Handmade linen origami heart

(Makes one heart)


Origami. It's not just for paper anymore.
Although origami is normally practiced with a sheet of paper, that doesn't mean you shouldn't step out of the box to try folding something else. For your Valentine, why not make a pretty red linen heart with a hand-stitched message, to make it extra special. Tuck a little chocolate into the folds or up the ante with a piece of jewelry.

Here's a video of how our linen heart takes shape.

1 piece 8 1/2” x 11” paper
8 1/2” x 11” piece of light to medium weight natural woven fabric (not slippery or stretchy)
6” length of 5/8” wide cotton ribbon, natural color (or cut one on bias from natural linen or cotton)
matching and contrasting threads

fabric scissors
fabric marking pen or chalk
hand sewing needle
steam iron

Begin by using your sheet of paper as a pattern piece. Trace around it onto the fabric (lining up with the fabric grain) and cut out the rectangle. Set the fabric aside for a moment.  Practice the origami heart sequence of folds (shown below) with your sheet of paper.  It will help you understand what you need to do with your fabric. After you have mastered the paper heart, turn on your steam iron and use the ironing board as your work surface. Fabric doesn’t crease between your fingers like paper, so complete the sequence of folds with the iron, just as you did with paper. However, be careful not to negate creases while pressing new ones in, as well as taking precautions not to burn your fingers.


Now that you have created the fabric heart, it is time to stitch a personal message on the ribbon. If you want to create your own ribbon with raw edges, cut the 6” by 5/8” strip on the bias (diagonal). This will allow you to leave raw edges without it fraying away.  Clip the tail end into two points.



Leave at least 1 1/2 inches of the ribbon tail blank, so when your Valentine pulls the ribbon, he or she will be surprised to discover your message. If you plan to have a long message, make your ribbon longer accordingly.




Mark the message on the ribbon with erasable fabric ink to line things up.  Using a needle and thread (or embroidery floss), stitch out the message. Alternately, you could write the message with a permanent fabric pen.



The last step is to stitch everything in place. With thread to match your fabric, stitch the ribbon to the inside of the heart, just at the end of the ribbon (these stitches should be hidden). This will allow you to stuff the embroidered part of the ribbon between the folds. If you would like, you can also stitch down the folded pieces on the back of the heart, to secure them.


As if to say “you’ve got my heart all stitched up,” we also used contrasting thread to make a line of X’s down the front, attaching the two sides. Be creative and do something different if inspiration strikes.



view related blog post:  kokoro... Gifts from the Heart