Today's DIY tutorial is actually a Christmas craft from northern Europe. That's right - the julehjerte is a woven heart basket many Germans, Dutch and Norwegians make and hang on their Christmas trees as a decoration. I'm switching things up a little and using them as homemade valentines because they are so darn cute.
If you want to try these in your home, you need just a few things:
For this project, I used regular 8.5 x 11 colored paper and made one large heart and a few minis out of the scraps. You can really use any colors, but I like using red, pink and white for Valentine's Day. You can also use other materials like wrapping paper, scrapbook paper and felt.
You want to start by folding the paper in half width-wise and use a bone folder (or your fingernail) to make a good crease. Next, you'll want to cut a shape in in the paper, starting on the creased side.
I cut this out free-handed but if you need a template, there are good ones here. The important thing is to make sure your crease is on the bottom edge of your cut-out. Otherwise, the project will not turn out the way it should. Size is really irrelevant when it comes to your cut-outs. The larger you go, the bigger your heart will be and you can make them any size you like.
Once you have cut shapes in both colors, you'll need to make some cuts starting in the creased edge of your folded shape. Your cuts need to be the same size as the creased edge of your paper. You can cut them a little longer to give you a bit more wiggle room when we get to the weaving part, but just make sure you leave a margin before the curved side of your paper.
Now take your two folded shapes and lay them on your work surface with the curved edges angled out and the folded edges angling in. You see, they naturally form the shape of a heart. To help you learn the weaving process, I'm sharing a helpful illustration. The basic idea is to alternate the direction of the weave by one strip (3) going through the opposite strip (c), then around the next (b), then through the last strip (a). When you get to the next strip (2), you alternate it - around, through, around. You keep alternating like that until you complete your heart.
It takes a little bit of time to get the hang of it, but once you do, you'll fly through these in no time. If you mess up, just carefully pull the weave back and start over. Sometimes, you'll need to work the paper by bending and pulling it to get it in or around the other side. This usually gets tougher further down your the heart. Don't worry! If you crease the paper a bit, you can always smooth it out when you're done.
When you get the hang of weaving, you will be able to try making hearts in different sizes.
You can add a handle to your basket by cutting a strip in your colored paper and either gluing it or taping it on the inside of your basket.
Even though these are great little projects by themselves, you can turn them into Valentine's cards/candy holders by simply writing a message on the front of them or decorating them with markers or stickers.
These heart baskets are great to put candy or other treats in.
The are easy for kids to make and give to their friends on Valentine's Day.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and will give the Norwegian heart baskets a try soon! What are your favorite Valentine's to give?
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