How to Make Scandinavian-inspired Crafts: Exploring Traditional Nordic Handicrafts

How to Make Scandinavian-inspired Crafts: Exploring Traditional Nordic Handicrafts

Scandinavian-inspired crafts have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their unique and minimalist designs that reflect the beauty of Nordic nature and culture. From clothing to home decor, these crafts are known for their simplicity, functionality, and durability. Whether you are an experienced crafter or a beginner, exploring traditional Nordic handicrafts can be a rewarding and inspiring experience.

Why Scandinavian-Inspired Crafts?

Scandinavian-inspired crafts offer a refreshing alternative to the mass-produced, disposable items that dominate our modern world. By creating handmade items using traditional techniques, you can connect with the rich cultural heritage of Nordic countries and contribute to the sustainable, slow fashion movement. Additionally, making your own crafts can be a relaxing and meditative activity that allows you to express your creativity and personal style.

In this article, we will explore some of the most popular Scandinavian-inspired crafts, including knitting, embroidery, weaving, and woodworking. We will also provide step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to get you started on your crafting journey. Whether you are interested in making cozy winter accessories, beautiful home decorations, or practical kitchen utensils, there is a Nordic-inspired craft for you.

Scandinavian-inspired craft materials

Materials and Tools

Choosing the Right Yarn

One of the most important aspects of creating Scandinavian-inspired crafts is choosing the right yarn. Typically, Nordic crafts are made with wool or other natural fibers to ensure warmth and durability. When selecting yarn for your project, it’s important to consider the weight, texture, and color.

For heavier projects like blankets or sweaters, a thicker, sturdy yarn is recommended. A softer, finer yarn may be better suited for smaller projects like hats or mittens. When it comes to color, Nordic crafts often feature muted, earthy tones like grey, brown, and green. However, pops of bright colors can also be used to add interest and contrast.

Picking the Perfect Fabric

In addition to yarn, fabric is also an important consideration for Nordic crafts. When selecting fabric, look for natural fibers like linen or cotton. These materials are breathable and comfortable, making them ideal for clothing and home decor projects.

When it comes to color and pattern, Nordic designs often feature simple, geometric shapes and clean lines. Bold stripes and simple floral patterns can also be used to add interest and texture to your project.

Essential Tools for Nordic Handicrafts

While the specific tools you’ll need will depend on your project, there are a few essential tools that every Nordic crafter should have on hand:

  • Knitting needles or crochet hooks: These will be necessary for any yarn-based project.
  • Scissors: A good pair of scissors is essential for cutting yarn and fabric.
  • Measuring tape: Accurate measurements are key to ensuring your project turns out just right.
  • Sewing needles: If you’re working with fabric, you’ll need needles for sewing pieces together.
  • Embroidery hoop and needles: If you’re adding embroidery to your project, you’ll need these tools.

With these materials and tools in hand, you’ll be ready to create beautiful, authentic Nordic crafts that are sure to impress.

Scandinavian-inspired crafts examples

Popular Nordic Handicrafts

Nordic countries are known for their beautiful handicrafts that are often inspired by the region’s natural surroundings and cultural heritage. Here are some of the most popular Nordic handicrafts that you can try making yourself:

Knitting and Crocheting

Knitting and crocheting are two of the most popular handicrafts in Nordic countries. These crafts have been passed down from generation to generation and are still popular today. Nordic knitting and crocheting often involve using natural fibers such as wool and linen to create warm and cozy garments and accessories.

If you’re new to knitting and crocheting, there are plenty of resources available online to help you get started. You can find patterns for everything from hats and scarves to sweaters and blankets. And if you’re looking for inspiration, there are many Nordic knitting and crocheting blogs and social media accounts to follow.


Embroidery is another popular Nordic handicraft that involves decorating fabric with needle and thread. Nordic embroidery often features geometric patterns and nature-inspired designs such as flowers and animals. Traditional Nordic embroidery techniques include cross-stitch, blackwork, and Hardanger embroidery.

If you’re interested in trying Nordic embroidery, there are many kits and patterns available online. You can also find tutorials and classes to help you learn the different techniques.


Weaving is a Nordic handicraft that involves creating fabric by interlacing threads on a loom. Nordic weaving often involves using natural fibers such as wool and linen to create warm and durable textiles. Traditional Nordic weaving techniques include tapestry weaving, twill weaving, and tablet weaving.

If you’re new to weaving, there are many resources available online to help you get started. You can find tutorials and classes to help you learn the different techniques, as well as patterns for everything from scarves and shawls to blankets and rugs.

Felt Crafts

Felt crafts are a popular Nordic handicraft that involves creating objects from wool felt. Nordic felt crafts often feature simple and minimalist designs that are inspired by the region’s natural surroundings. Popular Nordic felt crafts include felted slippers, coasters, and Christmas ornaments.

If you’re interested in trying Nordic felt crafts, there are many tutorials and patterns available online. You can also find kits that include all the materials you need to get started.

Scandinavian-inspired crafts tutorials

Step-by-Step Tutorials

Tutorial 1: Knitted Nordic Mittens

Knitting Nordic mittens is a popular craft in Scandinavian countries. Follow these steps to create a pair of cozy mittens:

  1. Choose a soft, woolen yarn in a traditional Nordic color such as red, white, or blue.
  2. Using size 4 double-pointed needles, cast on 36 stitches and join in the round.
  3. Knit two stitches, then purl two stitches for the ribbed cuff. Continue for 2 inches.
  4. Switch to stockinette stitch and knit until the mitten measures 7 inches from the cuff.
  5. Decrease stitches at the top of the mitten until there are only 8 stitches remaining.
  6. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through the remaining stitches and pull tight to close the top of the mitten.
  7. Repeat to make a matching mitten.

Tutorial 2: Embroidered Tea Towels

Embroidery is a traditional Nordic craft that can be used to decorate tea towels. Follow these steps to create your own embroidered tea towels:

  1. Choose a plain cotton tea towel in a light color.
  2. Using a water-soluble pen, draw a simple Nordic design onto the towel.
  3. Thread a needle with embroidery floss in a contrasting color and begin stitching the design.
  4. Use a combination of backstitch, satin stitch, and French knots to create texture and dimension.
  5. When the embroidery is complete, soak the towel in warm water to dissolve the pen marks.
  6. Hang the towel to dry and enjoy your handmade Nordic-inspired decor.

Tutorial 3: Woven Wall Hangings

Woven wall hangings are a popular Nordic craft that can add texture and warmth to any space. Follow these steps to create your own woven wall hanging:

  1. Choose a wooden dowel and cut a piece of yarn to attach it to the wall.
  2. Cut a length of yarn and tie it to the dowel, leaving a tail to weave in later.
  3. Weave the yarn over and under the dowel, creating a row of loops.
  4. Repeat with additional rows, alternating colors and textures as desired.
  5. When the weaving is complete, tie off the yarn and trim the tails.
  6. Attach a length of yarn to each end of the dowel for hanging.

Tutorial 4: Felted Coasters

Felting is a technique that can be used to create a variety of Nordic-inspired crafts, including coasters. Follow these steps to create your own felted coasters:

  1. Choose a wool roving in a traditional Nordic color such as gray, brown, or green.
  2. Using a felting needle, poke the wool fibers until they begin to felt together.
  3. Continue felting until the coaster is the desired size and thickness.
  4. Rinse the coaster in warm water and shape it as it dries.
  5. Repeat to make a set of matching coasters.

Scandinavian-inspired crafts tips

Tips and Tricks for Making Scandinavian-inspired Crafts

1. How to Read Knitting and Crochet Patterns

When making Scandinavian-inspired crafts, it’s important to be able to read knitting and crochet patterns. These patterns often include unique stitches and techniques that may be unfamiliar to beginners. Here are some tips for reading and understanding knitting and crochet patterns:

  • Start by reading the pattern all the way through to get a sense of what you’ll be making.
  • Pay attention to the gauge, or the number of stitches and rows per inch. This will ensure that your finished piece is the correct size.
  • Take note of any abbreviations or special stitches used in the pattern. You may need to refer to a stitch dictionary or online tutorial to learn how to do these stitches.
  • Use stitch markers to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern, especially when working in the round.

2. Choosing the Right Color Palette

Scandinavian-inspired crafts often use a limited color palette, with white, gray, and natural shades being common. Here are some tips for choosing the right colors for your project:

  • Consider the season or occasion for which you’re making the craft. For example, a red and white color scheme would be perfect for a Christmas project.
  • Look to nature for inspiration. The muted colors of the Nordic landscape can provide a beautiful color palette for your project.
  • Experiment with different shades of the same color to add depth and interest to your project.

3. Blocking Your Finished Piece

Blocking is the process of shaping and smoothing a finished piece of knitting or crochet to give it a professional-looking finish. Here are some tips for blocking your Scandinavian-inspired crafts:

  • Follow the instructions on your yarn label for blocking. Some yarns may require special care.
  • Use blocking mats or towels to shape your piece into the desired shape.
  • Pin your piece in place using T-pins or blocking wires. This will help keep it in shape while it dries.
  • Be patient! Blocking can take several hours or even overnight to dry completely.
Tip Trick
Read the pattern all the way through before starting. Use stitch markers to keep track of your progress.
Choose a limited color palette inspired by nature. Experiment with shades of the same color for depth.
Follow the instructions on your yarn label for blocking. Pin your piece in place using T-pins or blocking wires.


Scandinavian-inspired crafts are a wonderful way to explore traditional Nordic handicrafts and create beautiful, functional items for your home or as gifts for loved ones. By incorporating elements of nature, simplicity, and functionality, these crafts embody the essence of Scandinavian design and culture.

Tips for Making Scandinavian-inspired Crafts

  • Choose natural materials such as wood, wool, and linen
  • Incorporate simple, geometric shapes and patterns
  • Emphasize functionality and practicality
  • Use neutral colors with pops of brighter hues
  • Take inspiration from nature and the outdoors

Whether you are an experienced crafter or just starting out, there are many Scandinavian-inspired crafts that you can try. From knitting cozy woolen socks to making a minimalist wooden candleholder, the possibilities are endless.

By exploring traditional Nordic handicrafts, you can connect with the rich cultural heritage of Scandinavia and create beautiful, meaningful items that will last for years to come.

Resources for Learning More

Website Description
Nordic Needle A comprehensive resource for Nordic and Scandinavian needlework
Nordic Design An online magazine featuring Scandinavian design and culture
Martha Stewart A popular source for DIY and crafting tutorials, including Scandinavian-inspired projects

With a little creativity and inspiration, you can make beautiful Scandinavian-inspired crafts that will add a touch of Nordic charm to your home and your life.

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