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Sometimes simple holiday decorations can make the biggest impact. That’s the case with this simple string of fabric hearts. Nothing fancy and frou-frou. Just jute, fabric, embroidery thread and jump rings(optional).
If you’ve followed my blog at all you may have seen my post, How to Make a Fabric Scrap Garland. That’s a pretty simple garland, too but requires more fabric. Well, this one uses less fabric but does require some sewing. Even so, I’d say it’s easy enough for a beginner to tackle.
You can choose to make your String of Hearts as long as you want. I didn’t even measure mine. I simply sewed 6 red hearts and 6 white hearts. Then I placed them on the string by eyeballing the distance between each heart. I tried to keep things as simple as possible.
I definitely recommend choosing a heavy fabric for your red hearts. The fabric I used is similar to burlap but softer and more refined. You can use regular cotton fabric but then I would suggest grabbing some red felt to sandwich between your white hearts as regular cotton fabric won’t be thick enough. Felt will give your hearts added thickness that regular thin fabric won’t. By choosing Warm and Natural Batting for your white hearts you’ll have the perfect amount of stiffness and thickness which also helps add some structure to the red hearts when sandwiched.
You’ll notice I list jump rings as optional. If you’re not familiar with jump rings they can be found in the jewelry making section of most craft stores. They come in various sizes. Mine are slightly rounder than the jute and thin enough to open with my fingers though I did use small craft pliers. You’ll use the rings to attach the hearts to the jute. If you don’t have jump rings and don’t want to buy them you can simply attach the hearts to the string with embroidery thread. Either way works fine!
Supplies Needed for your string of fabric hearts:
- Warm and Natural Batting or Warm and White Batting
- Heavyweight red fabric
- Red embroidery thread and off white embroidery thread
- Embroidery needle
- 3 ply jute
- Sewing machine and thread
- Scissors and pinking shears (optional)
- Small jump rings (optional)
Draw a heart onto heavy paper or thin cardboard and then cut it out. For reference, mine is approximately 6 1/2″ long and 3 1/2″ wide. This heart will be your pattern.
Fold your fabric wrong sides together. Use a pencil to trace around your heart leaving space between each one. You’ll want to trace 6 red and 6 white hearts. This traced line will be your sewing line.
If you’ve traced a row of hearts, cut the entire row off as one big piece. If you traced your hearts at different areas on your fabric cut each one out leaving approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches around the traced line. Now place a piece of Warm and Natural Batting between the two pieces of red fabric. Place pins randomly throughout the sandwiched fabric to keep it in place. Do the same thing for the hearts traced onto the Warm and Natural Batting. Again, place a piece of red fabric (or felt) between the two white pieces and secure with pins.
If you cut your hearts out separately, cut a piece of the opposite fabric around the same size and place it between the layers. Pin to secure.
Using your sewing machine, sew each heart on the line you traced. I used white thread on the white hearts and red thread on the red hearts. Use whatever color you have on hand.
Thread an embroidery needle with red embroidery thread but don’t cut it. Starting at the inner crook of a white heart hand stitch a running stitch around the heart on the machine-sewn line. Continue around the entire heart until you end back at the crook. Leave about 4″ or 5″ of floss on each side and cut. (See the pic below.) Do this for each white heart.
Now do the same thing for the red hearts using white embroidery thread. Tie a bow with the thread ends.
Cut your hearts out now. I chose to cut my white hearts out with Fiskars® pinking shears. I used regular fabric scissors (my favorite Fiskars® scissors) for the red hearts. Cut about 1/4″ from your stitched seam.
Now you’re going to attach the hearts to the jute. I did not measure out a specific length of string. Instead, I made a loop at one end and attached a heart then eyeballed the distance between each heart. I kept adding hearts until they were all attached and then made another loop after the last heart. Cut the string.
there are 2 ways to attach the hearts to the string
When it comes time to attach the hearts there are two ways to do it. You’ll either use your jump rings or embroidery thread to affix the hearts to the string. I used jump rings to secure mine. First, because I had them on hand and second they were quicker and easier to use than sewing. I took a pair of craft pliers and twisted the ring open a bit. Using the pliers I then fed the ring through the fabric on the back of each heart. Next, I pushed the jute into the ring and squeezed it back together and smashed it to secure the string.
If you decide to sew your hearts onto the jute simply run the thread through the fabric on the backside of the heart. Then wrap it around the string and run it back through the heart. Do this until it feels secure then knot off the string and cut it.
One of the benefits of using the jump rings to affix the hearts is that when you go to hang up the string you can fine-tune the placement of each fabric heart. You can slide each one if you need to. Just loosen the ring a bit, move the heart then re-clamp the ring.
And that’s it! Your Simple String of Hearts is finished! I hope you enjoyed this craft.