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How to Make a Victorian Heart Ornament

Decorate your Christmas tree with Victorian elegance. Make your own Victorian heart ornament with these instructions.

Project by Beth Wheeler, courtesy of Blumenthal Craft.

Materials and Tools:

Blumenthal Craft Crafter's Images PhotoFabric poplin
Blumenthal Craft Crafter's Images vintage romance artwork CD
computer
inkjet printer
6" square velvet or velveteen
6" square coordinating fabric for back
polyester stuffing
2 sheets of scrap paper
thick bath towel
all-purpose sewing thread
sewing machine
usual sewing supplies
beads or charms (optional)
fade-out pen

Finished size: 5" x 5"

Steps:

1. Cut a 6-inch square of scrap paper. Fold the paper in half and cut a heart half, just as you did in first grade. Use the cut-out as the pattern, and the (leftover) part that you'd normally throw away for step 2.

2. Insert the artwork CD in the CD drive of your computer. After it launches, choose the artwork you'd like to use and print it in the small and medium sizes on paper. Place the heart frame from step 1 on the artwork print like a frame to determine the best position of the print on the ornament.

3. Fold a piece of velvet for the pocket in half and place it on top of the print, as in figure 1 of the PDF file. Frame with the paper heart frame. Shift the frame and pocket around until you are pleased with the arrangement. Mark the pocket position with a pen or pencil.

4. Insert a sheet of PhotoFabric poplin in the inkjet printer and print the desired-size artwork on the fabric. Allow ink to dry completely.

5. Separate fabric and paper. Rinse fabric print in tap water for 30 seconds or until the water runs completely clear. Place the wet fabric on a towel to dry, or you may speed the drying with a hair dryer or dry iron.

6. Using the paper sample as a guide, pin the folded pocket piece in place on the fabric print. Pin the heart pattern on top. Draw a line 1/4 inch away from the heart pattern with a fade-out pen, as in figure 2 of the PDF file. Stitch along the line with sewing machine. Cut close to the line with scissors.

7. Use the fabric cutout as a pattern to cut a backing. It's important to place the heart front on the backing fabric face down, especially if the heart is asymmetrical.

8. Place front and back together with right sides facing. Stitch around the periphery with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, leaving an opening for turning.

9. Trim the points, clip the curves, and turn heart right side out.

10. Stuff lightly with polyester stuffing. Close the opening with a slipstitch by hand.

11. Stitch beaded cording around periphery by hand.

12. Stitch tassel in place at the heart's point.

13. Cut a 6 to 8-inch piece of cord for the hanger. Knot each end. Stitch one knot in place on heart by hand.

14. Unwind the cord beyond the knot with a tapestry needle and tease until fluffy. Trim to desired length.

15. Stitch beads or charms on the heart, if desired.

Other style tips:

For a folk art look, use felt. For a "shabby chic" style, use velvet or velveteen and add buttons to the cord. For an urban feel, use decorator fabric and silver cord. To be even more artistic, use hand-dyed fabric and beaded wire. Make an easy elegant version using lush velvet and a beaded cord.

Display options:

Hang multiple hearts on a small tree or randomly on a garland.

Tie one on each spindle of a banister or on the back of each guest's chair with a small gift tucked inside (could double as a place card, since guests would search for the gift with their own name).

Fill with potpourri or make a sachet for hanging on the door of a powder room.

Holiday family dinner suggestion: Make a heart ornament with a photo of each guest as a child or of family ancestors. Hang one on each package and let the fun begin!

Add a few stitches of silk-ribbon embroidery, beading or quilting for a special touch of texture and dimension.

Tips:

Have your favorite child person cut the heart patterns. For variety, make each ornament from a different heart pattern.

For a personalized ornament, print a quotation, poem, special message or photo on a second piece of PhotoFabric poplin and use as the heart backing.

If you have trouble separating PhotoFabric from the paper backing, warm it with a dry iron and rub your thumb along a corner. The two will separate easily.

If you're using a cord as a hanger and don't want to fringe the ends, knot each end and stitch in the seam, as in figure 3 of the PDF file.

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