I LOVE this time of year. I love the crisp air letting me know winter is coming. I love the nonstop rain Humboldt gets. I love the time change. I love that it gets darker earlier. I’m a homebody at heart, so I love knowing it’s the time for hunkering down and spending more time indoors. I love that it’s almost Christmas. I love taking all the decorations out of the attic and sprucing the house up. I love figuring out what DIY project I’m going to make my Christmas gift for the season.
I’ve been making DIY Christmas gifts for close to ten years. When I started, it came out of a budget necessity, and then it evolved into a matter of principle. In the past, I’ve knit scarves (the chunky ones that I could mass-produce), and made bath fizzies, sugar scrubs, body butter, and chapstick. One of my favorite years was when I made the Nail Hearts. I’d gotten the idea when I went to a craft fair and remembered baking tin art in elementary school, so I decided to give it a go the year before last.
Here’s what you’ll need four your DIY Nail Heart
Piece of wood
Paper and pencil
Here’s how to make your DIY Nail Heart:
1. Find a unique piece of wood. I looked through our woodpile first and then I saw a couple of stumps on my property in which the bark was coming loose. It was a thick bark, so I stripped it and cut it into pieces
2. Place your paper on your wood to give yourself a guideline for how big your heart can be. Then draw your favorite heart. On some of my pieces, I did a perfect heart by folding a piece of paper, drawing one side, and then cutting it out. For others, I was a little bit more loosey-goosey with my heart.
3. Cut out your heart and tape it to the piece of wood.
4. Depending on your level of OCD, you can either draw little marks on your heart where you’re going to put your nails or you can go at it without a plan. I pretty much flew by the seat of my pants on this one, but a good guideline is to place your nails a half an inch to an inch away depending on how big a piece of wood you’re working with. I used two different types of nails depending on the wood I used.
5. Take your string and tie it to one of your nails, doesn’t matter which one, then go to town with your yarn. Again, you can either be a perfectionist and have a pattern worked up ahead of time where you move across the heart skipping a certain amount of nails as you go. Or you can let spontaneity take the wheel and place the yarn wherever your hand takes you. On some nails you may go counter-clockwise, some you might go clockwise, some you might lose all the way around, others just loop around the back. It will really depend on the pattern. I will say,you want to hit every nail two to three times with the yarn to get a nice thick pattern.
6. You can choose to take the yarn and make a border around the nails. On some pieces I did this and some pieces I didn’t. Again, it just depends on how you want each piece to look. I went around twice, weaving around each nail so that in the end both edges of the nail got covered.
7. When you tie off your nail, you want to leave the yarn to the bottom of a nail and tie it off there. That way your knot is not seen on the top side of your heart.
8. Depending on what you intend to do with this piece, you may decide to attach a wall hanging bracket to the back, which you can find at a hardware store. When I gave them as gifts, I gave them as is and let people decide what they were going to do with it. Some people ended up hanging them on the wall and some people put them on shelves.
Well folks, that’s it! You have made a DIY heart. Thanks for hanging with Kirkendall Effect, and check out more DIY projects here