Back in 2001 I started making fun stuffed decorations with paper bags. I used to participate in a craft discussion list, and on that list was a woman who did some really amazing things with brown paper grocery bags. She was my inspiration for working with brown bags. This lovely Valentine’s Heart was one of my first creations. The possibilities are endless, only limited by your imagination and creativity.
Be Mine Valentine Heart Wall Hanging
by Amanda Formaro
Note: It is not necessary to paint the back of the heart, though you may if you like.
- brown grocery bag
- acrylic paint in red and pink
- fine tip black marker
- pinking shears (or other decorative scissors)
- small material scrap in gingham or other pattern of your choice
- heart shaped buttons, small pink, medium red
- cotton batting (Fiberfil)
- white craft glue (Tacky glue)
- craft wire
- hot glue gun
- Lay brown paper bag on flat work surface. Cut out two large sections from the front and back of the bag. Stack those sections, one on top of the other, then fold them in half. Draw half a heart, with the fold being in the middle of the heart, then cut it out with the pinking shears. Or you can use this as a pattern.
- Beginning at the bottom of the heart, use tacky glue to connect the two layers at the seams, stuffing the heart as you go with cotton batting (Fiberfil). Work your way around the edges, carefully stuffing (but not too much!) until heart is completely closed.
- When the glue is dry, paint the heart red, leaving the decorative edges plain as seen in the photo. When the red paint is dry, dip the bristle tips of a toothbrush into the pink paint. Test your flecking ability on a piece of scrap paper before doing this on your heart. Hold toothbrush horizontally and drag your thumb across the bristles, causing the paint to fleck spots wherever you aim it. When you are comfortable with this method, go ahead and fleck some pink paint on your heart.
- When pink paint is dry, use the black fine-tip marker to write BE MINE, placing decorative dots at the point of each letter. Use pinking shears to cut out a small heart from the gingham scrap material. Use white glue to adhere the material heart to the upper right hand corner of your brown bag heart. Use white glue to adhere a small pink heart shaped button to the material scrap.
- Cut a piece of craft wire long enough to wrap completely around your heart. This should be enough for your hanger. Find the middle of craft wire, wrap the middle section of the wire around a pencil about 6 or 7 times. Pull the pencil out to create the curl at the top of your hanger. Curve the wire into a hanger shape and poke each end carefully through the sides of the heart as shown in the photo. Use the skinny end of a small paintbrush to curl the ends of the wire that you poked through.
- Using raffia, tie a bow out onto the craft wire just before where the top curls begin. Using a hot glue gun, glue the medium sized red heart shaped button to the center of the raffia. Spray the entire heart with a coat of acrylic sealant.
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