In this Wonder Wednesday 134 project, we'll me making tree hearts! Tree decorations are a fun way to add some bright fun to outdoor trees any time of year, but in their dormant stage or on gray days these hearts to add a splash of color and a dash of love to your community!
You can use twigs, vines, grasses, or anything structural yet bendable that you find out in your natural world. I recommend using all wool or cotton yarn for the weaving so it will biodegrade, and can be used by animals in nests.
If you're making these for indoor trees, using a small rubber band to secure the heart is fine. I don't recommend using the rubber band if you will be hanging these around a park because we wouldn't want the rubber band to be eaten by an animal or turn into litter once the heart decomposes. Instead use thin yarn or twine to tie it.
This project is best suited for humans older than 9 because it can be fiddly. The fastening and fashioning into a heart can be a bit tricky depending on the twig, as can the wrapping depending on the smoothness of the twig and the yarn.
With 1-on-1 help, elementary aged children (or children younger but with experience with handwork and weaving) can all have fun with this.
Wonder Wednesday 134:
*Twigs, vines, or anything structural yet bendable that you can find out in your natural world. (I used bamboo branches. They were very slippery with the wrapping)
*Scissors and or shears to cut the twigs and the yarn
*All wool or cotton yarn (I used scraps I had leftover from projects)
*Small rubber bands (ex- the ones used for orthodontics) and/or thin twine
*Optional - a plastic needled to help with the wrapping
Take a little walk out in your nearby nature to collect your twigs, vines, or other bendy nature material.
Take time to notice small things. Change your physical perspective by turning your head sideways or kneeling down.
Get curious about what you can actually see.
There is a lot of beauty and action in nature to observe, even when it seems like all of nature has gone to sleep for the upcoming winter. It just takes a little more effort to tap in.
* If you can't find any bendable twigs or stalks, see if you can find a thiner twig or shoot and then soak it in water overnight to make it more bendy.
Cut your twigs to approximately equal lengths.
Fasten them together at the bottom using string or a rubber band. (The bottom will be the thickest end)
Bend the left twig to the left and fasten the end into the rubber band or string. How tightly you pull the top of the twig will determine how big your heart is also.
(If using string you may need to fasten all 4 ends at once depending on the flexibility of your nature material. Play around with what works for your material - it's not an exact science)
Repeat for the right side.
Adjust the heart shape to your liking. If there are any tails at the bottom that are too long, clip them if you want.
At this stage, it is important to make sure that your heart is fastened securely. You don't want it to pop out while you are weaving. This is the time to add more string or another rubber band if you need to.
Now let's wrap!
The length of yarn you use will depend on the size of your heart. But if it's too short you can always tie more on, so no worries. For my small hearts, I actually used short scraps tied together.
Tie one end of the yarn to the top center of the heart
Pull it to one side and wrap around the twig to secure.
Now pull the yarn to the opposite side and wrap around to secure.
Continue wrapping up and down over the heart until the heart is wrapped to your liking.
End at the top and tie off.
Tie the extra ends of the yard at their ends so the heart can be hung.
If there isn't enough yarn to make a hanger, just tie a loop on as a hanger.
Don't worry if it looks messy during the wrapping or even after. Just have fun with it!
They're likely going outside in the weather, to be seen from afar.
You can see mine was all a-jumble while in process. Especially the first layer.
But the more you wrap the more sturdy and less slippy it gets.
I could have wrapped it really evenly and tidily, but I was in a casual mood. So I decided to just stay loose with it and let it be a bit more wild looking.
Do whatever you're in the mood for.
(I found that the big hearts are less fiddly to bend and more to wrap, and the small hearts are more fiddly to bend and less to wrap.)
If the wrap is created more open, try weaving another color of yarn vertically.
Get really clever and try weaving a design into the heart - could you make a peace sign or a star?
Tie hand written notes of peace and love onto the hearts for someone to find.
Use as a gift tag.
Use as a decorative window ornament - if doing this for indoor use, you could add glass beads.
Seeds to Sprout:
Like this nature craft project? Try some more that involve sewing and weaving!
Wonder Wednesday 116:
Embroider right onto leaves! No advanced sewing skills needed.
Wonder Wednesday 101
Wrap stones for winter solstice - or fun any time of year!
Wonder Wednesday 61
Make and easy sew pouch for art supplies, sustainable gifting or for fun!