Man, once again, it's been such a busy week on the blog and I didn't even post every day. Manually inputting all my recipes is a beast. I've been doing that along with reformatting each post from the last year. I took the cheap-skate route for switching to WordPress and that means I've needed to put in a lot of my own hours to make things look ok. Phew, it'll be done by Valentine's Day I hope.
Speaking of Valentine's Day, do you decorate? The kids and I normally make a few things to hang up, but I've never done any real decorating. When you move nine times in the last seven years, you just don't commit to decor to pack around. After I took the Christmas decorations down this year things felt a little empty so I decided on Valentine's decorations. Having a hutch to decorate is so much fun, and the front door looks great with a wreath.
Last year I made a really cute paper heart garland, but it wasn't something I stored after Valentine's Day was over. This year I thought I'd make something that would last more than one year, so I decided to make felt heart garland and it turned out adorable. I'll show you how to do it in case you get a hankerin' to whip some of your own up.
Here's a sneak peak at the decorated hutch:
How to: Felt Heart Garland
What you'll need:
Assorted felt or other non-fraying material (see notes for more tips)
Sewing machine and thread
Start off by cutting out about a million felt hearts. Mine ranged in size from 1 to 3 inches wide or tall. The variety in the sizes was really pretty and allows you to stack a smaller and larger heart together for a layered look. I just free handed the cutting, but I'm sure you could use some kind of magical cutting machine or dye-cut if you own one. Once you have a good sized stack of assorted hearts get your sewing machine out and ready. After the machine is threaded, pull both the spool and bobbin threads so that you make a thread "tail" about 6 inches long. Place a heart under the foot, using a small straight stitch, sew down the center of the heart from top to bottom. When you get to the bottom point of the heart, stick another heart under and keep sewing. If you would like to stack two hearts, just put two hears under the foot and sew them together. Keep going until you have the desired length of garland, pull the string out another 6 inches to make a thread tail and cut the thread there. You are done! Now go crazy with the decorating.
Felt is a super option for material because the edges don't fray and it lays nice and flat when finished. You can buy little sheets of colored felt (some with glitter on it even) in the craft and paint section for about $.25 each. You should get 12-16 hearts per felt sheet. You can also buy felt on the bolt and have it cut to size. I also used a bit of fleece (which was harder to cut than the felt), flannel, and just a bit of cotton (the red gingham is cotton). The cotton and flannel were more persnickety and tended to curl and not lay flat when the garland was hung. They were good options for a patterned heart that I stacked on top of a piece of felt though. I'm all about using what you have, but getting felt in this case is worth the effort in my mind.
Stacks of cut hearts and sewing machine! While I cut hearts my kids cut felt, glued pieces together, and added puff paint to their own creations. We were working together on separate projects and we all had a good time. Plan on a little more felt than you need if you are going to craft with your kids.
Sewing the heart garland together. My baby loves to sit on my lap and watch the sewing machine go. He also likes to snatch the spool of thread off the top of the machine... not helpful.
And when it was all said and done I made three garland strands that were about 6 feet long each.
I used two strands to make this wreath. I just wrapped the garland around, wrapped some pink yarn, added the little banner with chip board letters and ta-da! I used the thread tails to just tie it to my grapevine wreath. I'll take the garland off to store and then redo the wreath for the next holiday.
Cute huh! And I used the last strand to decorate the hutch, which will be a fun little post all its own. I love how the felt heart garland turned out and I'm actually excited to store it for another year, so it was worth the bit of time to make. Thanks for stopping in!
Do you decorate? Have you started yet?