My mother’s grandmother came to the United States when she was 16 years old from Sweden. So, that makes me a tiny fraction Swedish. Growing up, we did a couple of things to celebrate those roots including making these woven heart baskets (which I think are traditionally used around Christmas or St. Lucia day as ornaments rather than a Valentine’s Day thing but they’re hearts so they work for me!). This project is great for decoration (string several along a mantle or hang from the backs of dining room chairs or as a Christmas ornament!), or to use as a little basket to hold candies or little notes and kids can get in on the fun too!
They can be made out of paper, fabric or felt. Paper is probably the cheapest but also the least forgiving material. I’ve used fabric before and this tiny one from my mom is made from cotton:
However, today, I’ll show you how to make them using felt. Felt doesn’t fray, is inexpensive, comes in lots of colors, and is pretty forgiving provided you don’t stretch it out too much.
Here’s what you’ll need:
*2 colors of felt
*Some paper or cardstock to make your pattern
*A paper cutter can be helpful for the pattern and I also used the ruler on it.
Alright, let’s get started.
To make your pattern, start with a rectangle that is 2.5″ wide and about 4″ long. (After you learn how to make one, you can adjust the pattern and make them whatever size you want!)
Then you’ll want to make little marks, 1/2″ apart across one of the short ends. Like this:
Then, you will extend those lines 2.5″ up. Like this:
Draw your rounded heart “top” on top of your lined section. I just free handed it but you could also trace something circular!
Then, cut out your pattern:
Now you’re ready to cut out your felt! Fold it in half and place the straight edge of your pattern on the fold:
You can trace your pattern or pin it down- or, you can be lazy like me and just hold it with one hand and cut it out with the other. Do this for both colors
Now it’s time to start weaving! Usually, when you think weaving, you think “under, over, under, over” right? Well, if you just did that, your basket wouldn’t open… the loops have to go through each other. It’s probably easier to just show you:
I took the strip all the way on the left of the red heart half and threaded it through the first white loop. Then, we’re going to take the second white loop and thread it through the red one. Like this:
Continue all the way across the the white loops with the first red loop. Next, it would go through the white loop again. Once you get to the end, grab the second red loop and put the first white loop through it. Like so:
Continue until you have woven all the red loops through all the white loops. The felt will make it pretty easy to undo and/or adjust the weaving as you go. When you’re done, you’ll have something that looks like this:
And… it opens!
Now you can add a handle… sew/glue/or even staple on a strip of felt! You can also embellish with a button or bow, etc. Try it in different colors… cut more or less strips into your heart to make the weaving look different. Just remember that the woven part needs to be square (the loops on both half have to be the same length and there has to be the same number of loops per half) in order for it work right.
Enjoy making and filling your heart baskets!