These simple, but beautiful hanging hearts are the perfect way to add a little love and ‘shabby chic’ to your home, as well as being a great way to use up some of your favourite fabric scraps and embellishments. They are also an ideal way to celebrate Valentine’s day, without the tacky or throw-away decorations.
They are so simple to make, that you’ll probably find yourself whipping up two or three in an afternoon alone. However, even though they are simple, there are a couple of pointers to follow to get the best looking hanging hearts possible. That’s why I've put together this tutorial - to show you exactly how to make them.
What you need:
- Some scraps of your favourite fabric
- Scrap paper and a pencil
- A ruler
- A sewing machine (you can create these by hand, but it takes a lot more time and effort)
- Stuffing (You can use toy stuffing, the inside of an old cushion, or even old fabric scraps)
- A needle and matching thread to your fabric
- Ribbon or string
- Other embellishments - buttons, appliqué or beads etc.
Firstly, you need to create your heart-shaped template. I always find it hard to make the two sides of the heart symmetrical if I’m drawing it free-hand. So instead, I fold a scrap piece of paper in half and draw one half of the heart on the fold of the paper. You’ll then get a symmetrical heart.
You’ll also need to create a seam allowance (this is so that you have enough space to sew around the heart). While the heart is still just pencilled in and on the fold. I draw around the template 1cm away from the first pencil line. This helps to keep the original shape that you like.
Then cut around the outside line, while the paper is folded.
Tip: I like to transfer the paper template onto tracing paper or baking parchment, as it makes it a lot easier to pin it to the fabric.
Take your scrap fabric and place one piece on top of the other, with the right sides together. Pin your paper heart on top and cut around so that you have two identical hearts.
You need something which will make the hanging thread of your heart. You can use a piece of ribbon or string, or just make a piece of binding to match the main fabric of the heart like I did.
This how I made my binding:
1. Cut a long strip, about 1 inch wide and fold the piece in half lengthways to make a crease.
2. Open it back out and fold each long edge into the middle.
3. Fold it in half lengthways to enclose all the raw edges in the middle.
4. Sew down the long side, close to the edge.
Attach the binding or ribbon to one of the heart fabric pieces. To do this, take one of the heart pieces, right side up, and place the two raw edges of the ribbon at the top, so that the loop is down near the point of the heart.
You can baste the string to the heart piece by using a long stitch length on your sewing machine, or sewing by hand.
To sew the two heart pieces together, you need to lay them on top of each other, right sides together and pin around the edges. Make sure you don’t catch the loop of the ribbon or string! Leave a gap about 2 inches wide in one of the straight sides of the heart - this will be where you add the stuffing later.
Once you’ve sewn around the edge of the heart, 1cm away from the edge, leaving a hole to turn it right side out later, trim away any excess fabric and clip the curved parts of the heart. (This just means making a small snip close to the sewn edge.)
Turn the heart right side out and use a pointy implement to push out the seams fully. Your hanging ribbon or binding should come out of the top of the heart.
Tip: You can use a knitting needle to help turn out all the seams, but be careful not to poke a hole through the fabric!
Using a little bit at a time, push your stuffing into the opening you’ve left, making sure to get it into the curves and point of the heart.
Now all you need to do is sew up the little hole. Thread your needle with matching thread to your fabric and, using a whipstitch, sew the hole closed. Use the smallest stitches you can so that you can barely see them.
And you’re done!
Once you’ve mastered this hanging hearts tutorial, you can experiment with some variations and changes.
Why not try…
Make lots of smaller hearts and string them up alongside each other to look like bunting. This would make a great wedding decoration, and look sweet in a kid’s room or nursery.
Add to the rustic charm and cut out the heart with fabric pinking sheers to give a zigzag edge that won’t fray. Then instead of sewing the two pieces together with right sides in and turning it out afterwards, sew the heart together with right sides facing out, using a long stitch in a contrasting colour. Remember, you still need to leave a little hole to put the stuffing in.
Add trims, ribbons or pom pos to the bottom of the heart (You’d do this in the same way you’d add the hanging piece to the top of the heart)
I hope you enjoy making these hanging hearts. Don't forget to share your makes in the comments below!