This post could also be called “What To Do On the Snow Day Before Valentine’s Day,” as this is a good crafty project to do with kids. String hearts are good projects for all ages, so my first-grader and I teamed up to document the process step-by-step.
Prepare Your Glue
We used a simple wheat paste:
Bring 1/2c of water to a boil. While you wait for the water to boil, whisk 3 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with another 1/2c of cool water. Corn starch will produce a clear glue and will set up a little more quickly, but all-purpose flour works perfectly well and that’s what we used. Add the flour paste to the boiling water and continue to whisk over heat until the mixture thickens. Add a little more water if it seems too thick. Let this cool before you use it. A mix of Mod Podge or Elmers white glue and water works, too.
Assemble Your Materials
Cover the work space with wax paper. In a pinch, freezer paper with the shiny side up works, too. Glue is sticky. Be sure to do this in a space where you can sponge down all surfaces. Clear everything and anything that can be cleared from the area before you start. Also, make sure there is a sink for washing your hands nearby.
You only need a short length of yarn, so odds and ends and leftovers from bigger projects work well. The yarn should be cut into strips 2-3 feet long or about your arm length. Any more and it can get unwieldily, especially if you are making string hearts with kids. Cutting the lengths of yarn is a great kid job.
Shape Your Hearts
Using one length of yarn at a time, drop the yarn into the glue. Squeeze the excess glue out of the yarn using your fingers.
Then begin to shape the hearts on the wax paper. We started with a few hearts drawn onto our paper to use as templates but quickly abandoned these in favor of free-form.
Repeat until you’re done!
Let it Dry
Waiting is the hardest part. This is a good time to go outside and sled, or maybe make popcorn and watch a movie. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to touch or move them too soon.
The dry hearts should be easy to remove from the wax paper but they can be fragile. Carefully attach a string for hanging the heart if you will use them for decorations or using a small bit of glue attach them to cards.
The Things We Learned
The different yarns take the glue a little differently. The Ultra Alpaca yarn is fluffier than Vintage or Fiora, so it absorbs a lot more glue and does NOT dry as fast. Fiora was easiest to work with and dried the quickest. If we make these again, I will try cotton and cotton blend yarns. I’m also tempted to experiment with a some Mixer. That said, have fun and use whatever yarn you have on hand.