Valentine’s Day is a holiday of which I’ve never really been a fan. I don’t like that it’s a made-for-profit holiday. I don’t think that we should just be celebrating love one day a year. I think we should let the people we love know it as often as we possibly can. I even went so far as to throw an ‘I hate Valentine’s Day’ party in college. It may have been more to do with a boy than the actual holiday but you get the idea.
As with so many other things though, having kids can change your perspective. Our girls have been SO excited about Valentine’s Day this year and the excitement is contagious. The big excitement today was my oldest’s Valentine’s party. I’m the homeroom mom for her class so in picking our volunteers, I opted to do the craft. After a quick troll around Pinterest, I found this cute little project – http://sweetandsimpleliving.com/diy-felt-heart-craft-idea-sewing-required/
My oldest is in first grade and I wasn’t sure if all of the kids knew how to tie knots so I emailed the teacher to see if this was an appropriate craft. She thought it was cute so I decided to go ahead with it. Only then did I think about the logistics of it and wonder what the heck I had gotten myself into!
There are 19 kids and 1 teacher in my daughters class. Twenty heart pillows equals 40 fleece hearts that needed to be cut! I did a quick sample of this project with some scrap fleece that I had laying around before I went to the fabric store and a 17″ square worked really well. So step one was to cut my 7 yards of fleece (3.5 yards of light pink and 3.5 yards of dark pink) into 17″ squares.
Next, I needed to cut the hearts. Since two of these hearts needed to match up and I needed the project to be 100% ready for the kids to jump in and get to work, I kind of cut them together. I folded the dark fleece square and cut it into a heart shape. Then I put the dark pink heart on a folded light pink square and cut the light pink to the same size and shape. I probably could have used a template but this worked just fine for me. I piled these up in an alternating ‘head to toe’ type of patten so I wouldn’t get confused about which ones went together when I got to my next step.
After all of the sets were cut out, it was time to cut the strips that the kids would be tying. I did create a template for this but soon realized that none of my hearts were the same shape so the template wasn’t really the right fit for all of them. I kept using the template but basically just tried to do the same size cut the whole way around the heart whether it matched up with the template or not. My tight fabric scissors actually helped with this because by that time, my tired hand could only open them so far without bringing in back up.
In my first samples, I cut the top center strip right into the center of the heart but that resulted in a hole when I tied them. When cutting your center strips, be sure to include the point IN the strip.
One thing the teacher suggested was that I tie the hearts together in a few places so they stayed together for the kids. This was a genius idea and made the project portable and ready to go the minute I stepped into class. So after I had the strips cut, I tied the top center strips and one on each side of the point about three or four strips back. The idea was that the kids would stop at the already tied ones and then they’d have room to stuff their hearts before they finished with the rest of the knots. Some kids remembered this, some didn’t but at the very least it helped keep the hearts together.
When I made my sample, I single knotted my strips. If pulled tight enough, a single knot is enough to keep the pillow together. Some of the kids didn’t tie their knots very tight and stuffing their pillows forced the center strips open. Not a big deal, we just went back and double knotted those when it happened.
I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough time to complete the hearts since we had 19 kids and only an hour but the kids did a great job and so did the helpers. My daughter was so thrilled to have made these with her class and I think all of the kids enjoyed the project. So if you need to make these for a class of 20, you’ll need:
3.5 yards of dark pink fleece fabric
3.5 yards of light pink fleece fabric
2/3 of a 32 oz bag of poly fill
I had such a fun time crafting with the kids that the Valentine’s excitement will continue tomorrow! I planned a special breakfast with funfetti pancakes and heart strawberries just because I thought it would make the girls smile. And we’ve got a new slime recipe to try out too. My how times have changed!