Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Garland Made From Felt

This felt heart garland is now hanging on our mantel.  The garland is for our grandsons.  We have 5 grandsons and another one due on Valentine's Day.  Wouldn't that be the most special Valentine gift? We can't wait to meet him!   Decorating the house for every holiday makes Granda and Pawpaw's house a place for the boys to enjoy.  They are 8, 5, 4, 23 months and 17 months.  The 8 and 5 year old really enjoy making crafts, so we work on them when they are here visiting - usually on the weekends.  

After Christmas, I had decorated the mantel in a winter theme, but we really haven't had much winter this year.  The temperature was 60 degrees today and I saw daffodils blooming in a yard.  It's January 26 and that's a bit early for daffodils, even in mid Tennessee (not that I'm complaining).  It just made me want to head on in to Valentine's day since the winter theme looked a bit out of place with all the unusually warm days we have been having.  I had some 9 x 12 felt pieces on hand that I wanted to utilize.  The mantel needed something, so I decided to make a garland. 

Here is what you will need for this project.

9x12 pieces of felt in colors of your choice.  (I used red, pink and white) You can get them at any craft or fabric store.
1 package of 16 mm pearls (mine came from JoAnn's)
A large darning needle
Heavy thread (you can use dental floss, buttonhole thread or this is what I used from JoAnn's)
This thread is in the section where the embroidery thread is and it has lots of colors in the package.  I have used it for many projects.  It is heavier than embroidery thread and is really good for crafting.  It worked great for the garland.

To start the project, take the pieces of felt you are going to use and fold each one in half the long way.  Place the folded side under your sewing machine needle and stitch a 1/4 inch seam the length of the piece.
Now, turn the seam to the inside by folding the open edges of the felt together the opposite way.  The seam will now be on the inside of the felt, instead of the outside.  It will look like this.
Now, stitch a 1/4 inch seam down the open edge of the felt.  

Take a piece of the thread you are going to use to sew the garland together and measure the length of where it is going to go.  I have a push pin in the middle of our mantel and one on each end.  I draped the thread from the left end to the middle and then to the right end allowing a bit if "drape" and about 4 inches extra on each end.  

Take your thread or floss and find the center by folding it in half and tie a knot to mark the center.
Next, you will cut strips from each of your sewn felt pieces that will become your hearts.  I cut 1 inch strips all the way down the felt.  Cut through the seam at the bottom all the way through the top seam.   This gave me 12 hearts of each color.    They will look like this after you shape them. 
Now, lay them out on a flat surface until you get the pattern of colors that you want.  I placed a pearl between each heart so I would have an idea how it would look.  Once you get your pattern established, it's time to stitch.  
This is how I did it, you may find a way you like better.   I laid out the entire length of the thread with the knot in the middle.  I began by threading the right end of the thread in the needle and started by placing a pearl on the needle and pulling it all the way down to the knot.  Then I folded a heart completely flat and pushed the needle all the way through the heart making sure to get the part of the heart that will hang down in the middle.  This will keep it from losing it's shape when it is hanging.  
 I repeated this procedure all the way down the right side of the thread following my color pattern leaving about 4 inches of thread open at the end so there is something to tie around the push pin.   On the right half of the garland, I had 16 hearts with a pearl in between each heart.

Next, I threaded my needle with the thread on the left side of the knot and reversed the pattern of heart colors that were on the right side so there was a mirror image.  I did NOT add a pearl on the left side so there is only one pearl in the center of the garland.  When I completed the left side, I laid the garland out on my kitchen table and shaped all the hearts on the thread and then tied a knot on each end so the first and last heart would not come off the thread.  All that was left to do was tie the garland on the mantel.  This is how it looks.
This is a really easy, fun and festive project that you can do in about an hour.  It certainly adds a nice punch of color to the living room and will take us right into Valentine's Day.  When the boys come over this weekend, we will make another garland for them to use on the mantel at their house.  I know they won't always want to do crafts with Grandma, but for right now we are making memories that will last a lifetime.  Being a grandma is the best thing ever!

Everyday Donna

Things to remember:

"Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." --  The Wonder Years"

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