I love adding fun upcycled decorations to my home. As it’s that time of year (Valentine’s!), I decided to make a fun hanging embroidered heart denim decoration. It can be hung on walls, doors, on the end of shelves or even used as a bag charm.
I used my favourite fabric to upcycle, which is denim. It’s straightforward to embroider, and I have plenty of it! Scraps of yarn from my stash were used to make the pompoms. I got the idea for these embroidered hearts when making the denim heart applique pockets.
This craft was a mash-up of three of my other projects; denim hearts, denim tassels and pompom flowers. The denim decorations are affordable and easy to make. All the sewing is done by hand and uses straightforward stitches.
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What You Need
- Scraps of fabric from old jeans. Softer worn pieces of denim work best, as they are easy to embroider.
- Colourful embroidery thread and needle
- Colourful scraps of yarn
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Small embroidery hoop
- A small amount of fiberfill- I use the stuffing from old pillows
- A fork, scissors and a pen.
(There is a printable how-to card for this craft at the end of the post.)
How To Make An Embroidered Heart Denim Decoration
The denim decoration was made in three parts: the embroidered denim hearts, the denim tassel, and the pompoms.
The Embroidered Denim Heart
Step 1: First, draw around a large heart-shaped cookie cutter onto a scrap piece of denim. If you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, make your template. The denim heart can be any size you want (mine were about 7-8cms wide (3″).
Step 2: Next, draw a smaller heart inside this heart. Then place the denim inside the embroidery hoop. Make sure that the smaller heart is in the centre of the ring.
The hoop is not necessary, but it just makes embroidering easier.
Step 3: Next, thread your needle with a six-strand embroidery thread. Then stitch around the smaller heart using a simple split stitch.
Step 4: I just went for a straightforward design for the embroidered denim hearts—this detailed stitching of concentric hearts in different coloured threads. If you want more pattern ideas for heart embroidery, there are some with these embroidered Scandinavian hearts.
Step 5: Remove the heart from the hoop when the embroidery is finished. Then turn the embroidery over and draw around the large cookie cutter on the back. This is so you will know where to stitch.
Next, cut the heart shape out, leaving a seam margin of about 5mm. You will also need to cut a second unembroidered denim heart for the back.
Step 6: Pin and stitch the heart’s right sides together, leaving a small gap. Turn the stitched heart right sides out. Then stuff it through the hole and sew it shut.
Top tip: Cut small slits in the seam at the points and curves before turning the heart’s right sides out. This will help the heart maintain good shape.
Step 7: Finish off the embroidered denim heart by stitching a decorative blanket stitch around the outside.
Making The Denim Tassel Decoration
As part of this hanging denim decoration, I made a denim tassel. All you need is a scrap piece of denim about 10cm square and some colourful embroidery thread.
Step 1: Start by fraying the denim square along one edge. To do this, pull out the threads one by one. Denim is a woven material made up of indigo and white threads. Pull out the white threads, and you will end up with a blue tassel.
This takes a little patience but not much concentration, so it can be done whilst watching TV. I find using a pin helps to pull the thread away from the cloth. You can also make gorgeous denim feathers this way too.
Step 2: Keep fraying the denim until your tassel is long enough. Leave some unfrayed denim at the top. Then roll up the frayed denim square and secure the end by wrapping coloured thread around it.
Making The Pompoms
I added some small colourful pompoms to the embroidered heart denim decoration. They were small pompoms, so I used the fork to make them.
Step 1: Wrap yarn in different colours around the end of a fork and secure it with a knot. The more yarn you use, the fuller the pompom.
Step 2: Next, tie some thread around the centre of the wrapped yarn. Then with a pair of small scissors, cut the yarn at the edge of both sides of the fork to free it.
Step 3: Fluff out the pompoms and trim the ends with scissors to shape them. Make two pompoms for each denim heart decoration.
Finishing Off The Denim Decoration
Finally, to put the denim decoration together, thread a large embroidery need with thick coloured thread. Then start the thread at the top of the denim tassel and pull it through the embroidered denim heart. Then thread the pompoms one by one. Knot the thread as you go to stop the pompoms from moving around. Finish off by tying a hanging loop.
Now all that is left to do is to decide where you want to hang these embroidered denim decorations. They would make a lovely gift and are a superb teen and adult craft to make. They aren’t just for Valentine’s day but would be fun all year round.
Most people will have denim scraps to hand and coloured thread in their crafting essentials stash. I have lots, so I made a few of these hanging decorations. They were a fun relaxing craft to do whilst watching Netflix.
If you liked this, then you may want to check out my other upcycled Valentine craft ideas and what else you can make from a pair of jeans. If it’s the heart theme you like, check out this collection of Valentine fabric heart crafts and hand sewing projects.
- Denim scraps enough to make the embroidered heart and the denim tassels.
- Colourful embroidery thread and colourful yarn scraps
- Embroidery hoop and needle
- Large and small heart-shaped cookie cutter
- Scissors and a fork
- First, draw around the large heart cookie cutter onto a scrap piece of denim. Then use the smaller cutter to draw a smaller heart inside.
- Place the denim fabric in an embroidery hoop with the small heart in the center.
- Next, thread the embroidery needle with a colourful six-strand embroidery thread. Embroidery split stitches around the small heart following the pen marks.
- Next, change the thread colour and embroider several concentric hearts until you are happy with the design.
- Then remove the heart from the hoop and cut out the larger denim heart shape with a 5mm seam. Using another piece of denim fabric cut out a plain heart the same size for the back.
- Pin both denim hearts right sides together and stitch leaving a gap. Use the gap to turn the heart right sides out and stuff with fiberfill before stitching it closed.
- Next, embroider a decorative blanket stitch around the outside of the heart.
- Then, fray a 10cm square of denim to make a tassel. Roll the frayed square and secure the top with the same coloured embroidery thread used for the denim heart decoration.
- Then get a fork and wrap the end with coloured yarn. Secure the yarn in the centre before cutting it off the fork to make a pompom. Make two pompoms.
- Finally, assemble the denim hanging decoration by threading yarn through the tassel heart and pompoms. Make a hanging loop with the end of the hanging yarn.