Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sewing a Valentine: a Quick "How-to"
Valentine projects are some of my favorite holiday crafts. Here is a quick and fun Valentine's Day project to send or give away to friends. It requires only a single sewn line, and lots of paper cutting, so even children can make their own, if you sew for them.
Heavy paper: I used water color paper (construction paper may rip when sewn)
Colored paper: scrapbook pages, metalic paper, or magazine pages
Ribbon or yarn: for the top bow, at least 8" for each heart.
Envelope: if you plan to send this heart (Note: plan ahead and cut your heart to fit a standard envelope.)
Additional scrap book paper for folding 'card' to insert the valentine into before mailing.
Sewing machine with thread in any color, size #12 or #14 needle
I used scrap paper about 5.5" long, folded in half, and cut in the shape of a half heart.
I didn't pre-draw the heart. It's easy to cut one side of a heart shape: it's a pointed curve along the fold.
After first cutting the heavy white heart, cut out additional hearts from colored paper. It may help to use the white heart as a pattern by folding this over the colored paper.
Heart sizes can vary, from a narrow margin to wider spacing when they are layered. Consider the colors as they are combined.
Lay the hearts from large to small along the folds. This center 'ditch' will become the sewing line.
Select ribbon or yard for the top bow. Cut this at least 8" or longer.
Set the sewing machine at the longest stitch length.
Start to sew at the heart point, sewing down the fold ditch.
You may need to guide the heart if your machine won't move it evenly as you sew.
When sewing, you may want to start with a back stitch, but this is not essential.
As you come close to the top of this fold, place the ribbon across the stitch line.
Center the ribbon so you will be sewing through the middle of it.
Back stitch a few stitches over the ribbon so that it won't pull out when hung.
After sewing on the ribbon, exit the heart and clip off the thread.
The hearts can be left like this, or a greeting may be added.
For sending by mail, cut out folded scrap book paper to create a cover for the heart and insert it into an envelope that fits this cover easily.
As you become skilled, try adding colored paper hearts to both side of your heavy paper heart, that way you have a back side for your greeting and a front side with many layers.
Make a heart chain by inserting several hearts, one after the other, in a line as you sew. This can be hung up from the ribbon top.
Happy Valentine's Day Crafting!