Thursday, February 08, 2018

Make || DIY Heart Wall Hanging

This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging

When I do a painting, I rarely have an idea of what I want it to look like in the end. It's almost always a discovery and the process leads the way. However, when I do a craft or something for my home I almost always have an idea in my head of what I want the final result to look like. And it is so satisfying when the end result turns out exactly like I envisioned. That was the case with this DIY wall hanging. I LOVE how it turned out and I'm excited to share this DIY Valentine's Day decoration with you today.

I don't have that many Valentine's decorations--and have even gone years forgetting to pull out the few decorations I have! But we're having a little Valentine's get together with some of Lamp's friends this weekend and I wanted to create one big statement piece to make sure the place looked Valentines-y. And now I know I'll be excited to pull this Valentine's decoration out year after year. It took about half a day and it's really simple.
This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
Supplies:
--1 skein bulky wool/wool blend yarn (or other natural fibre based yarn.) The thicker the better! (The brand I used is Berroco and the name of the yarn is Macro. I just went to a local yarn shop, but you can find this exact one here or here. The cost is about $20.)
--1 stick from your yard or 1 wooden dowel.
--Scissors
--Watercolor paint + brush
--Extra yarn for hanging and tassels/pom-poms (optional)

Making the wall hanging:
Start with your stick and figure out about how long you want your hanging to be--you may need to break or saw it to the right length.. (The total width of my hanging is 30", the stick is 35".) Then figure out how long you want your yarn to hang and the general shape. I decided that I wanted mine to be longer in the middle and shorter on the sides. I initially thought I'd trim the ends once I was finished, but I really like the more organic, natural shape of the bottom so I kept it.

This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
With your yarn doubled over, measure the length of yarn and start cutting pieces. Let me say that again, make sure your yarn is doubled over when you cut, in other words one long piece that is folded in half. When you have a good amount of pieces cut you can start adding them to your stick. I liked to  work in small sections so I could cut as I go and adjust the length as needed.


This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
With all the pieces of yarn hanging in one direction, take your first piece and place the ends on the opposite side with the loop by the stick. Then place the loop underneath the stick, and pull both ends (make sure the ends are even) through the loop going over the top of the stick. Now the ends should be hanging back in the same direction as before. (Pictured above clockwise from top left.) Pull the knot tightly. Now do several pieces at a time, each time pushing them tightly together and pulling tight on the knot. Then cut more pieces and repeat until your stick is mostly covered. Make sure to leave room at the end for yarn to hang the wall hanging from.

Painting the heart:
For this part I used watercolor because I knew I wanted a softer look. You could probably use acrylic or craft paint if it's very watered down but it might make the yarn a little crunchy in the end. I tried my paint on a few sample pieces and let it dry to see how it takes the color.

This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
1. Lay your hanging down on a piece of cardboard or something else thick to protect your floor. Comb the strings with your fingers to make sure they lay the right direction.
2. Cut a large heart shape out of a piece of paper. Place the heart on your hanging to see if you like the shape and size.
3. Then take the stencil of the heart and place it on top of your hanging. (I used doubled sided tape to make sure the paper would stay in place as I painted.
4. Mix a large batch of the shade of pink you want in watercolor. Make sure you have a good amount of actual paint mixed in...it it's too watery it won't show up well. Then start painting! The yard should be pretty wet.
5. If you want to do an ombre color, just mix a little darker color of pink and do the bottom of the heart in that color, and then one more shade darker and do the very bottom in that color.
6. Let it dry laying flat for several hours or overnight. Turning on a ceiling fan will help this go a little faster.
7. Once dry, pick up the hanging and see how the yarn falls, lay it back down and paint any new pieces that may have been missed the first time. I did these touch ups about 3 times to make sure I had all the pieces that would show covered. (The touch ups were much smaller and the drying time much quicker.)

This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
Embellishments:
Following these simple instructions I made some tassels in a coordinating color of yarn and then painted the ends. Since this yarn was acrylic (read: won't hold watercolor paint) I used watered down acrylic craft paint to paint the ends.  I also made some fork pom-poms out of the remaining wool yarn, but left them natural. And then I hung some tassels and pom-poms from each side--I didn't tie them on, but just draped them so they're removable.


I'm just going to say it again, I LOVE how it turned out.
This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging

I love how the heart has that watercolor look to it, and how the individual strands look up close also just have that watercolor-y look and feel. I mean, yes I know it's watercolor, so it shouldn't be that surprising but it's yarn and no paper.... so I'm just glad it did what I hoped it would do.
This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging
This Little Miggy || DIY Heart Wall Hanging

The other great thing is that it only cost me $20 in yarn, everything else I had on hand. And I'm sure most of you will too...you don't need a fancy watercolor set either. Your kids set should do just fine. Also, I styled it with this Threshold banner from Target. (Also bought this banner.)

I think we're officially ready for Valentine's Day around here.

XO,
Miggy

Tips:
--Make sure you really saturate the yarn with the watercolor. It should be pretty wet and the color going around the yarn as much as possible. Also, remember that after it first dries to pick up the hanging and re-comb the yarn and lay it back down to touch up the color a couple more times. 
--If your yarn is mostly acrylic based it will not hold the watercolor well. You can try the watered down acrylic, but it could be crunchy when it dries, so test it out first. 
--Make it your own! You could also paint the ends of the wall hanging, make the heart bigger, add some other colors of yarn...whatever you want. This is super customizable.
--If you make a mistake or you want to lighten an area the color will come up pretty easily if you dab it with a paper towel. 
--Which also means don't try to dry it faster by dabbing it with towels! Paper or otherwise. The color is in the water, so it needs to dry on the yarn to work. 

2 comments:

  1. Natalie8:17 AM

    Do you think this would work using a shirt word (such as love, hope, etc) instead of a shape. I would make a stencil of each letter and use the same technique as you did except it would be a word versus a shape. Thoughts? Thanks.

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    1. Natalie--Yes I absolutely do think it will work to do a word. Just make sure the letters are big enough. I could have even made the heart a little bigger. Also I would keep in mind the spacing for the letters--obviously you don't want them too far apart, but to make sure each letter looks separate, you want to give them a littel space. And remember after the first time, pick it up, lay it out and paint again...you'll want to do it at least 3 times to make sure you get various sides of the yarn. Send me a picture when it's done!

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