Heart-Shaped Crafts

Dazzle your beloved with hearts made from paper, wire or roses with these easy-to-follow projects.

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Hearts That Shine

Materials and Tools:

origami or any smooth paper with a different color on each side
glue
tooling foil, 38 gauge
scissors (regular and pinking)
metallic-ink pens
ballpoint pen

Steps:

1. Cut the paper and fold it to form a square.

2. You can decorate the cover of the card or cut a heart in the center so that you can see the second color inside the card.

3. Cut out small tooling foil hearts. (Foil comes in a variety of colors — brass, silver, copper, red, blue and green, and it is easily cut with scissors.)

4. To emboss, press on the opposite side of the heart with a ballpoint pen. We made dots, spiral and hatch marks.

5. Glue the hearts to the paper.

6. Decorate the cards with metallic-ink pens.

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7. To make woven hearts of paper or tooling foil, cut the lines as shown.

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Weave 1, 2, 3 pieces with A, B, C pieces, as shown.

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A Hanging Heart

If twisting and turning are your style, you'll love this metal heart basket. You can use copper, aluminum or whatever kind of wire you choose, but you need two different weights (the lighter weight is for wrapping). Directions follow for a heart that is 5-1/4" x 6-1/4".

Materials and Tools:

18-guage stove-pipe wire in these lengths:
Back: one 8", one 5", one 4", one 2"
Front: one 6", one 5-1/2", one 4", one 3-1/2", one 1-1/2", three 5", four 5" (small hearts)

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26-gauge enameled copper wire (we used black)
round-nosed pliers
small wire cutters

Steps:

1. Fold the 18-inch piece of stove-pipe wire in half to form the bottom V of the heart.

2. Use pliers to form a coil at each end of the wire.

3. Bend each half of the heart to meet in the middle.

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4. Wrap a piece of the 26-gauge wire around the two metal pieces that meet. This will bind the middle of the heart together between the coils.

5. Use pliers to attach the three horizontal back pieces from top to bottom, longest to shortest. Space evenly.

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6. Use pliers to coil and form each of the four 5" pieces into a small heart. Set aside.

7. Attach the top horizontal piece to the frame using pliers. This forms the uppermost semicircle on the front of the basket.

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8. Attach the other four front pieces from top to bottom (largest to smallest), leaving room for the hearts to be attached).

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9. Attach the three 5" pieces to the frame vertically at spaced intervals.

10. Wrap 26-gauge wire around the horizontal wires of the basket front, incorporating the four small hearts at the intersections of the vertical wires.

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11. You can decorate your wire basket in any number of ways. Fill with moss and tuck flowers into it, pack it with sweet-smelling potpourri or use it to hold valentine cards.

A Rosy Wreath

Here's a heartfelt wreath fashioned of dried roses. Hang it on your front door, a doorknob, or on your bedroom or bathroom wall.

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It's very simple to make: Hot-glue dried roses to a heart-shaped form. Forms are available in wire, florist foam, straw and twigs. Add a beautiful ribbon or tuck baby's breath in among the roses for a sweet touch.

Box Full O' Hearts

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This decorated cigar box created by Holly Christian is for the serious crafter who's willing to get out the protective eyewear and soldering gun. It's made of zinc and brass shim; the dots of solder really make it look regal. For a full list of supplies and directions, get TinWork. The book is filled with high-quality projects that are well conceived and beautifully rendered.

A Sweetheart of a Soap

Here's a sweet twist on soap-on-a-rope. The simplest route to your heart soap is to buy and melt red or pink 100 percent vegetable glycerin soaps, let the stuff re-harden on a cookie sheet, then cut it with heart-shaped cookie cutters. Carefully punch a hole with a hole puncher, string a ribbon through and you have one sweetheart of a soap.

For those who want a more "homemade" product, buy plain unscented, uncolored glycerin (available in one-pound cylinders) and add your own fragrance oils and colorings while melting.

Tip: We found it much simpler (especially when working with children) to melt the soap in the microwave rather than on the stovetop, which is often recommended by craft books. Either way, it will take some trial and error to figure out how long to heat the soap before it melts. You don't want it to boil (or your soap will harden with lots of bubbles). If the soap won't melt, it's not 100 percent glycerin or it's hard milled.

Photos by Charles Brooks

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