Polish Heritage Sanity Saver: Pajaki Paper Chandelier

Created in partnership with the The Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College.

By Amelia Schrader, Senior Manager of Education and
Julia Bozer, Cultural Program Educator

Download a PDF version of this lesson here!

ACADEMIC SUBJECT(S):

Social Studies, Art

DEVELOPMENT SUBJECT AREAS:

Appreciating Diversity
Adaptive Social Behavior,
Empathy , Fine Motor Skills

HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE TO DO?

20-30 minutes

MATERIALS

• Crepe paper
• Crepe paper streamers
• Pom-poms
• White paper straws
• Flat reeds
• Key chain rings
• Pony beads
• Yarn
• Colorful tape
• Glue
• Photos of examples

This lesson is brought to you by the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College. Explore & More is thrilled to partner with this organization to showcase Polish traditions, heritage and culture through activities, stories and food. Poland is a country located in central Europe. There are many people in Buffalo and WNY that have roots in Poland. Our community celebrates many Polish traditions at Easter, Christmas and throughout the year. We hope you enjoy these Polish activities and think about incorporating some of them in your family’s yearly traditions!

Pajaki is Polish for “spider,” and these delicate Polish “chandeliers” look like spiders made of paper and straws – originally, they were made from the leftover straw of the autumn harvest season. Pajaki are part of a long Polish paper folk art tradition that includes paper cuttings and paper flower paintings. Traditionally, pajaki mobiles would be hung from the ceilings of Polish village homes during the Christmas season for protection during the hard, cold winter months.

Directions

STEP 1 Bend a flat reed into a circle and secure with tape.
STEP 2 Tie several pieces of equal length string to the key chain ring.
This will be the top of your pajaki mobile.
STEP 3 Cut out flowers or other shapes from your crepe paper and crepe
paper streamers for you to use to decorate the strands of your pajaki.
STEP 4 String the pom-poms and crepe paper shapes onto the hanging
key chain ring. Use the cut white straws as spacers between the shapes.

VOCABULARY

PAJAKI: Pajaki is Polish for “spider,” and these delicate Polish “chandeliers” look like spiders made of paper and straws.

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