I’ve had the thought for a while that I wanted to go around my house and property in search of heart shapes to photograph. A few years ago I did a similar thing by looking for and photographing cross shapes in my house and posted it on a Good Friday. So this week I got a chance to look for hearts in time for Valentine’s Day. Some of the more obvious ones I was aware of but I was surprised by a few heart shapes that I found.
This is one of a pair of French chairs that I found at the flea market several years ago. They were covered with bulky, poorly tacked on pieces of embroidery when I found them and I was thrilled to discover the heart shaped backs and (sort of) seats. The oil cloth is starting to come off and I need to decide what to do with that but I love them.
A scrolly candelabra.
The side of a sewing machine that I inherited from my mom.
A cast iron fence piece used for garden art.
Bet you have had these heart shapes in your home at some point, too.
This metal stool is another flea market find. It sits between my kitchen and dining room.
My favorite kind of crafty project are the ones that are quick and easy and inexpensive. And if I have most or all the supplies on hand already, even better. Whether you already have the supplies for this project or not, there are very few things needed. With Valentine’s Day coming up (and being a lover of seasonal decorating) I went to work thinking up a simple project to celebrate the holiday. This DIY heart garland is what I came up with.
Actually I came up with two different DIY heart garlands. It’s difficult to see the second, smaller one in this picture so I will show it again later in the post.
Along with wanting it to be simple, I wanted it to have an organic feel. So I dug around in my craft supplies, found a bunch of leather strips and knew they would be the perfect material to use.
And like any good hoarder crafter, I also had a bunch of neutral fabric scraps and lace that would complement the leather and soften the design.
For the smaller garland I cut heart shapes out of an old leather belt. It was a little bit more work than the first one but I like the way it turned out.
The belt I used had grommets which added a nice texture and also gave me a good place to string the skinny piece of leather for the garland.
You could easily change up the design with whatever colors you like. It’s a fun project to complete in an afternoon.
All you need to make your very own DIY heart garland is leather strips that can be found at your craft store, fabric and lace scraps, and for the smaller garland you’ll need a leather belt or leather scraps that can also be found at craft stores. You’ll also need glue (I used Loctite), scissors and a pair of pliers.
Now to create. The process for the larger garland:
STEP 1: For each heart, cut two strips of leather, 7 3/8″ in length for the outer strip and 6 1/2″ in length for the inner strip. The width of my leather ranged from 1/8-3/8″.
STEP 2:Cut strips of fabric (and leather lace if desired) to desired length for the “tails”. They will be doubled over so you will want them to be twice the length to allow for that. My cut strips ranged in length from 12-20″ and in width from 1/8-1/2″. I used 2-3 per heart.
STEP 3: Find the center of each piece of leather and using your pliers pinch it to form the bottom point of the heart.
STEP 4: Fold over one end of the heart and glue a little further than halfway down on the other side.
STEP 5: Allow to dry then overlap and fold over the other piece, gluing in place as shown in center picture above.
STEP 6: Once that has dried glue one end of the second (outer) strip to the first heart at the top, center.
STEP 7: Allow to dry then glue the other end in the same manner.
STEP 8: Take the strips of fabric and/or leather lacing and attach each to the bottom of the heart with a slipknot.
STEP 9: For the final step, thread them onto the length of leather to complete the garland. I used 1/8 inch deerskin lace leather for the garland length, cut to approx. 5 ft. and I used the extra for some of the hearts’ “tails”.
To make the smaller garland:
STEP 1: Draw or print a heart shape in desired size (mine is approx. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″). Using the paper heart as a template, draw around it onto the leather to make five hearts.
STEP 2: Cut them out using heavy duty scissors or a razor knife. Don’t worry if the edges are ragged and uneven, the lace will cover that up.
STEP 3: Decorate each heart with lace, covering entire heart or using it as a trim around the edges. Glue lace in place and trim.
STEP 4: Cut a leather lace or strip 2-3 feet long. This will be your garland base.
STEP 5: Unless you happen to have grommets in your leather hearts, you will want to attach them by punching a hole at the top of each heart. You can use a nail and hammer to do this or a leather punch. After punching a hole in each heart, attach them to the leather garland base, tying them on with small fabric strips.
Love is in the air!
As always, feel free to ask questions and please let me know if you need clarification on my instructions. :)
Be sure to check back in a few days for more Valentine-themed fun.