Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Wednesday's Workbox - Woven Paper Valentine Hearts

For today's Wednesday's Workbox, I am going to share with you how to make these cute Valentine favour bags! I probably should have shared these last week, before St. Valentine's Day, but I hadn't made them then!

I won't try to describe how you actually make them, though I will share a few hints to make the job a bit easier. The detailled instructions for making them can be found here. They do require a bit of patience (if you're not very nimble-fingered, like me!) before you can get them absolutely right. The first few attempts I made, the hearts looked great, but you couldn't open them up and use them like bags! The idea is that being woven together, they don't need any tape or glue to fix them, although you can tape a handle to them after they are finished, as I do.

They are so cute for using as gift bags, but I also like to make them in green and red paper, as Christmas decorations, which is what they are traditionally used as in Sweden, from where they originate.

Here are some pictures of one that I made ...

Empty, with the handle attached.

Filled with cute heart-shaped truffles, for my three sweethearts!

We put one in the kitchen as a decoration in the small bon-bon bowl that is on the table there. It's strange, but having that small bowl of candies on the table, means we never really crave them, becuase we know they are always there! They look pretty though.

There are a few tricks to making these bags which I've discovered over time. Firstly, when you cut the strips into the two lengths of paper, make sure that they are as long, as the lengths of paper are wide. If you don't make them long enough you won't be able to weave all the strips in smoothly.

Also, try to keep the pieces of paper turned up the same way all the time, and resist the temptation to keep turning the heart over as you weave it. If you do this it makes it easier to mis-weave, although don't worry if you do - it is quite simple to take it apart and start again. You will probably find that you need to practise quite a few times before you get one perfectly. Use some scrap paper and have a few practise attempts before you use any of your pretty papers! You can use card rather than paper to make a stiffer bag, or even coloured felt if you want to create little ornaments to place on your Christmas tree or around your home.

Of course you don't have to make the 3-dimensional bags shown here - if you don't fold the paper, but just make 2 strips, unfolded, you can make one dimensional woven hearts to stick on gift cards or make into other ornaments. But I do love how they open up into wee cones - I think I might even try making some as gift bags for birthday presents!

The possibilities are endless - and so are the dimensions - the bigger the strips of paper you use, the more weaves you can get, and the larger the hearts. Before long you'll be making them with ease, and can show your children how to create them too!