from this site, but this is breathtaking. Looks like I found something to do this weekend. :3

    5.22.13
    Reply
  26. Emma wrote:

    Aunt Peaches made a badass Christmas pajaki: http://www.auntpeaches.com/2012/12/the-pajaki-has-landed.html

    5.22.13
    Reply
  27. Madeleine wrote:

    Those are really cool!

    5.26.13
    Reply
  28. Chris wrote:

    Thank you for you for this tutorial, it really looks beautiful!

    5.26.13
    Reply
  29. that’s really pretty!

    I linked to your tutorial on my blog – thanks for sharing!

    ♥, doro von Hand zu Hand

    6.28.13
    Reply
  30. amariae wrote:

    Actually I am from Poland, and pająki nowadays can be seen mostly in rural areas, though I remember my great-grandmother had some :>

    8.23.13
    Reply
  31. Aranza wrote:

    I’m from Mexico, your blog is amazing ☼

    12.9.13
    Reply
  32. Nicolas wrote:

    This looks amazing. Spun cotton balls deserve to be better known.

    12.14.13
    Reply
  33. Learnt a new word today 🙂 Love how multi cultural this site is! 🙂

    10.20.14
    Reply
  34. I`m absolutely fascinated about folk especially those one from Poland. Brilliant design!
    I have been reading interesting web portal, recently http://www.ogloszenia.informacje.co.uk, where you can find interesting articles, tips, news about life in UK and Ireland.
    Take care
    Krzysiek z Londynu

    7.12.16
    Reply
  35. Nicolas wrote:
    10.6.16
    Reply
  36. Lucas wrote:

    I love doing arts and crafts ! http://www.sprzatanie-grobow-lodz.pl

    11.2.16
    Reply
  37. Ronan wrote:

    This is amazing ! http://dental-expert.com.pl/

    12.2.16
    Reply
  38. Ann wrote:

    This is really pretty ! http://olejowaniewlosow.org

    12.12.16
    Reply
  39. Carol wrote:

    This is very pretty ! http://limuzynwynajem.pl

    2.23.17
    Reply
  40. Softhis wrote:

    This is a simple way to do something by yourself at home, and thus decorate the room. http://softhis.co.uk/

    2.25.17
    Reply
  41. Anna wrote:

    Good job! I hope more such films. http://bramygarazowe.net/

    3.28.17
    Reply
  42. Ronan wrote:

    Very great ! https://www.aasapolska.pl/ your blog is amazing !

    4.18.17
    Reply
  43. Click wrote:

    I love spiders. I’m impressed that so many people are interested.

    4.20.17
    Reply
  44. more info wrote:

    Spider’s ration is great. I love feeding them too!

    4.20.17
    Reply
  45. i was just browsing along and came upon your blog.

    5.3.17
    Reply
  46. Goodness, this is truly fascinating perusing. I am happy I discovered this and got the chance to peruse it.

    5.3.17
    Reply
  47. Carolina wrote:
    6.23.17
    Reply
  48. kitt43 wrote:

    Helpfull stuff

    6.26.17
    Reply
  49. Mateusz Dymura wrote:

    Well-written article, you see that the blog on a good level .. http://dekoracjeciast.pl

    8.10.17
    Reply