A Year of Wreaths: February Valentine’s Heart Wreath by Laura Howard
My monthly wreath project continues with a heart-themed wreath to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and to spread a little love and happiness!
This month’s wreath features embroidered felt hearts, pretty ricrac and some gorgeous purple yarn. All the supplies you’ll need are available from the Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the February wreath kit.
You will need:
*The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Red, Wisteria, Cotton Candy and Fuchsia
*2 balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Berry
*80cm purple ric rac
*1 skein of white embroidery thread
*Red sewing thread
*Sewing needles and pins
*A large, sharp needle
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: an air-erasable fabric marker
To make the wreath:
1. Decorate the wreath base with Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Berry.
Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base, and switch to a second ball as needed. Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show.
Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.
2. Use the templates provided to cut out the following felt pieces: 2 x Heart A in red, 1 x Heart A in wisteria, 1 x Heart B in red, and 2 x Heart B in wisteria.
Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!
3. Place one of the smaller hearts in the centre of a contrasting larger heart. Cut a length of white embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, just use 3 of the 6 strands). Hold the heart in position or secure it with a few tacking stitches of sewing thread.
Use the embroidery thread to backstitch around the inside of the smaller heart, sewing through both layers of felt. Then use more half strands of thread to sew a pattern of single stitches around the edge of the heart, varying the size of your stitches to fill the available space.
Tip: smaller backstitches will help you sew a smoother curve. If you’re having difficulty sewing neatly freehand, use an air-erasable fabric marker to draw your stitching line(s).
Remove any tacking threads (if you’ve used them) then repeat this step to decorate the other two pairs of hearts.
4. Use the templates provided to cut out one each of the following pieces: Heart A in red, Heart B in wisteria, Heart C in fuchsia, Heart D in cotton candy and Heart E in red. Arrange the heart shapes as shown.
5. Hold all the layers together, or secure them with a few small tacking stitches of sewing thread in the centre. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to backstitch around the inside of the central heart, sewing through all the layers of felt. Remove the tacking stitches if you’ve used them.
6. Decorate the rest of the layers with more white embroidery thread – alternating between backstitch and single radiating stitches, as shown.
7. Use the Heart E template to cut a backing piece of red felt for the embroidered heart. Cut a 50cm length of the yarn you used to wrap the wreath. Thread a large, sharp needle with one end of yarn and tie a large knot in the other end. Then sew up the centre of the felt heart, as shown.
8. Place the decorated large heart and the plain backing heart together, so the knot of the yarn is hidden between the layers. Hold or pin them together and join the edges with red sewing thread. I used blanket stitch for this because it creates a lovely neat edge, but you could use whip stitch if you prefer. Make sure the yarn end sticks straight up from the top of the heart as you sew around it, and finish your stitching neatly at the back.
9. Use the Felt Strip template to cut out 4 pieces of cotton candy felt. Also use the template as a guide to cut 4 pieces of purple ricrac and 4 wider pieces of fuchsia felt. Layer the pieces, as shown.
10. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to backstitch a straight line down the centre, sewing through all the layers. Repeat for all the ricrac and felt pieces, creating four decorated strips.
11. Trim the fuchsia felt with pinking shears to create a decorative zigzag edging. If you don’t have any pinking shears, just trim the felt with ordinary sewing scissors to create a narrow border.
12. Hang the large embroidered heart from the top of the wreath. Adjust the height of the heart until you’re happy with it and wait for the yarn to stop spinning so you can make sure the heart will hang straight. Once you’re happy with the position of the heart, knot the yarn securely and trim the excess yarn.
13. Position the felt pieces around the top of the wreath, as shown, pinning each shape in place. This is also a good time to add a length of yarn for hanging the wreath, if needed (i.e. if you’re not planning to hang the wreath directly on a hook or nail).
14. Turn the wreath over and use a glue gun to secure the ends of the decorated strips to the back of the wreath. Work on one strip of felt at a time, removing one pin and folding the end of the strip back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt down into position. Then remove the pin from the other end of the strip and glue that in place. Repeat until you’ve removed all the pins and all four strips have been glued in position.
IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.
Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.
15. Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and begin gluing the four hearts in place. One by one, remove a pin and turn the heart over. Add two or three dabs of glue to the back of the heart then carefully press it back in position on the wreath.
To see all of the tutorials in our A Year of Wreaths series, click here.