I made some long stemmed hearts a number of years ago for Valentine’s Day. Recently, I noticed that a number of the colors had faded from being in the sun. So, I decided to make them again using fade resistant papers. I also decided to simplify the process I and share my instructions here.
I got a variety of colored papers from French Paper Company which is located in Niles, Michigan. I used their line of Pop Tone colors. These papers are some of the most lightfast, fade resistant papers available. They come in a wonderful variety of colors, too.
- Cut paper 8.5″ by 2.5″ with the paper grain going the 2.5″ direction. Fold the paper in half like in #1 above (note: the fold is on the right). If you don’t know about paper grain, check out my blog post that explains it at: Understanding Paper Grain Direction.
- Draw an arc in pencil like in #2 above. It should be just a bit higher on the fold line (that’s where the center of the heart will be).
- Cut the arc and start folding. Fold towards the center fold as in #3 above.
- Continue folding as in #4 above, folding each fold in half.
- Continue folding as in #5 above, folding each fold in half again.
- Continue folding as in #6 above, folding each fold in half again.
- Put the accordion folded heart into a bulldog clip as in #7 above (or secure it with rubber bands). Tie embroidery thread around the bottom of the heart using a square knot. Put a dab of glue on the knot.
- Wrap the long end of the thread around the knot about a dozen times with the short end of the thread still visible above the wrapping. Tie the ends together with a square knot. Glue around the thread, including the knot as in #8 above. You can see the wet glue in the photo, but it dries clear. I used PVA glue, but a white glue like Elmers would work well too. Cut the thread after the glue is dry. For those wanting a super clean looking wrap, put the thread on a needle and thread it under the now glued wrapped thread.
- Push a bamboo skewer through the center of the heart, between the center fold and the thread. Push the skewer all the way down to where the thread goes around the heart. Gently open the heart. It should look like # 9 above.
These are fun to make. And now that I have simplified how I make them, they go fairly quickly. Before I actually sewed the folds at the bottom of each heart. This way is much quicker.