How to Make a Heart Garland

hi i'm julia hood and i'm the manager of school and family learning at reynolda house museum of american art and in our collection at reynolda house we have a work of art by the artist jim dine in which he uses hearts over and over again this work is called the world for ann waldman and you can find a link to it in the box below and i encourage you to go and look at this work of art and see how he's using hearts how are they similar how are they different what else does he put in this work of art and then come back to this video and watch how we can make many hearts into a heart garland as in this example here so that's what we'll show you today you can either use construction paper or magazine pages and i'll give you information and show you how to do that you can also use tissue paper and i'll put instructions that you can download that say more about tissue paper if you want to use that so i will show you what you need to create your valentine heart garland or decoration and how to do it

you need cardboard or cardstock cardboard from cereal boxes or other thin packaging material will work well you'll need your own heart template or you can print ours from the downloadable instructions you need scissors you will need something to collage with like construction paper decorative paper paper from a wall calendar or magazines you will also need a glue stick a hole punch or an awl with adult assistance and some string or yarn if you are using magazine paper or tissue paper you might also want mod podge and a brush start by making your own heart template or printing and cutting out hours you can make all your hearts the same size or alternate between two different sizes in the garland that you will make trace at least five hearts onto


cut them out

if you're using construction paper choose some valentiny colors like red pink white and or purple rip your chosen construction paper into small pieces

glue the pieces onto a cardboard heart overlapping them and covering up the cardboard and it's totally okay if the paper goes over the edge of the cardboard we'll clean up the edges later repeat this for all the hearts or if you don't have construction paper or would rather use a magazine that it's okay to cut up you can start by flipping through old magazines and looking for areas of color you want to use in your garland here i'm ripping out pages that have red purples and pinks in the pictures so i can use those printed colors for my collage

if you find a large area of the color you want you can simply trace and cut a heart shape and glue it onto the cardboard heart like this

or you can make the same kind of collage mosaic by ripping small pieces from your selected pages and then collaging them in layers like we did for the construction paper heart

if you used magazine pages and you have mod podge place your finished hearts onto a scrap piece of paper brush a layer of mod podge over each heart and let it dry completely

once your hearts are dry flip them over and use scissors to trim any collage material that went over the edge of the cardboard

next punch a hole in either side of each heart you are going to use in your garland since you are punching through cardboard you may need some help with this process if you don't have a hole punch ask an adult to help you punch holes with an awl or another tool lay your hearts out in the way that you want to use them in your garland start with the leftmost heart thread your string into the left hole of this heart from the front to the back pull the string until there's a small tail about 5 to 10 inches long on the left side work with the longer end of the string and wrap it around the left side of the heart and then back through the hole from the front side to the back bring the string along the back of the heart and then up through the hole on the right side so it should be going along the back of the heart wrap this thread your working thread that long that long thread wrap it around the same side of the heart and then back up through the hole a second time then leave a gap of string maybe two or three inches long and repeat this process with the next heart moving from left to right if you skip the wrapping step where you wrap the string around the heart your hearts may all slide together on the string and end up at the middle but alternatively you could cut a bunch of short strings and just tie them together between the hearts

you can then hang your garland as a decoration or if you want to make just one heart you can punch holes near the top and tie a ribbon or a string to it then you can write a note on the back of valentine and place it on a door handle maybe the door of someone you love share your creations on instagram facebook or twitter using hashtag reynoldathome find more videos helpful downloads and other resources at the reynolda at home page on

We are crushing on these DIY hearts. Get crafty with this Pop-Up Studio for kids as Julia Hood demonstrates how to add a little charm to your Valentine’s Day decor with a homemade heart garland.

Explore images of hearts in Reynolda’s collection: 
Jim Dine, The World (for Anne Waldman), 1972

Reynolda revealed video series

See all videos

From the 1910s to the late 1950s, the segregated community of Five Row was home to Reynolda’s African American farm workers and their families.

Watch Now

A new type of Southern woman, Katharine Reynolds combined the traditional role of wife and mother with progressive practices on healthy living, education, and agricultural reform.

Watch Now