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Scandinavian Christmas Pattern Design

I draw a lot of inspiration for my repeating patterns from my Nordic childhood. In this post I discuss how my latest Christmas pattern collection came about.

Published on:

August 14, 2023

Scandinavian Christmas Pattern Design

Scandinavian Christmas pattern inspiration

Scandinavian Christmas theme

Christmas is one of the bestselling themes in the surface pattern design world, and every surface pattern designer should have plenty of festive themes in their portfolio. As I am a Nordic designer, and come from the land of Father Christmas aka Finland, I have been drawn to this theme of late. Combined with the fact that my portfolio has been seriously lacking in this category, I knew that it was time to change that. Even though while I am writing this, it is Summer in the Northern hemisphere, it is always a good idea to create festive designs early in the season (or at any point of the season).

Scandinavian Christmas, called Yule, Jul, or Joulu in Finnish, is full of wondrous childhood sights, smells and memories for me. Whether it is warm, woollen mittens, or biscuits baked with cinnamon, or a freshly cut fir tree inside the house, Christmas imagery is vibrant and plentiful in my mind. Therefore, designing a festive pattern collection with these images and memories was a very natural choice for me.

Seasons greetings pattern and illustration
Seasons Greetings pattern and illustration

To start with, I brainstormed on the Christmas theme in general and made individual illustrations and pattern designs, like these pieces above. I have created the pattern in different colour ways and made a matching card design illustration for it. I was happy with these designs, but wanted to push myself and make a larger, more cohesive collection, which would consist of six or more patterns; with a hero pattern and several complementary prints to go with it. A larger collections with several designs are often used for quilting fabric and I can see my collection printed for this purpose.

Christmas Folk Art Inspiration

As you may know from my other blog posts, I am a great fan of nature and folk art themes. The Christmas pattern collection I created is reminiscent of Scandinavian folk art, with lots of decorative elements inside playful, stylised shapes. Designed with only two colours, every pattern can easily be printed in various colour-way combinations, on both fabric and paper goods. The possibility to scale up and down these vector designs, whilst retaining the quality of the pattern, inspired me to design this collection in Illustrator instead of Photoshop.

Scandinavian pattern collection
Hygge Pattern collection in different colour combinations
Scandi Hygge christmas collection
Hygge Christmas repeat patterns

Hygge Christmas

This joyful collection is full of things I love about Christmas; baubles, ribbons, cups of hot chocolate, Swedish Dala horses, deer, knitted socks, ice skates and many others. There is a degree of timeless joy and comfort in the collection, which is why I have titled it ‘Hygge Christmas’, after the Danish word. ‘Hygge’ word translates as a feeling of happiness, comfort and well-being, which is probably why it has become so popular in recent years; I believe these concepts symbolise Christmas for a lot of people.

Time for joy, warmth and comfort, time to enjoy the small, but important, things in life.

socks and hats pattern
Socks and Hats repeat pattern

Colour and style considerations

By making the individual patterns intricate and detailed, yet using a two tone palette, I wanted the designs themselves to stand out; to tell a story of sorts. Ice skates with a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows; what a better way to spend a Winter’s day! Making Christmas crafts and decorating the house with Dala horses and other decorations, what a nice way to get into festive spirit!

The colours in the collection are traditional Christmas; red, off white, green and silver/gray. The combinations between these colours are classic and timeless.

hygge christmas textile patterns
The Hero patterns in Hygge Christmas collection

All in all, this collection is a loving memory of my magical Nordic childhood and I hope the imagery evokes some memories for you too. I love making patterns, which are interesting to the eye; which draw you in and in which you can discover a lot of wonderful details. This collection would work well on quilting fabric for making all those festive DIY projects, as well as a gift wrap, printed either on paper or on fabric - in Furoshiki style. You can read my blog about it via the link.

Dala Horses and Baubles christmas pattern
Dala Horse baubles pattern

Other Christmas pattern inspiration

I am currently working on another Christmas collection, which is pretty much the polar opposite of my Hygge collection. As much as I love snow, for a long time I have also dreamt about spending Christmas abroad, somewhere warm, ideally on the beach, wearing a pair of sunglasses and sipping on a cocktail from a coconut. This is what my work in progress festive collection will be inspired by.

Follow me on social media to see how this collection will turn out. No matter how different, I hope you will enjoy both styles of Christmas joy!

To licence my designs or collaborate with me on custom projects, please contact me. I would love to see what we create together! If you want to hear about my artist news, please subscribe to my newsletter!

You can hire me to make your next pattern design

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More blog posts:

AI and Surface Pattern Design
In this blog article I am looking at the pros and cons of using AI as a design tool in surface pattern design.
Artistic natural building design
A blog post about a journey to build an artistic natural home in South of Finland. You can read about my creative choices in making this magical building.

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