How To Make A String Of Hearts    
by Dorothy Kimble

A piece of decoration in the shape of a heart attracts everyone. This cute handicraft fashioned from wood adds beauty to a wall or can be hung over a doorway to good effect. By dipping these hearts in pink, red and white you can use them for a Valentine's Day decoration. For Christmas the colors will obviously be red and green, and if you want to show your love for America the colors will be red, white and blue. There is always the option to keep the hearts plain for a rustic look. This type of wooden piece goes perfectly with a down-home country style decor.

It's easy to make these wooden hearts. All you need is five wooden heart cutouts which are 5 inches wide, a drill having an eight-inch and quarter-inch bit, some raffia, two yards of 1½ inch wide ribbon, two large wooden beads and acrylic paint in various colors according to your chosen theme. Select the appropriate ribbons and beads that go with the color of the hearts. Plaid ribbon is a good choice. In one string there will be five hearts tied together with small raffia bows. The ribbon at both ends of the string is used to form a loop so that it can be hung properly.

Start with making a small hole on each side of the hearts. All the holes will be 1/8 inch except the two outside holes which will be made with the quarter-inch drill bit. Now take a brush and paint the hearts. Acrylic paints work well for handmade crafts and are available in 2 ounce bottles. You can buy these small bottles very cheaply and in a rainbow of colors. Tempera paint can also be used instead of acrylic. If you want to give them a different look try using gold or silver metallic spray paint.

Let the paint dry. During this time make four pieces of 10-inch length raffia. Lay the hearts next to each other and join them together by threading the raffia from the hole of one heart through the hole of the next heart. Make a nice bow with the raffia on the top of the two adjacent hearts. In the same way, connect the other hearts so that all the raffia bows come at the top of the arrangement. If the ends of the raffia look a bit uneven, trim the ends neatly.

Now pass one of the ribbons through each of the remaining holes of the outermost hearts. Make the ends of the ribbon even. Pull the ends through the wooden bead until it rests against the wooden heart and knot the ribbons to hold the bead in place. A nice touch is to cut the end of the ribbon on an angle - this also keeps the ribbon from unraveling. Do the same procedure on the other side as well. Your handmade string of hearts is now ready to display and cheer up any room. This charming wooden handicraft also makes a lovely gift for someone special.

About the Author: Dorothy Kimble is a staff writer at Crafts Digest and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including Recreation Digest.
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