Thursday, 18 October 2012

Shabby Heart Tree Decorations

I'm determined to make some Christmas decorations this year.  Now..... I'm the least Christmassy person I know, but this year we are likely to be in a new home, in a new part of the Country (note to self) so I AM GOING TO MAKE AN EFFORT!

I'm thinking a shabby country theme, with a hint of red and blue.  I've started off by making some tinkly little tree hearts.  I'm rather pleased with how they've turned out.

So simple to make - only takes scraps - and you can run one up in 5 minutes.  Promise.  I timed myself, and though it took me over a minute and a half to thread the ribbon through the tinkerbell, the rest is a whizz.

Now.....  I know that nearly everyone who reads this will see instantly how to make them.  But.... just in case you are new to sewing.... this is what I did.....

Start off by drawing a heart on a piece of card to make a template.   You will need 4 squares of fabric for each heart, so simply lay heart on top and cut a rough square.  Draw around the heart shape lightly with a hard pencil.  This will be your sewing line.  (or use an air-erasable marker if you prefer).

Cut a snippet of ribbon and lay diagonally across the top two layers of fabric, and quickly machine down.   Thread a tinkerbell through a length of ribbon, (good luck with this.... mine were an absolute bitch to thread).

Now put all the layers together.  I've chosen to have a check back to my hearts, courtesy of one of my hubby's shirts.  Starting near to the bottom right of the heart, stitch around on top of your pencil line, making sure you do a few reverse stitches to strengthen the seam.


Whizz all the way around, remembering to hold your ribbon down on top, and leaving an opening of about an inch to allow for stuffing.  Again, remember to reverse a few stitches to secure.

Nearly done now.  

I did say it was quick!

Now cut around your heart shape, leaving a border of around a quarter of an inch.  No need to be too picky.  Lightly stuff with filling of your choice...... toy filling, old pillows, odd socks snipped up, tiny scraps from your scrap basket, cotton wool...... and machine opening shut.  


You may need to squige the stuffing sideways to give your machine foot room to sit on fabric.  It soon squiges back again.  (note... my spell-check is telling me that squige is not a word.  It is, as far as I'm concerned - and I'm darn sure you know what I mean by it.  As I hope you know full well what my other little made up words are.... only 6 in this post!).

To finish, trim the ribbon close to the stitching line, and then go around the heart making little snips.  

Do take care not to cut into your stitching! 

Plus, if you have any sense you won't use a pair of dressmaking shears, like what I am using here!  It looks as though I'm cutting the heart in half!  And quite honestly, knowing how clumsy I am, tis a miracle I didn't :)
Note to self.... please stop dropping pictures on your thumb, it does your nail no good at all
The final flourish is to scrubble the edges to make it look all full of shabbiness and charm.
I normally dampen things and throw them in the tumble dryer for raggy edges, but even I can see that these little mites would be a waste of electric.  I found a vigorous rub with a nail brush to be very effective.  
Then all that's left to do is to slide the tinkerbell (I know they're not called this, but I think it describes them perfectly) down the ribbon, and ta-da (or ting-a-ling) you're done.

I've done 4 of these so far, and think I will do another 2 before starting on another decoration.  

So quick to make, I'm thinking they would be great tied to presents, adding a length of string instead of ribbon.  Another time I would have placed a few cloves inside each for a festive smell too.  Or embroidering an initial on each to spell out Merry Christmas for bunting.  Oh dear.... now I've thought of that I may have to make one.

Back soon!

I've been away too long :)


  1. Replies
    1. Yep - they don't come much simpler than this :)

      I just love the way simple things can be called shabby chic and/or rustic and suddenly seem so much more charming.

  2. Replies
    1. Is there anyone who doesn't like a heart decoration? :)


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