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Paper Swedish Hearts Tutorial

many years ago, a sweet and very excited little artist came home from school
and showed her sisters, brother, and mommy how to make hearts out of paper.
bright construction paper was precisely cut and folded and woven together,
just as she had been taught at school that day by her artistic teacher.

that was the day my third-grade daughter taught ME something!
we had hours of fun making hearts, used them on our Christmas tree,
and then kept the red and white ones up as decor in our home until Valentine's Day.
(i still have those hearts in a box)

ever since, i've used woven paper hearts in my Valentine's Day decorating...
[traditionally known as Swedish Hearts
instead of making them from construction paper, 
now i use vintage papers from books and sheet music

 they tuck into flower arrangements, dangle from ribbons, dance across inspiration boards,
and make perfect gift tags or holders for VERY tiny gifts
this is an excellent craft to do with kids of all ages !

 continue reading for my tutorial...

Vintage Paper Swedish Hearts Tutorial

decorative paper, a few sheets of printer paper, and scissors 
Vintage sheet music, dictionary pages, and faded old school paper
are perfect for a pale palette. Vintage wrapping paper is beautiful, too,
and kids love using comic book pages! 
You'll need TWO different papers to make the weaving stand out.
1. To ensure that your hearts are all of similar size,
create 'patterns' - those are the darker tan paper shapes shown in photo 1.
Just cut a rectangle out of a folded sheet of regular printer paper.
The fold will be on the bottom straight end, with a cutout curve on the other end.
Make as many sizes as you'd like your hearts to be!
2. Fold your decorative papers in half, and place a pattern at THE FOLDED EDGE.
The square end of the pattern will sit on the fold.
Then cut out your shape
You can fold both papers together and cut them at the same time,
if they are not too thick.

3. Next, remove the pattern and hold the shapes TOGETHER,
and cut into them right down the middle...CAREFULLY!
You want to cut from the FOLDED EDGE up
JUST below where the curve begins
By holding both shapes together when you do this step,
you make sure that the cut is the same width on each piece,
so that they'll fit together easily in the next step...

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with your second paper choice. 
5. Separate the two pieces, and leave them folded in half.
Each 'strip' is a loop, with two sides.
You'll place the strips inside one another in an alternating pattern.
Begin with strip 1 of piece A, and pass it through strip 1 of piece B.
[here, A is the ivory paper and B is the sheet music]

6. Insert strip 2 of piece B [sheet music] into strip 1 of piece A [ivory paper]
When both strips have been woven in this 'in/out' pattern, photo shows what it looks like.

8. Note that the second strip is loose... now take it, and weave the REVERSE pattern.
Since you put [1A] INTO [1B] first on the last strip,
[ivory paper INSIDE sheet music]
you'll put [2B] into [2A] on this one.
[sheet music INSIDE ivory paper]

In photo 8 you can see how you have to flex the strips just a bit
to get them to go INSIDE the other strip...
be gentle, especially if you are using vintage papers. They are fragile.
Finished hearts

if you are feeling 
quite accomplished at this already...

 You can cut MULTIPLE 'strips' into each shape.
[you may want to use larger sized patterns for this step,
so that each strip is still sturdy enough to not tear as you flex it]
11 and 12. The weaving gets incrementally more difficult the more strips you cut,
but they are beautiful when finished!

this tutorial also appears in the Winter 2013 issue of Creating Vintage Charm Magazine


shared online:
2016: one project closer | creativity unleashed
shabbyfufu | share it one more time

1 comment:

  1. a project from grade school days that's been given an amazing upgrade! thanks for sharing.