Barneblad: Fun for the entire family: Paper-cutting for a perfect holiday gift


Photo: Colourbox
PEEK-A-BOO: Paper-cutting is a wonderful way to nurture your little ones’ creativity.

Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall

On the cold and dark autumn days, a visit to a local museum is often one of the most fun and exciting activities for your family. It’s an opportunity to experience something together, learn something new, and take inspiration.

Karen Bit

Photo: National Nordic Museum
The work of Karen Bit Vejle (right) will be at Seattle’s National Nordic Museum (left) through Jan. 22, 2022.

And that’s exactly what happened on a recent visit to the National Nordic Museum in Seattle. 

On Oct. 28, I saw the exhibit “Paper Dialogues: The Dragon and Our Stories” with the paper-cutting artwork of Norwegian-Danish artist Karen Bit Vejle—and I got inspired.

The pieces on display are large and intricate, creating a play on light that will fascinate both young and old. It is a cross-cultural exploration of the motif of the dragon in China and the Nordic countries, as Vejle worked with Professor Qiao Xiaoguang in Beijing, China, another country with a long tradition of paper-cutting.

Paper-cutting is a perfect activity for both young and old, because projects can be created at all skill levels. All that is needed are paper and a pair of scissors—and your own inspiration. Paper is plentiful, so you can experiment until you are happy with your artistic inventions.

Finally, these lovely paper creations will make wonderful gifts for the holidays and special occasions all year round.

Nisse mask

Nisse mask

This fun little Norwegian Santa comes every year, bringing presents and cheer. With this project, you celebrate nisse with a snowy-white beard.

Step 1 (for grown-ups): Draw nisse’s beard and cap on a sheet of white paper 

(this step can be done by moms and dads).

Step 2 (for kids): Cut the shape out along the lines.

Step 3 (for kids): Secure a thin stick or straw on the back with tape to hold up the mask.

paper tree

Photo: Mattea Bertling
HOLDAY DECOR: A paper Christmas tree is a fun and easy project for children and adults alike.

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree, julegran in Norwegian, makes a perfect holiday decoration, both in Norway and here at home.

Step 1 (for grown-ups): Trace out a simple triangle on a sheet of green card paper and create sections between every few inches. 

Step 2 (for kids): Cut along these lines and then stick them together leaving some space in between each on a green stick or straw.

Step 3 (for kids and grown-ups): Cut out small circles in different colored paper and decorate your tree

Gingerbread friends

Some of the most welcome holiday visitors are the gingerbread people. Not only are they delicious when baked as cookies, they can also decorate your Christmas table.

Step 1 (for grown-ups): Fold a sheet of light brown paper that is horizontally long like an accordion (as many sections as you like).

Step 2 (for grown-ups): Draw a simple shape of a gingerbread cookie, so that it will not be cut from the folded edge.

Step 3 (for kids): Cut out the object and fold out your gingerbread friends.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 19, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.