This is a post about crafting a Valentine garland with cross-stitch cardboard cut outs. Cross-stitching is one of those ancient crafts that can be spotted more and more. I really like the way people use old techniques in new ways. I’ve seen it used on chairs, carpets, bags, even painted (instead of real) cross-stitch murals. So hey, who am I not to try this trend?
As you know I like making things from stuff that is already lying around in my house. It saves time and money from buying new materials and in addition, it’s the eco-friendly way of crafting. For this crafting project I had a 2 hour window of opportunity: just as long as my youngest daughter takes a nap in the afternoon. So cross-stitching it was and I wanted to makemy third Valentine craft (read about Valentine DIY projects number two and number three here). But on what was I going to cross-stitch? Then I saw a cardboard box that I had gotten for carrying my groceries. I thought that ought to do the trick!
I drew a heart template as I did for my natural root dye Valentine project. On the flattened carton box I drew a few hearts and cut them out with a Stanley knife. For the letters I found a great online cross-stitch writing tool and drew the letters on the back of the hearts.
Cross-stitching patterns essentially are squares in which you make crosses with your thread (hence the name). So when you’re making a pattern, you need to get create squares. I drew the squares on the cardboard hearts and used the lines in the cardboard for calculate the spacing between the squares, just counting the lines.
I got one of my sons prick pens and mat and pricked the holes , making my letter pattern. I guess now is the time to explain why my garland spells LOVE with the L the wrong way round. I could pretend that it was on purpose, being very original and so forth. The truth is that I forgot to write the letters in mirror image. I first pricked the O and V so I didn’t even notice until I got to the E and L where things went wrong of course. I made a new E and messed it up again. Which left me with no cut out hearts left for a new L. I kinda like it with the L the wrong way, I hope you think so too?
After cutting the hearts and pricking the pattern all there is left to do is the cross-stitching itself. This really is very easy. You go down the holes diagonally with your threaded needle until you reach the bottom of your pattern. Then you go up again making the crosses. No need to make knots or anything. This was my first attempt and it turned out nicely. Search on YouTube and you’ll find numerous tutorials. I really enjoyed cross-stitching so I’m sure I’ll think of another project in the future.
When you’re done with all the letters, make two holes on each side of the hearts. Get a long thread through those your hearts. You can now hang up your cross-stitch cardboard garland. And that’s that! Fun, don’t you think?