Want something different this year? Here are three quick ideas for Valentine’s Day cards!

 #1: Stitched Felt Heart Card

This is a great project for young sewers because it only uses a basic running stitch. The color combinations are endless. It’s easy, but looks very impressive.
You need:
-- Piece of felt (craft felt or wool felt)
-- Embroidery floss, pearl cotton, or yarn with stands pulled apart and needle
-- One small scrap and one card-size piece of cardstock
-- Craft glue or double-stick tape

1. Download the heart template. Use either size (I used the smaller one in the example). Cut out one heart from felt.

2. Cut a square from one piece of cardstock. Center the heart in the middle. Pin, or use a dab of glue in the middle to keep it secured to the paper while you stitch.

3. Tie a knot in the end of your embroidery floss (I used all 6 strands together), pearl cotton, or single strand of yard. Start from behind, and take a basic running stitch all the way around the edge of the heart, through the paper. Tie another knot at the end.

4. Glue (or use double-stick tape) the square of cardstock to the front of your card.

5. Write a cheeky note inside, like “You always keep me in stitches!”

#2: Blanket-stitched Heart Pendant
Who says your Valentine has to be a paper card? Try this felt heart pendant. Use paint to write your Valentine’s name, or embellish with gemstones (keep it age appropriate, and obviously, avoid using anything that curious little ones will pull off and put in their mouths). Attaching a piece of floss or yarn means you can leave it hanging somewhere fun where your Valentine can find it, like on the bathroom mirror, coffeepot, or backpack hook
You need
-- Felt
-- Embroidery floss, pearl cotton, or yarn pulled apart to single strand
-- Embroidery needle
-- Paint and/or gemstones (optional)

1. Download heart template. I used the larger size for this.

2. Cut two hearts from felt (layer so you’re cutting them at the same time). Pin them together.

3. Tie a knot in your embroidery floss, pearl cotton, or yarn. Do a blanket stitch. Don’t know how to do it? It is EXTREMELY easy. Watch my short how-to video here. Tie a knot at the end.

4. Use the same or contrasting floss, pearl cotton, or yarn to make the loop for hanging. First, tie a knot in the end of the floss. Starting from behind at the top point of the heart, pull your needle through. Create a large loop by taking another stitch back through (from behind), and then anchoring it with one more stitch. Tie a knot and clip thread ends.

5. Embellish by painting name, attaching gemstones, etc.

 #3: Recycled Heart Card
This is the most involved of the three, but still not difficult. It just uses a very basic split stitch. It’s a great way to re-purpose an old shirt (this was a shirt of my husband’s).
 You need
--Heart template
-- Embroidery hoop
-- Scrap of fabric (or a repurposed textile) large enough to fit in hoop
-- Embroidery needle
-- Embroidery floss
-- Pinking shears
-- Blank piece of cardstock (folded into a card shape)
-- Fabric glue (I like Liquid Stitch)
-- Rhinestones (optional)

1. Trace a square (about 3-1/2 inch) in the center of your fabric. Trace the heart (the smaller heart on the heart template) in the center of the square. (Use an erasable fabric marker or a thin, non-smudgy ballpoint pen to trace.) Don’t cut anything out yet.

2. Put fabric in the embroidery hoop, and tighten hoop until fabric is taut.

3. Thread embroidery needle (I use all 6 strands together). Tie a single knot at the end of the floss.

4. Start first stitch along one of the sides of the heart (hint: don’t start on a curve). Start from the back, push needle up through fabric and pull until the knot stops the floss behind.

5. Stitch back down through the fabric, about 1/8” to 1/4” from where you came up.

6. For your next stitch, come up through the middle of your last stitch. This is called a split stitch, because you are “splitting” the pieces of floss each time. Want a visual? Watch my quick how-to video.

7. Keep stitching all the way around the heart using the split stitch. Keep your stitches uniform (1/8” to 1/4”). When you come to a curve, you have to manipulate the floss into a curved shape as you stitch.

8. When you get all the way around, run your floss under a few stitches in the back to secure and snip.

9. Optional: do French knots in each corner of the square. If you don’t know how to do a French knot, you can learn by watching my easy how-to video. Another option is to glue on some rhinestones in the corners.

10. Remove fabric from hoop. With pinking shears, cut around the square you traced. (Try to cut inside the line you traced so that the tracing isn’t visible)

11. Place a thin layer of glue on the backside of the fabric and adhere to the front of the card. You could probably also use double-stick tape.