I have several of these around the cottage and they…
Valentine decorations, easy Christmas decorations, home decorations, Valentine gift bags, attached to ribbon or string as an advent calendar, lavender bags, wardrobe fragrancers, gift tags, storage bags for jewellery… These have so many uses, you’ll be making them over and over.
We are able to hang these on the garland around the fireplace this year, because it’s a non-working fireplace (with fairy lights in it!). None of these decorations should, of course, be placed near to any kind of naked flame. You will need:
- Embroidery thread
- Buttons, sequins, brads/paper fasteners
- Ribbon for hanging
- Basic sewing kit
You may also need:
- Wadding, if using, for filling
- Fabric or all-purpose glue, if using
- Draw a template onto card and cut it out. If you are not confident in drawing freehand, fold a piece of paper in half, draw half a heart using the folded edge as the centre line of your heart, cut out and use this paper shape to make your card template. You may even find the paper template easier to use than the card.
Pin your template onto the felt and cut 2 hearts per finished item. If you have an idea of how many items you’d like to make, it is worth using the card template to draw as many shapes as you need onto the felt at this stage, remembering to place them as close together as possible to make best use of the fabric. Cut them out, using pinking shears if you wish. You may wish to add the flower, buttons, etc. at this stage if you think it will be too fiddly later. However I choose to do this after I have put the heart together, as shown later on this page.
- Using the ribbon, make a hanger by making a simple loop. Put the ends together and sew the ends to one of the hearts. The side of the heart with the raw ends of the ribbon showing will be the inside of your finished item. If you are leaving your hearts open at the top, you may wish to leave this step until you have near-completed the heart.
- Place one heart without a hanger on top of another heart with a hanger, with the stitching inside. Fix these two pieces together with a couple of pins if you like, and sew around the shape a few millimetres in from the edge. I like to use a contrasting embroidery thread but, of course, you could use a matching cotton thread instead if you prefer invisible stitching. If you are using your heart as a holder or bag, remember to leave the top open! If you are filling it with wadding, lavender or similar, fill now then continue stitching the top closed afterwards.
- Decorate by sewing, or even gluing, buttons, flowers, felt dots, smaller felt hearts etc. on to your heart as you choose.
Felt Flower decoration Simply cut a circle from a contrasting felt, a little larger than you’d like the finished flower to be. I drew around the inside of another pair of scissors to achieve my circle on to card top give me a template before I drew it on top my felt.
Use your scissors to cut a spiral to the centre.
I like to stretch the felt in places to give a 3-D petal-type effect on the final flower. This is very easy to do because the felt stretches so easily. Practice this on a piece of scrap – just pull your fingers away from each other gently. The one in the photo started off as a straight spiral – it wasn’t cut as a wavy line!
To coil the felt back up a little smaller that it was originally, open the spiral of felt out a little and, starting from the centre, make a running stitch just a couple of millimetres in from the bottom of the felt strip. Pull the thread tighter than the felt to gather the felt a little, then stitch securely when you reach the end. Experiment with the tightness of the cotton a little at this stage to achieve your preferred look and keep turning the felt over to check the look of the flower as you go. I have used a contrasting colour to show the actual stitches (prior to pulling the thread tight), however you will need to use thread to match your felt. When you are happy with the flower, stitch or glue a sequin or tiny button on the front in the centre and sew or glue the flower onto the front of your heart. If you use a pretty paper-fastener as the centre of the flower instead, you can even use that to attach it directly to the heart by making a hole in the felt first with a needle, then pushing the fastener through the centre of the flower, through the front of the heart and then opening the arms of the fastener at the back.
Be warned – these can become quite addictive as you can achieve great results with this simple technique. However, it won’t be long before you are thinking of a multitude of uses for these little flowers including hair accessories, brooches, decorations for bags and purses…
Be as economical with your felt as you can, turning the heart shapes and placing them as closely together as possible. Of course it sounds obvious, but so many times I see guides that show you to cut a shape out of the centre of the fabric – why do they do that??
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