Delicate but low-cost, these pretty crafts have a rich history!
On the Spanish island of Mallorca, the locals decorate for Christmas with neules — handmade paper decorations with Christmas images and Gospel scenes that adorn churches, shops, schools and Nativity scenes. Even today, continuing a centuries-long tradition, these incredibly delicate paper filigrees are made with great dedication and patience in the island’s convents.
This tradition dates back at least to the 14th century, when neules were already used to decorate the island’s cathedral. Large garlands of neules hang from the roofs of churches and attract the attention of parishioners attending church on Christmas.
The tradition of the neules is passed down to new generations through workshops for children (and adults!), which are organized at schools, libraries, and cultural and recreational centers. It is a low-cost craft that requires a great deal of concentration and skill, and at the same time helps reduce stress and brightens people’s day.
If you like Christmas, decorating and handicrafts, why not try making your own neules? In this slideshow, you’ll see authentic works of art that can be used as models to make your own. You can print the photographs and cut with a razor or manicure scissors, removing the black surface. You can also use a pin to remove the most delicate parts.
Once you’ve made your neules, you can create your own garlands to hang on your tree, from the ceiling, in the windows of your house, or on the exterior of a lampshade.