Stuffed Paper Hearts

I did it. I decorated for Valentine's Day! 
I usually let this holiday go by and stick to my winter decor. 
But I've seen so many cute projects in blogland this year that I had to jump in, too!

As a result, I have several projects to share with you in the next couple weeks.

Let's kick things off with these fun
Stuffed Paper Hearts!

Did I mention how super duper simple these are to make?

I made 9 of these hearts during nap time!

I was completely inspired by these stunning hearts at Vintage Fairy Tales that I discovered via Pinterest. And since there is no tutorial for them and mine are a little different, I thought I would show you how to make them!

1. Start with a lunch sack-sized paper bag.

2. Fold the base flap back down over itself.

3. Cut off the bottom flap with a pair of scissors.

4. With the bottom flap cut off you can now open the bottom of the bag to see the sides folded inwards.

5. Pull open the sides and smooth them flat so you now have a large square of paper bag rather than the original rectangle.

 6. I made a heart template from a piece of cardstock, but you can draw them freehand if you so desire. I draw terrible unsymmetrical hearts so I need a template!

7. Draw as many hearts as you can on the back of the bag (the side with the seam). I was able to fit 9 hearts (mine are ~3 inches wide).

8. Decorate the paper as you see fit. I whipped out several acrylic stamp sets and got my ink on. 

9. As I used each stamp on the back of the bag, I also used it on the front of the bag in roughly the same area so that the hearts would look the same on the front and back.

10. Using a paper piercer or thick needle, poke evenly spaced holes around the inside of your heart. Don't get to close to the edge or the paper may rip later when we stitch it together.

11. After piercing holes in all of the hearts, cut them out (front & back together) with a pair of scissors or Xacto knife.

12. Start stitching (from the back) from the bottom of the heart and work your way around.
I'm using 3 pieces of thread.

13. Stop about 3/4 of the way around the heart and find something to stuff the heart with.
Batting, grocery bags, etc.
I like the crunchy sound the grocery bag makes. ;)

14. Gently stuff the heart. If you're too rough it may tear. Use a pair of scissors to help push the stuffing into the corners.

15. Finish stitching and tie the two ends together in the back of the heart.

Continue on with all of the hearts!

By the way, remember that piece of the bag we cut off in step 3?

It makes for an excellent trash receptacle! 

Now the hard part is deciding what to do with them.

Put them in a hurricane? Scatter them on the dining room table? Put them in a wire basket?

I went with turning them into some Valentine's garland!
And, to keep up with my winter decor, I paired them with some snowflakes.

I strung up some lace (if you follow me on Facebook you know I just came in to a LOT of lace) and grabbed some mini clothespins and went to work hanging the hearts and snowflakes.

In the photo directly above you can see another variation I made of the stuffed paper hearts. I love the addition of the lace! Basically follow the same directions as above, but stitch the lace as you go between the two pieces of paper bag.

These would also make for some adorable Valentine gifts if stuffed with small pieces of candy!
Though I'm not sure I could allow anyone to actually take it apart... :)

I link to these fun parties!