Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How-To's Day: MAKE a Paper Heart Garland

Hi Guys! Today we are picking up our Tuesday Tutorial Section with a quick way to bring the LOVE into any party or decor. <3

Over the summer my wedding mania (For Alessandra- and others of course, Kevin and I are coming up on our three year anniversary this month!)  has been brewing continuously and I am just overfilled with wanting to celebrate and have a party with lovey-dovey decorations. Bonus: these paper garlands can be made quickly in a group... for a shower or wedding with minimal supplies and craftiness. :)

The best part of this project is how quick and easy it is! As a paper crafter I am left with a ton of strips of paper in various lengths and this is a great project to maximize scraps.  If you don't have scraps of paper already at your disposal, with a deckle edge ruler you can rip perfectly torn strips in lightning speed. There are tons of variations of "teeth" to the various deckle edge rulers so you can find a tear that you like- my favorite is a slight tear that feels more vintage, soft tear that is smoother than straggly.  

If you decided to use a map for this project: Tear up a folded section that at its width is at least 11" so you have a long piece to make strips off of.  If you are using 8.5"x 11" paper make sure you utilize the full length of the paper to get your strips 11" long for the longest strip.  

12 Heart(s) Garland *you need*

(12) 11" Strips   
(12) 9.5" Strips   
(12) 7" Strips 
(12) 5.5" Strips of Paper ~1.5" wide

You can make the strips inside the heart any length combination but for this Project that is what I used.
A Stapler (or glue, but the stapler is WAY easier and a worthwhile shortcut)

A deckle edge ruler  or scissors/ paper cutter

Thread, yarn, ribbon, or cord to use as the string.(I used one of those craft hand punches that is two small holes close together for the map garland 
and a needle on the white heart garland)
One of the easiest ways to make your strips is to utilize the size of the ruler for the width of the strip as shown right.

The assembly is quick. 
1st-  Fold each of the (48) strips in half.
2nd- Take the longest strip and put the second longest strip inside each other placing the folds together. Keep placing the smaller strips inside so that they all line up in the creases of each other.
3rd- Working from the smallest strip out- curve the strip back into the fold.  Take the next strip curving it over the smaller loop and pinch everything together inside the fold. *I found it easiest if I did it first on one side of the heart and then flipped it and did the other side.
4th- After doing both sides staple everything together at the bottom.  As you can see in the picture below the staple is hardly noticeable. 

At this stage you can use these hearts as a fun addition for all kinds of projects. Gypsy seems to think that I am making them only as cat toys for her--rascal! But seriously, they make great toppers for presents and in a cluster make a love-ly  addition in your project repertoire.

 If you want to expand these lovely hearts into a Garland:

Easiest way to string them up is by using a SHARP needle- so be careful! Gently hold the loops together and push though all the layers above the second loop- but down far enough to be away from the end.

ALSO, This is where you could use one of those craft hand punches that is two small holes close together: Punch the double punch right at the mid-point of the large loop. 

After punching use the needle to pull whatever string you desire gently through the hole. A good length for a small banner is ~4' and for a fuller set that is more like a garland give yourself a good ~10' and you can use it to decorate a party or liven up a holiday craft fair at Valentine's Day. 

I like the look of things strung up for party decor. With the map hearts the addition of a pink/coral string makes the garland feel bright and colorful. Maybe it is the fiber artist in me but I am a sucker for yarn and ribbons.  

I like the hearts on a string too because you can "fluff" and scoot the hearts to be fuller or more narrow like a skinny paper cut-out. Sometimes I like my hearts kinda skinny and pointy like my inner kid would draw. I wasn't a bubbly round heart kinda gall. One way a lot of people make these banners is to make a stem up the middle and punch/ string it through the middle. That's cool, I just thought I'd share my way as a quick and fun alternative.

Wanna purchase one or other heart garlands on Etsy? Here are some other artists decorations in this treasury:

Have Fun Making things!!!

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