In my house, one of the most popular kinds of crafts I ever tend to do with my kids is the kind that lets them get creative with nature. Of course, I’m thrilled that they love creativity and the great outdoors more than just about anything else! That’s why I’m always trying to think of new ways to keep them combining the two and making DIY things from bits and pieces that they found in the backyard. Lately, I was looking at an empty window sill and thinking about how we might work together to make some cute window hangers to fill that space, which is how these adorable heart shaped twig hangers came to be!
I tried one out myself, taught the kids how they’re done so they could each make their own while I guided them with a second of my own, and then I decided to make a final one myself in order to lay out the steps for other people who like the idea just as much as I did. All in all, I ended up with five lovely little twig hearts hanging in my window and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. Check out these step by step instructions complete with photos! If you’d rather follow along with a video tutorial instead of written words, scroll to the bottom of this post to find just what you’re looking for.
For this project, you’ll need:
- White paper
- A pencil
- A paintbrush
- Hot glue
- Liquid white glue
- Gold glitter
- Brown yarn
Gather your materials!
Turn your white paper landscape or horizontally and use your pencil to draw a heart in the centre. The heart can be whatever size you please, but I made sure to fill most of my page while still keeping things proportionate.
Use the paper heart you’ve just draw as a template to get the shape of your piece and lengths of your twigs right! I started by arranging the twigs I’d gathered into some semblance of order according to the lengths I already had to work with, putting the longest in the centre lined up with the heart’s bottom point and decreasing in size out towards the heart’s sides until the shape’s width was filled and looked correct. Leave one whole, long twig set aside for later; this will be the top of your piece that your heart will hang from.
Use your secateurs to start trimming the twigs to be the right length as well. Once again, I started in the middle, cutting my centre twig to be the right length from the bottom downward point to the point between the two top rounds. I followed suit, cutting each twig on either side to be just the right length that its bottom end met the bottom edge of its place in the heart and vice versa for its top edge. At the end, you’ll have a more discernible heart shape made from wooden twigs.
Use your glue gun to start gluing your heart shape together twig by twig! I started at one far side with the second twig in (you’ll need the first edge twig on either side to stay loose for the moment in order to do a later step), applying just a dot of glue at the top on the side where it would meet the next twig, sticking those two together. Then I applied glue at the top on that twig’s other side and stuck the next twig into place there. Continue this process all the way across until you’ve got all of your twigs except your first and last two (the shortest ones on the very edge) glued into place so that your heart is a whole shape.
Add some personality to the bottom of your heart! Use your paintbrush to apply white glue in a thin layer all of the bottom half of your heart, on the fronts of the twigs’ lower ends. You can include your two end twigs that are still loose in this, just lying them in the right position so the glue lines up and hits their ends the way you want for continuity from the other twigs. Keeping your heart on the paper so it can catch the excess, sprinkle the part of the heart you applied glue to liberally with your gold glitter until all the glue is covered and the heart looks evenly sparkly. Give the glue a moment to get tacky and then feel free to tilt your heart up a little and tap the excess glitter that doesn’t stick onto the paper so it doesn’t shed everywhere later. Catching it in the paper will make it easier to either clean the glitter away into the trash or save for later by curling the page into a funnel and pouring it back into its container.
Cut a length of about six inches from your brown string or yarn, or about enough to wrap around the four fingers of your hand together at least three times. Tie one end of the string around the top end of your loose edge stick on the left side. Tie the other end around the top end of the loose end stick on the right side. Trim the ends of your knots on each stick, then find the centre point in the strong between the two knotted ends and cut it in half. Now you an use your glue gun to stick your two end sticks into place on either side of your heart to complete the shape and fasten the strings the piece will hang from into place.
Tie the loose ends of the strings you anchored to the heart previously around each end of the whole twig that you set aside at the very beginning. Trim the excess off of your knots on each side.
Voila! You’re all finished. Of course, you can use a different colour glitter than gold if you prefer. Just in case you’d like to try this project out for yourself, here’s a fantastic tutorial video to help you!