Woven Heart Valentine Bags

by Megan O. Andersen

Overview

These woven heart bags are traditionally made much smaller, filled with candy and hung on Christmas trees in Scandinavian homes. Making larger versions to collect cards and notes from friends and admirers is a great way to decorate for Valentine's Day. (And a perfect classroom craft!)

Materials

Materials needed.

2 Pieces 22-inch x 28-inch poster board in two different colors Scissors Ruler Pencil Tape

Cut the Poster board to Size

Cut the poster board.

Mark and cut an 8" by 28" rectangle of poster board, and then fold it in half to produce an 8" by 14" piece. Repeat with poster board in a second color.

Shape the Heart

Draw a curve opposite of the fold.

Draw a half circle at the top of the rectangle, opposite of the folded end. Use a plate, bowl, or other round object to help you make a perfect circle if you are not happy with your freehand drawing results. Repeat on the second poster board.

Mark the Slits

Mark three parallel lines.

Working on the folded end, use your ruler to make marks at 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches. Make these marks all the way up the length of the rectangle, stopping at the base of the curve. Then use the ruler to connect all of the dots along the 2-inch marks, the 4-inch marks, and the 6-inch marks. You should end up with three parallel lines. Repeat on the second piece of poster board.

Shape the Heart

Cut along the curve.

Use your scissors to carefully cut along the curved edge you drew. The curve will end up being one of the humps on your heart. Repeat with second poster board.

Cut the Strips

Cut along the parallel lines.

Use your scissors again to cut along your three parallel lines. Repeat with second poster board.

Helpful Tip

Don't cut too high!

When you reach the base of the curve that is opposite the fold in the paper, stop cutting!

Start to Weave

Ready to weave!

When both colors of poster board are cut and ready, lay them on a flat surface, with the folded ends facing each other. Labeled these "arms" if necessary.

Weave the First Arm

Weave in the first

Open the arm labeled "4" and insert the entire arm labeled "A" into it. Slip arm "3" into arm "A, " and then open arm "2" and insert arm, "A" through that. Lastly, slide arm "1" into the open arm "A" to complete the first of four rows. It might sound complicated, but take your time and you will get it.

A Closer Look

Detail of the weaving technique.

This is a detail view of how to weave the arms into each other. Note how arm "A" is open, and arm "3" is inside of it. The next step would be to open arm "2" so that arm "A" can be inserted into it, as described in Step 9.

Continue Weaving

A checkerboard pattern begins to form.

Once the first arm ("A") is woven through arms 1, 2, 3 and 4, grab arm ("B.") Note the color that is showing at "A4;" in the example, that color is purple. To correctly weave these checkerboard-style bags, start your second row with the alternate color, in this case, pink. Open arm "B" and slide arm "4" into it. Pinch arm "B" closed and insert it into the open arm "3." Open arm "B" and insert arm "2" through that. Finally, insert arm "B" into the open arm "1."

Don't Stop (be)Weaving

Continue weaving the third

You are probably getting the hang of this now that rows "A" and "B" are woven into arms 1, 2, 3 and 4. As we did in the last step, note the color of the square showing in row "B" of arm "4" is pink. To start row "C" with a purple square, pull arm "C" through the open arm "4." Then, open arm "C" and insert arm "3" into it. Pull arm "C" through arm "2" and then open up arm "C" and weave in arm "1."

Weaving the Final Row

Weaving in the last

Slip arm "4" through the open arm "D" and then weave arm "D" into arm "3." Open arm "D" so that arm "2" can slide through it, then insert arm "1" into an open arm "D."

A Closer Look at Your Last Weaving Step

Finish by tucking in the last

It often feels like there should be more to do at the final step in weaving, but once you tuck the last arms into each other, you are essentially done!

Adjust the Rows

Adjust the paper to fit snuggly together.

With your fingers, arrange the rows so that they are neat, and don't show many gaps between the color changes.

Admire Your Work For a Minute

Completed heart.

You just wove a heart. The only thing left to do is look inside to make sure it's woven correctly, and if so, add some handles!

Open the Bag

View of the inside when correctly woven.

When you open your heart bag to look inside, it SHOULD open. If your bag doesn't open, one or more of the rows wasn't woven correctly, and you'll need to close the bag and retrace your steps until you find your mistake. If you open the bag and it opens, pat yourself of the back, you're a heart-weaver now!

Add Handles

Cut straps for the bag.

Cut one 2-inch-wide strip of each color of poster board.

Attach the Handles

Tape down the straps.

Tape handles to the inside of the bag.

Repeat!

Fun in lots of color combinations.

Once you've completed your first heart, the next ones get easier and easier! Happy weaving!

Photo Credits

  • Megan Andersen

About the Author

Megan O. Andersen has been crafting, baking, cooking, drawing, sculpting and gardening since she could hold a crayon. She swapped her suit jacket for a non-stick smock in 2010 and hasn't looked back. She's an experienced marketing professional, craft show vendor, seasoned event coordinator, photography instructor and writer who approaches every new craft with the same mantra, “How hard could it be?”