Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swedish Woven Hearts To Hold Your Valentine Treats

 Hey, everyone.  I'm here to show you how to make those containers for the cinnamon sugared nuts I talked about last week!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I am a little under the weather with a very runny nose, but that's okay because it's too cold to go out anyway!  Hope you are all staying safe and warm during this winter siege.

Valentine's Day will be here in just a few short weeks, so I thought it was time to get busy making some things and decorating the house.  I know it's just a one day holiday, but who doesn't love some colorful hearts to cheer things up during these wintry doldrums?

The containers I am making are made from paper - you can use card stock, construction paper, or some of these cute acid free papers I found at Target in a package for $1.  Yes, you read that right.  There were 10 pieces of 12 x 12 papers in a package for uber cheapness.  They were in the front of the store in their dollar bin and they are adorable.  The package even showed the paper patterns inside.
I also have some 8 1/2 x 11 paper that I found at Michael's for $3.  That paper is a little heavier and a little harder to work with just in case you are interested, but is also perfect for Valentine's Day.

These are called Swedish woven hearts and you may have made them in elementary school, who knows?  I just discovered them on Pinterest a while back and knew they would be perfect for our grandsons for Valentine's Day.  There are endless options to making them.  They even learned how to make them last weekend.  Our 7 year old grandson liked them so much, he is going to make them for his first grade class at school.  Here is how one of the hearts looks "filled."
How cute is that?  You can also put handles on them for hanging.  Just cut some thin paper strips and use a glue stick to attach them to the inside of the paper hearts.
These are made by weaving the paper together and it is not hard once you get the hang of it.  You will want to work slowly so you don't tear the paper as you weave it together.  I say that because you weave the pieces through the centers, not just over and under.  The last row is tight and requires a little dexterity.  Don't be scared off by that last statement, it just means take your time.

First, you need to cut your paper strips.  They need to be 3 to 3 1/2 times longer than they are wide, so mine are 3.5 inches wide by 12 inches long.
The handy dandy paper cutter makes the job go faster.  If you don't have one, simply use a ruler and mark your strips and cut with scissors.

Fold the strips in half, end to end so they are half as long as they were.  
You need to make a curved top, so I used a tuna can placed on the OPEN end (not the folded end) and traced a semi circle.   Trace one on both pieces of paper and cut with your scissors.  I made a template to make things easier.
This became my template because I cut the strips on the open end instead of the folded end.  Duh.   You will want to mark the folded end in thirds, for 3 strips.  I put a small pencil dot at the appropriate places on the folded end.

Now, this is important and I learned this myself.  None of the tutorials I looked at told me this, but it makes weaving the hearts together so much easier if you will lay one strip on top of the other in a heart shape and mark the edge of the piece so you know how far to cut up.  If you don't cut far enough, you cannot weave the strips together and you will tear your paper.
Just make two pencil dots approximately 1/3 from the top and bottom.  Then, reverse the papers and do the same so you can cut both strips the same length.  See the pencil dots on the folded edge and the marks at the top?

Now, cut from the FOLDED edge toward the open edge.  You should have 3 strips.  Now the really fun part - weaving the two together.  I started with over/under/over because I think it's easier to do.  You will do this twice and under/over/under in the middle.  REMEMBER:  YOU ARE GOING THROUGH THE CENTER OF EACH STRIP WHEN YOU WEAVE, OTHERWISE IT WILL NOT LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN YOU ARE DONE.
This is a closed woven container that will hold something.  If you just weave over/under/over it will not hold anything.

To start, put the top strip on one half of the heart piece inside the first piece on the other half.
This is another picture of how it should look.  See how the strips go through the centers?  That's what you want to do.

This is easier to follow once you start doing it.  I know this makes no sense, but it really will and it should look like this when  you finish the first strip.  Over/under/over.
The weaving should look the same on both sides.  If not, you missed going through a center somewhere.  Take it apart and start over.  The next piece will go under, over, under.  You may have to bend your paper a little to make it work.  Just take your time.  Push the pieces to the top as you work, or you will not be able to weave your last piece through.  Go back to over/under/over and you are done.  Easy Peasy.  If a 7 year old can do it, you can do it.  If I can do it, you can do it!  
This is how I bent my paper to get it through the last section.  The center is a little tricker.  When finished,  it will look like this.
I know it sounds hard and I was confused when reading the directions the first few times.  Once I had the strips in my hand, it made sense.  It will for you too.  I can't figure a way to write it that is not confusing, if you get my drift.  

If you want to jazz up your hearts some more, cut thin strips of contrasting paper,  ribbon, or lace, and weave it through the strips.  I used a little dab from a glue stick to hold the pieces in place.  
See the difference?  The options are endless!  You can also cut a narrow strip, wide strip, narrow strip for your weaving pattern instead of 3 equal sized strips.  You can do all kinds of fancy things with these.

I used some pieces of nylon tulle and filled it with M&Ms (grandsons LOVE them) and tied a ribbon around the top because I didn't have any cinnamon sugared nuts at the time.  This will keep the nuts or candies from falling out of the hearts at gift giving time.  

Be imaginative and create all different kinds of hearts.  You could use sheet music.  If you use book pages, make sure they are really long ones or you could use magazine pages - the list is endless.  Felt is also a possibility.  How cute would those be?

Have fun with this project.  We sure did.  You can make a plethora of these hearts for next to nothing and everyone will love that you made them by hand.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.  Charles M. Schulz