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.
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."
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.
Fold the strips in half, end to end so they are half as long as they were.
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.
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.
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.
Things to Remember:
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. Charles M. Schulz