I first came across these felted heart ornaments last year. You can see more intricate version of this ornament under the label of Mexican Felt Hearts. They are beautiful with intricate embroidery. I have seen them used as knapsack ornaments, to decorate bedrooms or given as handmade gifts.
For this DIY, I wanted it to be an activity for kids as young as 5 or 6 years old so it needed to be less ornate than the Mexican Felt Hearts and with simpler steps and technique. I did a version of this craft during the 2018 / 2019 for 5/6 year olds. The most challenging aspect was doing the blanket stitch for some of my students but if you are working with one or two kids at a time, it should be easier to work with them step by step.
Check out the tutorial below.
Supplies: heart template, red felt, stuffing, thread, beads, keychain, sewing pins, needle, pliers, pair of scissors, fabric marker, painters tape
Fold the fabric in half and place large heart template on it. Pin it down the template down.
Cut out the two hearts.
Pin the smaller heart template on one of the felt hearts. Then use your fabric marker to place all the stitch marks onto the fabric.
Remove the template and reveal the stitch marks.
Take the second heart and place it under the first heart. Pin the two pieces together. Then thread your needle. I doubled the thread so tied a knot on the end. I saw the about 40 inches was a good length for the thread. It may be challenging for young kids to work with such long thread, but it removes the sometimes problematic issues of finishing the thread mid way in the sewing and having to rethread and continue with the blanket stitch. Once needle has been threaded, place the first stitch from the back side of the heart with all the stitch marks. Pull the thread through until the knot catches.
Then, right next to the spot where the thread came out of the fabric, place the next stitch making sure to go through both layers of felt. Pull the thread through until you have a loop about the same size as in the photo above.
Thread your needle through the loop and pull the thread taut.
This is what it should look like. To create the next stitch, insert the needle at the next stitch point to the right of the first stitch. As the needle comes out of the back, make sure the rest of thread is placed behind the needle and pull through.
Repeat the process: insert needle at the next stitch mark through both layers of felt, making sure that the thread is under the needle as you pull the needle through.
This is what it looks from the edge. Continue until you have about 4 stitches left.
It’s stuffing time. Insert the stuffing initially with your finger. I find it is helpful to use a dowel, pen, pencil etc to push the stuffing into all the nooks and crannies of the heart.
All stuffed up and ready to close the heart.
Repeat the blanket stitch to enclose all the stuffing in.
Stuffing and stitching all done.
Not it is beading time. I find it a lot easier to use painters tape to hold the beads as I thread them onto the needle. But I also know that there are fancier bead holding options available for people who bead a lot.
Anyway, first figure out how long you want your beads strands to be, double the size and then add an extra 2 to 3 inches of thread. Tie a knot at the end.
Grab a few beads with the tape and then thread them onto the needle and then onto the thread.
Once you have beaded enough for the first strand, attach it to bottom of the heart,
I did a double stitch to secure the beads onto the heart. Then I added more beads to the remaining thread and finished it with a fat knot at the end.
Beading all done. Almost finished. One more addition and your heart ornament will be ready.
Open the jump ring to attach the keychain to the heart and pull it through the thread at the V of the heart. Close the jump ring.
All done. Time to take it out for a spin.