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Crafting Beaded Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Our neighborhood craft club got together last night at my home for our February meeting. We worked on beautiful pearl and beaded wooden hearts.

I found this project on Pinterest, and it was originally done by a stylist named Heather Bullard.

Finding small wooden hearts at craft stores proved to be more challenging than any of us expected, especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. We were searching for a cut-out with a little lip along the edge. But, we came up empty-handed. So, I reached out to a friend, who edits a woodworking magazine, and she hooked me up with a lady who does crafts with a scroll saw. She made 20 of these babies for us! Thank you Linda Helgerson!!

We got started by painting the wood hearts. We used craft latex paint or Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Then we dark waxed them for some rustic patina. When they dried, we drilled a little hole in the top to thread twine through to hang them later. The next step was to apply white craft paint (I used Elmer’s Quick Dry, which dries clear) to the inside of the heart. Then take a handful of pearls or beads, and pat them down onto the glue. You’ll want to use a variety of sized beads, so you can insert tiny beads in the spaces between the bigger beads. Let it dry for a good half hour, before you pick it up, or the beads could roll off. If any do fall off, just apply more glue and put it back in. When its dry, thread twine or ribbon through the hole, and if your “heart” desires, add a charm. You’ll see I used an antique style key, a bird wing, and a little bird cage (you know I love me some birds). Use any trinkets you have at home that may have come from old jewelry, or you can just buy little charms like these in the jewelry aisle of your local craft store.

Here’s the hearts all of us made. You can see some ladies got really creative, by using yarn, ribbon, multi-colored beads, and even wooden hearts that were picture frames!
Don’t they look romantic?
It was a really easy craft, and we had fun eating, drinking and crafting!

Laura’s hearts were very intricate and beautifully unique!

Here you can see Meredith applying the white glue to the inside of her heart and spreading it around. You want a pretty thick layer of glue in there, so the beads have something to adhere to. Otherwise you might find they don’t stick so well if the glue is spread too thinly.

Gail used this cool picture frame and applied the beads to the center where the photo would go. Now she has a nice Valentine’s Day decoration for a table top! (love that big brass key!)

Even my son got in on the crafting action!

Natalie used a large flat wooden heart, and to create the lip around the edge, she wrapped the backside and the edges in a pretty script piece of scrapbook paper! Way to find creative solutions!

Heather’s string was glam! (and wait until next month – she’s hosting our next craft club and you’ll be super excited to see what she has in store – it will be pretty and functional for the home!)

Jackie’s hearts featured beautiful glass beads!

It was a great evening of friendship and crafting! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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Stacked Burlap Tree Tutorial

Recently I received a catalog to one of my favorite home decor retailers. It included gorgeous holiday items, like it does every holiday season. And every year, I sit, turn the pages, and day-dream about decorating just like the pages. (enter the loud, shrieking sounds of a tractor-trailer braking here) Why – because the stuff in this catalog is salty! I mean, geeze, why does everything have to be so friggin expensive?

When I spied their cute stacked burlap trees, I knew I had to have one. But wait, wouldn’t they look much more adorable in a little grove of trees – yes! However, each tree was nearly forty bucks! Damn, to get the three trees I really wanted – I’d have to spend the kind of money I spend on crap like, oh I don’t know – groceries!

So I made them…

Here’s how you can make your own stacked burlap trees, too.

Materials (all purchased at Michael’s craft store):
-Unfinished wooden plaque – I used small oval-shaped pieces – $1.49
-3/16″ wooden dowel (one dowel will make 3 12-inch trees) – $.39
-Wood beads with a hole through the middle – about .10 each
-Burlap – I got 2 yards of the red for $9.99 and a roll of the natural for $7.99 (You can get about 3 trees per yard)
-Paint, if you want to paint the wood base and bead

First, I painted the bases and beads white. After they dried, I drilled a small hole in the wood plaques, which became the tree’s base. Use a 3/16″ drill bit. Then I used a hand-saw to cut the wooden dowels down to 12 inches each. I inserted a dot of hot glue into the hole and inserted the dowel.

Grab your scissors and start cutting! You’ll be cutting and stacking strips of burlap that gradually go from about 4 inches in length down to a half inch. There’s no exact science here, in fact I never used a tape measure. As usual, I winged it.

Find something to make a small hole in the center of each piece. The tip of a pencil would work perfectly.

(okay, my finger nails are really not crusty, I swear – this is white paint!)

Slide the hole down over the dowel.

Start stacking your pieces of burlap. You want to turn them so that they are angled differently with each layer.

Get a good base going, and then start working your way up the three by cutting the strips a bit shorter in length. I used the previous layer’s length as a guide – I laid the last strip against the burlap and just cut the next row about a half inch smaller.

You will cut a lot of strips! While this is an easy and inexpensive craft, it does take time.

By the time you get to the top, your strips will only be about a half inch in width.
If you feel like the tree isn’t graduated enough, take them off and go back. I did that several times!

When there’s about a half inch of dowel left, it’s time to put on the bead.

Insert a tiny dab of hot glue into the hole.

And slide it on the top.

There ya have it!

I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. They look exactly like the pricey-retailer ones. Next I want to find white burlap and make a few more. Enjoy making your trees!