Thursday, January 17, 2013

Arts & Crafts Thursday: String Hearts

Since it looks like we may be stuck in the house with some wintry weather on the way, here's a craft to help you enjoy being indoors and get you thinking about Valentine's Day. 

Supplies:
  • yarn
  • cornstarch
  • water
  • heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • parchment paper
  • scissors
Adults will also need access to a stove.

Instructions:

Make a glue out of cornstarch and water.  Start by mixing about 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan, stir it, and heat it until it is smooth.  Allow it to cool.  Once cool, you may need to modify the mixture so that it is thick enough to have a little sticky to it.  Note that If you allow it to cool overnight or for too long you can reheat it in the microwave, just add more water.


Cut yarn of any color into any length you want.  We went with anywhere from 6-12 inches.  C was in charge of cutting so no promises that they were anywhere uniform in length.

Put your cookie cutter on to a piece of parchment paper.  Take a piece of yarn, place it in the glue mixture, and soak it well.

Pull the yarn out of the glue mixture and remove excess by running your fingers over it. Put the piece of yarn in the cookie cutter however you want.  We had no method, just sort of shoved it in there so it fit.

Continue to do this until you have completely filled the heart.  Ideally you would get one thin layer of yarn but no need to be scientific about this.  Too little yarn you risk losing the heart shape, though, so go ahead and pile it in.  A lot of yarn just means it takes longer to dry but that's not a huge problem unless you are on some sort of weird crafting-deadline I don't know about.

Allow the yarn to dry for about a day.  C and I removed the cookie cutter then, pressed out any remaining moisture that might still be left using a paper towel, and reshaped the heart as we wanted to/needed to.


I have read online that you can speed up the drying process by placing the heart (without cookie cutter) and parchment paper in to an oven set on "warm" for up to 2 hours.

Honestly, I am not sure what we are going to do with our completed hearts but they look very pretty, have a neat texture we keep poking at, and we sure had fun making them.

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