Monday, 21 September 2015

The heart of the matter

Hello all you blogerettes out there. Someone asked me for a tutorial on how to make the felt hearts. It is very difficult for me to make a tutorial video because three hands are needed, one to hold the camera and two to demonstrate how to do it, and there is only me here, and I have two hands, and I don't have a tripod. So here are some photo's and I'll try and explain in words. 
First you need to make a template of the heart shape you wish to use. I have several of these in different sizes, made out of cereal boxes. Any cardboard will do. Find pictures of hearts in magazines and books, and trace them onto greaseproof or tracing paper, and transfer the image to cardboard. Do you want a rounded chubby heart, or an elongated elegant one?  
Then choose your colour schemes, will you use two matching colours or will you use several colours and mix them up. Decide how many hearts you want to make and check that you have enough felt. Will you leave them single, or hang several vertically, or string them in a line, say hanging from a doorway or across a window?

My hearts have a smaller one stitched onto the centre of a larger one. You don't have to do that if you don't want to. You might just want a back and a front with your embellishments added to the front. I pin my heart shape onto the felt and cut round it with a pair of nail scissors. Hold it between your thumb and first finger on your left hand, other way round if you are left handed, and trim very carefully and close to the cardboard shape, as neat as you can.

I need two larger hearts and one smaller one. Make sure the smaller heart is dead centre with equal distances all the way round from the outer edge of the big one.

Now you can decide what to embellish it with. I first do some running stitches in a contrasting colour around the edge of the small one. You could do a blanket stitch if you like, or any stitch for that matter. Pin the two pieces together first so the small heart doesn't wander about and stays central as you are sewing. Then you can fill the middle in with whatever you have to hand, small beads, sequins, french knots, more stitching, small buttons, lace or ribbon.

When you have decided that the front is finished, then you can sew the back on it. I like blanket stitch for this in a contrasting thread, but you can use running stitch if you like. If you are going to hang them vertically find a piece of ribbon or cord, check it is long enough for all the hearts. Start at the top and fold the ribbon over to make a loop, then sandwich the length of ribbon with the loop sticking out of the top, in between the front and back, pin it vertically to hold it in place while you sew.

Start by pulling the top of the heart down slightly so you can get the needle inside, then do a couple of stitches into the ribbon and secure it to the back first, making sure the thread cannot be seen from the outside. Then start your blanket stitch slightly to the left of the ribbon. When you get to the bottom remove the pin, and stitch right through the ribbon to secure it in place, then carry on up the other side.

Stop when you have a small opening, then stuff it until it is the thickness you want it to be, fairly flat or quite rounded. Then carry on with the blanket stitch and close it up until you get to the top. Make the last stitch through the ribbon. To finish off, push the needle down into the heart between the back and front  and poke it out somewhere around the edge close to where the stitching is, then trim it off with a small pair of scissors.

When hanging them vertically make sure the hearts are the same distance apart. You can add beads in between them if you like, either threaded onto the cord or stitched onto the ribbon. Finish off at the bottom with beads, or knots.

I have made seven more, these are ready to be put on a cord.
You get a lot of small pieces of felt when you cut the hearts out, don't throw it away, cut it up small and use it for stuffing. 
If you are not sure about joining them together try making some single ones first, make a loop at the top so they can be hung. If the small ones seem too fiddly make them bigger and sew buttons on the front.  Experiment with different embellishments, the sky's the limit. If you crochet you could make a small flower to go on the front, that would look nice. Go on, give it a go, you don't know till you try. Start making them now for Christmas. Good luck.

Thanks for popping in. Catch you soon. Toodle pip


  1. I think you are pretty amazing for someone with only 2 hands and 2 feet. I have one bottom which I use a lot but I don't get as much done as you. It's a mystery to me.....sigh x

  2. What good, detailed instructions! Thank you. They are so pretty.

  3. Very nice tutorial! Beats the heck out of those YouTube affairs with the camera all over, the presenter muffled, and their hands in the way. You did a great job, Ilona.

  4. Only 2 hands, Ilona the amount of things that you get done I was certain that you had at least 3 pairs. Love your hearts, I have made several with cotton fabric but the felt ones look better.

  5. The things you make are always quirky and fun. I'm another one for huge blasts of colour.

  6. Well that was just as good as any video wasn't it? Very nice.

  7. These look so easy. They would make fab Christmas decorations. An old fleece blanket would do as well I imagine. Ikea do thick fleece blankets really cheap which I have used for felt substitute. Debbie

  8. Ilona, thanks for the tutorial. I have a question. Do you just put the two hearts together, or are they stuffed with something? The pictures, especially the ones you have shown before, look like there is a little bit of stuffing inside. Thank you.

    1. Hello. Read paragraph 8 and 9.

      Stop when you have a small opening, then stuff it until it is the thickness you want it to be, fairly flat or quite rounded.

    2. Thank you. Can I blame my bifocals for not reading that paragraph?????

  9. Thanks Ilona for sharing this and for letting us know what you do with your scraps. I also have a bag of bits to make draught excludersI sew a tube of fabric the length of the door stuff it wi my scraps I make 2 of these and the sew a strip of fabic to the bottom of both so the door can slip between the gap and it stays in place when you open and shut the doors. I also ue tinfoil coverd cardboard and hang it behind the radiators to reflect the heat and use less fuel,. Love love love what you share with us many thanks rachel plymouth.

  10. A lovely tutorial and thanks for the tip of cutting up the left overs to be used as stuffing. I've recently been given some felt and I want to make some flowers as embellishments - have you ever made flowers? I've found a few I like on Pinterest but I always like the things you make :)

  11. Hi.Very easy instructions to follow,Ilona and lovely hearts.You always inspire.Thank you,bye for now,D.


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