How to Embroider a Heart Garland for Valentine's Day

Embroidered Linen Heart Garland
Embroidered Linen Heart Garland

Mollie Johanson

Overview
  • Total Time: 10 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $30

Get ready for Valentine's Day with this easy hand-embroidered heart garland. It will add the perfect handmade touch to your decor.

Each heart in this project is embroidered with simple stitches, and the alternating patterns make a festive statement. If you want to show off your stitching skills, you can choose stitches that are a bit more complex. Or, if you want to get in some practice, turn this banner into a sampler! Make each heart with a different new stitch or a combination of stitches

The finished garland measures about six feet long, with flags that are 7 x 9 inches. You can adjust the size by stitching a different number of flags or reducing the size of the pattern and banner pieces.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Iron
  • 1 Scissors
  • 1 Needle
  • 1 Ruler

Materials

  • 1 yard Linen
  • 1 yard Mid-weight fusible interfacing
  • 1 Water-soluble stabilizer
  • 2 Perle cotton embroidery floss (this example uses DMC 309 & 899)
  • 1 Striped heart pattern

Instructions

  1. Attach Interfacing

    Heart garland supplies
    Heart garland supplies © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    Iron the fusible interfacing onto the back of the linen, following the manufacturer's instructions. The interfacing will give the garland flags more structure and it will also help to prevent fraying. 

  2. Cut Heart Shapes

    Download the Striped Heart pattern. When printed at 100%, each heart should measure about 5.5 inches across. 

    Trace or print the heart pattern on the water-soluble stabilizer. You will need five hearts. Cut around each heart and attach to the linen, leaving space between each heart for cutting out the flags.

    You can mark your pattern with other methods if you prefer. The water-soluble stabilizer method is effective, especially when working with linen.

  3. Working the Heart Embroidery

    Embroider the Hearts
    Embroider the Hearts © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    Stitch around each heart with back stitch, and embroider the stripes with a different stitch of your choosing. 

    This example uses two hearts with coral stitch and three hearts with upright cross stitches (they are upright along the diagonal lines, but appear as standard cross stitches when the heart is straight).

    Any stitches that can be worked along a line would be suitable for this project. You could even have a mix of stitches in each heart. 

  4. Preparing the Garland Pieces

    Cut the Banner Pieces
    Cut the Banner Pieces © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    When all of the stitching is complete, soak the embroidery to remove the water-soluble stabilizer. Gently squeeze out any excess water and hang it to dry.

    Sometimes in the process of working with the fabric as you stitch, as well as from soaking, the interfacing may start to lift from the back of the work. Fortunately, it should adhere once more with a good ironing. 

    Even if the interfacing didn't lift, your embroidery will need to be ironed to smooth out the linen.

  5. Cut the Pieces

    Measure and cut each banner piece to 7 x 9 inches. If you have a quilting ruler, you can line up the indent and point of the heart along the 3.5-inch marking. 

  6. Assemble the Garland

    Stitch the Banner Together
    Stitch the Banner Together © Mollie Johanson, Licensed to About.com

    Mark the top of each embroidered flag for stitching the string through. Measure 3/4 inch from the top and then mark at 1, 3, 4, and 6-inch mark across. 

    Cut a 4-yard piece of perle cotton and thread your needle. Slide the needle all the way to the center, doubling the thread.

    Stitch through each flag, coming up from the back at the first marking, down through the second, and so on. Slide the flag across the floss, and continue adding banner pieces. Space the flags evenly.

    Tie an overhand knot at each end of the string to use as a loop for hanging. 

    Now you can display your hand-stitched garland and celebrate Valentine's Day!