Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cloth-Quick Project-Felt Valentine Wall Hearts

During all of the headboard shenanigans I got a bee in my bonnet about Valentine’s Day decor in the master bedroom.  After surfing Pinterest for some inspiration I came across a super cute felted heart wreath from The Idea Room.

I then spent the next 2 weeks running around like a crazy person to every craft/hobby store in town trying to find Styrofoam hearts.  Clearly people are stocking up on Styrofoam hearts before the end of the world because NO one had them.  Not willing to give up I decided to make my own.  I ended up purchasing a big flat sheet of Styrofoam and cutting out 3 heart shapes.  My initial plan was to cut out the middle of each heart so they would be “hollow” in the middle similar to the original inspiration but I thought a bigger fuller heart might be fun and it looked so quick and easy…

This is a good time to introduce a new feature on the blog: Project Rankings.

You often see projects given a difficulty ranking.  It is a nice way to figure out if you are going to be in over your head.  However the difficulty ranking alone does not tell the whole story.  So as an exclusive feature of the Wood & Cloth blog you will also get a “frustration” and a “make-ability” ranking.

Difficulty Ranking

Easy = Minimal tools needed, only requires one person,hard to mess-up, so simple you could do it while watching cheesy Lifetime movies (or sporting events if that is more your style)

Moderate =  Power tools or sewing machine may be needed,may require more than one person, a few tricky parts here and there, you will need to pay attention to certain parts of the project so that you avoid either bodily harm or a massive redo/goober

Difficult = Potential for having to buy specialty tools/items, you are most likely going to need help, almost every step needs to have calculations/measurements checked or has the potential to leave you with fewer appendages/fingers than when you started

Frustration Ranking

Low = Project goes together as expected, takes as much or less time than you anticipated

Medium = You threaten to quit the project at least once but fewer than 3 times, seems or nails need to be ripped out multiple times, takes double the amount of time it should

High (aka: Flames of Fury, I Swear to Everything Holy, Kill Me Now) = you threaten to quit the project more than 3 times, takes 10 times longer than you expected, crying is involved

Make-ability Ranking

100% Worth It = Projects are typically easy or moderate with low or medium frustration rankings.  The project turns out great with minimal effort and relatively painless.
Once Is Enough = Easy, Moderate, or Difficult projects with either a Low or Medium frustration ranking.  Project may look great but had a few frustrations or difficult steps along the way, or the project may not have turned out as amazing as desired.

Should Have Just Bought It = (aka: When Hell Freezes Over, Only If Someone is Paying Me to Make It) These projects are typically difficult and almost always have a High frustration ranking.  The project may have turned out perfect but the time and effort to get there was not worth the loss of your sanity or the amount of time wasted from your life.  This category is also used for projects that when finished do not bear even the slightest resemblance to the inspiration piece. 

Felted Valentine Wall Hearts

Project Ranking
Difficulty = Low
Frustration = High for 3 Hearts, Medium for 1-2
Make-ability = Once Is Enough

½ inch thick Styrofoam sheet
Felt (~1 yard for a single 12 inch solid heart)
Upholstery Staples (optional)
Wire (optional)

Step 1:  Draw out the size and shape of heart you want to make on a piece of paper and trace it onto the Styrofoam.

Step 2: Cut out the Styrofoam heart shape. 

Step 3: Using a circle shape as a guide, I used the bottom of a red plastic cup (~2-3 inches) trace and cut a bunch of felt circles.

NOTE:  Step 3 and Step 4 are the reason the Frustration Ranking is so high on this project.  When I stated a bunch of felt circles I meant hundreds.  While I didn’t actually count the circles I know how many pins I had when I began.  For my 3 ~12 inch solid hearts I ended up cutting about 900 pieces of felt.  I probably could have gotten away with bigger felt circles which may have helped but I liked the way the tighter smaller circles looked.  If you are only doing one heart, a smaller heart, or are cutting out the middle of the heart to make it “hollow” this project may actually be enjoyable.  Having small children that can use scissors would also be a plus.

Step 4: Fold each felt circle in half and then in half again so it looks like a fortune cookie.  Place a pin through all 4 layers of felt at the corner you made and stick it to the Styrofoam.  Continue this process placing the felt pieces fairly close together so that you don’t have holes or gaps where you can see the Styrofoam.

NOTE:  I played around a bit with the placement and positioning of the felt tufts.  You want some texture and differences so make sure you don’t pin them all going the same direction and alternate between keeping the folds tight and loosening them up a bit.

Step 5:  There are numerous ways you could make your hearts wall hanging ready.  I simply took 2 upholstery staples, measured equal distance down from each lobe on the heart and pushed the staples into the back of the heart.  I them wrapped a thin piece of wire between the staples and hung them.

Even though I still see felt circles in my sleep the project came out looking even better than I thought it would.  If you have only one heart to make I highly recommend this project as an easy and semi-quick way to put a little love in your home. 

If you want to make three or more…you have been warned.

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