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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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Make a Julehjerter

First suggested by Roverway 2024 United Kingdom Contingent
Make Scandinavian Heart Decorations

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You’ll need

  • Scissors
  • Pens or pencils
  • Rulers
  • Hole punch
  • Coloured Paper (we suggest red, green and white)
  • A circular mug to draw around
  • Maths compasses (optional)
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber

Før du beginner (Before you begin)

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.   

Roverway is a European event for Scouts and Guides aged 16 to 22, which takes place every three to six years. It is a unique event due to its age range and emphasis on youth-led adventure. 

The next Roverway will take place in Norway in summer 2024. The event is divided into three parts: a semi-independent expedition, a jamboree-style camp and a post-event experience. Find out more on our Roverway 2024 page. 

Norway is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe that has mountains, glaciers and big bodies of water, which are called fjords. Many Norwegians embrace the nature through outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and skiing. Oslo is the capital of Norway.

The woven heart is a traditional decoration on the Scandinavian Christmas tree. It is said that the original Julehjerte was crafted by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The oldest preserved heart dates back to 1860 and is on exhibit at the HC Andersen museum in Odense, Denmark. The hearts are made from two pieces of coloured paper or felt woven together in a simple checkerboard pattern.  Over time, hearts have been designed with more complex and intricate cuttings. The hearts are used as ornaments and because they can open as small baskets, are often filled with candy.  


Gjennomfør aktiviteten (Run the activity) 

  1. Gather everyone together and tell them they’re going to make Scandinavian Christmas Hearts called Julehjerter, in this simple paper craft.
  2. Everyone should choose two pieces of paper, with each one being a different colour. They’ll be making two hearts.
  3. Place the paper on the table in front of you in a portrait position.
  4. Fold the paper in half, bringing the bottom to the top and making the shortest ends meet. It should look like a card.
  5. Now, everyone should take a mug and a pencil. The mug will be used to draw a circle with, but you could also use a maths compass. People may need to share them. 
  6. Keep the paper folded in half. Lightly draw two circles, using the mug as a template, just below the edge at the top of the paper. The circles should be on the side of the paper opposite to the fold or crease. Leave a gap between the two circles. 
  7. After drawing the circles, use a ruler to draw a straight line from each side of the circle to the folded crease. The circles and line should create an arch, which looks like a tunnel entrance. These will be the sides of the hearts. 
  8. Use scissors to carefully cut out the two arch shapes, making sure to cut through both layers of paper. Remember to cut along the outside line of the top of the circle and onto the straight line. You shouldn’t cut along the bottom of the circle, and you may want to carefully erase these pencil lines out.
  9. Next, measure the length of bottom edge of the folded side of each arch using a ruler. 
  10. Use the measurement to divide the bottom edge into thirds and mark on a point where each third is. For example, if the edge was 15 cm long, you would mark a point at 5 cm and at 10 cm.
  11. Now, use a ruler to lightly draw straight lines from those points about two-thirds up the archway. 
  12. Use scissors to carefully cut along the two lines you’ve drawn. This’ll create three looser strips on the bottom of archways. These strips will be used to weave the basket together.
  13. Unfold the halves gently. You may want to refold them the opposite way, so the pencil marks are on the inside. 
  14. Repeat steps 3-13 to create two more hearts from the other paper colour you chose, so you have four heart shapes in total.
  15. When you’ve made four hearts, take one heart of each colour. 
  16. Gently weave the heart’s strips together, carefully overlapping one strip at a time. 
  17. Each strip should go through the central hole of another strip, rather than weaving them each other. Make sure not to weave them over and under, as this means your basket can hold things, such as small chocolates.
  18. When you’re finished, you could carefully hole punch the top of the paper hearts and add ribbon or string to turn them into hanging decorations. You could also weave the ribbon or string through the paper.  


This activity was all about being creative and making Scandinavian Christmas Hearts called Julehjerter, in this simple paper craft. Discuss the history and cultural significance of the Heart.When was it created? What is it used for?  How easy was it to follow the instructions? Was anything particularly challenging or difficult? Would you do anything differently? Could you teach someone else?  


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

  • To make this activity easier, you could have the paper shapes prepared before you start.
  • To make this activity harder, encourage people to create more intricate designs.  
  • Remember to leave enough time for everyone to have a few goes at this activity, and make sure that there are plenty of adult volunteers or young people to support everyone.  
  • If anyone needs help or struggles with fine motor skills, give them the opportunity to work in pairs or small groups. They could also work with a young leader or an adult volunteer. The person they’re working with can help with the parts they find fiddly to do or tricky. They could also use larger materials, such as larger paper, thicker or thinner paper, or pencil grips. 
  • Make sure to provide scissors everyone can use, such as left-handed, tabletop scissors, loop scissors or easy grip scissors.  
  • Some materials could be pre-cut or pre-made by a volunteer or young leader for people to use. These should be done before starting the activity, where possible.    
  • Arts and crafts activities can be done sitting or standing – whichever way works best for everyone. Make sure that all the materials are at a level that can easily be collected by and worked on by wheelchair users. 
  • You can adapt the thickness of the paper, so it's suitable or easier for everyone to use. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

If you enjoyed this activity, discover our other Norwegian and Scandinavian activities such as a game of Stiv Heks.

When they’re finished, people could try to design and make their own woven paper shape designs and decorations.