Happy Valentine’s Day, all! I hope you are staying warm and spending time with loved ones on this cold February day.
A few weeks ago, I posted the picture above with the following words on Instagram:
I find that I’ve been embracing all holidays over the past year, even those Hallmark holidays I’ve resisted in the past (I’m looking at you, Valentine’s Day). After all, don’t we all need a good excuse to add a little more love and kindness to the world these days? So I’ve started making conversation hearts in anticipation of Valentines Day. These are a work in progress…turns out writing with a needle and thread is harder than I thought…but I’m looking for some clever pandemic-related sweet nothings for the next batch. Reply with any ideas you might have!
I meant to build a blog post on this, but I kept dragging my feet. I’m not crazy about how some of the embroidery on the early attempts turned out, so I was reluctant to post. But then a friend messaged me and asked if I’d be willing to sell the XOXO heart. She told me she loved the handmade, not-quite-perfect nature of the hearts and wanted to share them with a friend who loves Valentine’s Day.
Needless to say, I was touched. I made a couple more of the XOXO version and packaged them in a pink gift bag. But this is what stuck with me: I was kind of waiting until I had time to make hearts with more perfect lettering before posting, but this isn’t real life. In reality, my hearts are not perfect. And they shouldn’t have to be. I realized I had to give myself a little grace, just as I’ve been trying to do with others during this pandemic craziness.
So, I’m throwing this idea out there. I’m giving myself a little space, including the permission to create without being perfect. I’m also challenging myself to pass it on, to share a little kindness and compassion with others today and on each day going forward. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, by any means. On these bitterly cold days, I’ve been keeping packets of hand warmers in the car. Sometimes I see homeless people holding signs requesting money at major intersections, but I rarely have cash on me. The handwarmers are a way to share a little warmth and compassion for a fellow human out in the cold. It’s not all that much, but it’s something, and it eases my heart a bit.
In the meantime, here are a couple of ways to show your sweetheart or loved ones you care today. Spread the love!
If you’ve not yet made a Valentine, here’s a cute little project to warm the heart of someone special. If you sew, these hearts are super easy to make. If you don’t sew, see the instructions for making a paper heart garland below.
You will need: 3-inch heart cookie cutter, sharpie, sweater scraps or festive cotton fabric, needle & wool embroidery thread, embroidery hoop, scissors, pins, sewing machine, thread to match color of sweater or fabric, poly fil
- Using the heart and sharpie, trace two hearts on the fabric and sweater.
- If you wish to embroider the heart, center one of the traced hearts within an embroidery hoop. Use needle and wool embroidery thread to stitch your favorite valentine sentiment.
- Remove embroidery hoop and cut out hearts.
- Stack embroidered heart on top of the plain heart and use pins secure them together.
- With a sewing machine (can also be hand stitched, if you prefer), stitch a 1/4 inch seam along the very edge of the heart, leaving and 1 1/2 inch unsewn.
- Stuff polyfil into the unsewn area until the heart is full and well-shaped.
- Sew hole closed.
- String several embroidered or plain hearts together to make a garland, or hide hearts around the house to surprise your sweetie. Up for a more elaborate heart? Check out these.
Paper Heart Garland
This is a sweet way to give a valentine and add a festive touch to your home. I’m planning to make one someday using the leftover paper we made for our wedding invitations. Yes, someday 😉
- Cut hearts out of red paper or leftover wrapping paper. I use a 3- inch heart cookie cutter to trace consistent heart shapes.
- Apply a small amount of glue (white or stick) to the back sides of two hearts.
- Then simply sandwich two hearts, wrong sides together, over a string (make this string as long as you like) to create a garland.
Until next time, stay warm!
For more fun and easy craft projects to make with paper or cast off sweaters, see my Craft a Day Book!