Around the 15th century, in the days of Chaucer and courtly love, lovers began the tradition of exchanging small tokens of love in the form of flowers, candy and cards which eventually became to be know as "Valentines."
In the tradition of the month of love, the Designer Connection Blog Hop brings you "Handmade with Love" where I am sure you will find tons of inspiration for creating special love gifts.
Gauging by the purchases from my etsy shop, Valentine gifts are not only for exchanges by lovers but also for giving between family members and special friends. I had a customer recently who requested a custom order for her sister and mother as it was in their tradition to exchange gifts every February 14th in lieu of Christmas.
I played with this product extensively last Fall and made some really cool projects. If you have not used this product before, here is a short list of helpful tips.
- The kit contains everything you will need to dye several yards of fabric, t-shirts, etc. The only needed items to gather are a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, a stirring stick (long, I used a 1" dowel), and a small plastic container.
- Weather permitting, I would highly recommend you use this product outdoors. Do not try using it in a bathrub or shower as you will end up with blue stains that are very hard to remove (do you know how In know this?)
- Plan to dye several items at once. You can store the leftover dye with the "flower" removed and placed into the small plastic container if you would like to store it and use it later.
- If you dont want to dye your own fabric, visit my etsy shop where you can purchase tie dyed indigo fabric by the 1/2 yard.
- Jenny at Craft Test Dummies did a great tutorial on step by step dying with this kit that you can check out before you get started.
I started with 6" sqaures of tie dyed indigo. For the door hanger, you need two, one for the back and one for the front.
I used Lite Steam a Seam by The Warm Company which is my favorite fusible webbing, and an iron to fuse it to burlap. I cut the burlap to a 4 1/2" square, peeled off the paper backing and fused it to the center off one of the squares with the iron.
To create the design, you will need some additional fabric elements. I fused some of the indigo dyed fabric scraps to a die cut heart. (Note: fuse if first then die cut it) You also need to fused muslin scrap and a scrap of red ticking fabric. Once you have fused the muslin, use a solvent ink pad to stamp a sentiment and heat set it with the iron.
Peel off the paper backing from the stamped sentiment, fuse it to the center of the red ticking scrap and sew the edges with a sewing machine and thread. You can use a backstitch for this step if you would prefer as an option.
Use your sewing machine and thread to sew a tight zig zag stitch around the edges of the burlap. It will resemble machine applique. I used a straight stitch to stitch the heart to the burlap and a straight stitch to stitch the stamped label to the heart.
Use an iron to steam the seams open and turn the door hanger right sides out. Tear two 2" strips from one of the 6" indigo dyed squares and use your sewing machine to sew knife pleats along the center. Join the two together with the center stitch to make the strip longer.
Turn the door hanger right side out, stuff with polyfil by Fairfield (my favorite since its high quality, soft and so easy to work with). Sew the bottom shut and sew the ruffled strip to the bottom of the door hanger. (you may need to trim excess from the strip with scissors)
Notice the addition of these pretty flower centers by Prima from the Dynasty Collection (Ivory) which are still available from Scrapbook.com.