Monday, February 13, 2012

Heart Garland for Valentine's Day


Happy Monday! I did NO crafting or sewing this weekend, not for lack of several piles of WIPs needing attention. I'm in withdrawal and can't wait to get stitching during naptime today. Instead, we visited family -- which was lovely -- and rearranged the living room and dining room furniture -- which was stressful. I need a weekend to recover from the weekend. I hope yours was wonderful!

All right, I mentioned last week in my Lovely Hearts post that I would share the how-to for making my felt and fabric scrap garland. This is a super easy project, it took no more than 1 hour from start to finish, including multiple kid and baby interruption, AND the 4-year-old was "helping" me. So really, easy-peasy project with a great result, I think! (ALL my photos of this garland suck, I'm sorry, we have too many windows!)

Jenny: Valentine's Day Stuff

First, we selected all the pink and red fabric scraps from my scrap bin, and we also got out the red and pink felt (a rayon/wool blend, but I think any kind of felt would work here).

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

I sprayed all my scraps with a LOT of starch, until they were really wet and saturated, then I ironed them. It took a few passes with the iron for them to be dry. When done, they were pretty stiff, kind of like cardstock paper. (Note: I am pretty new to starch, but it's really changed my life in terms of sewing with scraps and linen. I like this all-natural non-aerosol spray starch, it smells gooooood.)

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

I had bought a few extra heart cookie cutters for our needle-felting playdate, so we used them as a template for drawing different size and shape hearts on our felt and on fabric. But you could draw various sizes of hearts on cardboard, cut them out and use those as your templates.

I folded the fabric in half, right sides together, so I would get a double sided heart when done. The felt was a single layer.

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

I did the cutting of the heart from the felt and fabric. Ben tried, but it was too tricky for his little hands.

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

After cutting the fabric hearts, I switched the fabric layers so they would be wrong sides together and the prints would be facing outward. Since the fabric was pretty heavily starched, the edges matched each other almost immediately and perfectly.

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

With Ben next to me on heart-choosing duty, I sat at the sewing machine. I first pulled out a large length of thread (to use for tying the garland) then I began feeding felt and fabric hearts that Ben was handing me randomly (or rather, he would beg to differ, very mindfully and artfully!) through the machine.

I stitched at about a quarter to a third from the top of the hearts; any lower and the hearts might tilt and hang upside down when the garland would be hung up. When stitching the hearts, I encouraged Ben to randomly alternate fabric and felt, sizes and colors, so we would get a well-varied result. With the fabric hearts, I made sure to pinch the 2 layers when feeding to the sewing machine so they would stay nice and even when stitching.

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

After stitching the last of the hearts, I pulled out another length of thread before cutting it. I tied a knot at each end, and ta-da, it was ready for hanging!

There's my silly boy jumping up and down, very proud of his work!

Jenny: Valentine's Day Garland

It's very cheerful, hanging in the middle of our apartment!

Jenny: Valentine's Day Stuff

What fun stuff have you made for Valentine's Day? Are you going to make a garland now that you've seen my easy scrap-busting process? I'd love to know (and see your photos!). Please share in the comments and don't hesitate to ask any questions!

If you're looking for an even more kid-friendly variation of this garland, check out the super cute version created by Jenny of Cut Sew Iron Repeat. She prepped 300 hearts for a kindergarten Valentine crafting session!!


  1. Love this! Could you do a no-sew version with a long piece of yarn and some of that iron-fusible whatchamacallit? Cut some of that in hearts to go between the wrong sides, and lay the yarn/string in there, too, before you iron?

    1. Jen, yes! I think that would totally work! Are you thinking of fusible web?

      Jenny of Cut Sew Iron Repeat just did a version with fabric hearts in which she cut slits and then passed a ribbon. The project was meant to be for kindergartners, and it worked out great! You can see it here: I am actually going to add that link in my post right now so readers can see a variation.

      Let me know if you make one!


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