I’m in love with these strings of paper hearts. Instead of a horizontal garland, these hang vertically with individual hearts twisting and turning gently at the slightest breeze. They’re another use for pages from old books and sheet music (see here for a past project using vintage paper) and because they aren’t red or pink or too frilly and flowery, they don’t shout Valentine’s Day. Which in my case means these beautiful heart strings will be hanging over my couch past that holiday.
What I really love about these heart strings is the story that goes with them. My mom, seeing that I used some vintage sheet music in a previous post (the Punched Heart Garland, linked above) asked if I would like some of the pretty, old sheet music she had. I said yes, but only if it was ok to use it in craft projects. She said it was fine – better to have it put to some use. She rummaged around and brought out a stack of old sheet music, most of which had belonged to her mother.
When my mother’s mom, Norma Williams, was about 15 years old, she moved with her family to Albuquerque, New Mexico. She started taking piano and organ lessons from the organist at the Presbyterian church. She also worked in a music store for a time and when someone wanted to hear what a certain piece of sheet music sounded like, she would play it for them. She was an accompanist for vocal soloists and other instrumentalists. The stack of music my mother gave me included pieces for voice and violin. “Norma Williams” is written in careful script on the top corner of each piece.
After a time she became the assistant to the church organist. Norma Williams married the pastor’s son, Hugh P. Cooper. When they married in 1924, the choir gave them a clock as a wedding present. Eventually the organist moved away and my grandmother took over the position. The name of the organist? Jennie Stevens Faw – my great-grandmother on my father’s side!
I love that our families had this connection before my parents were even born. I have an image of the invisible strings connecting all of us together. My parents, Nancy Cooper and David Faw, were married in 1954, in the same church as her parents. The clock given to my maternal grandparents as a wedding present, sits on my parents’ china cabinet.
Now back to the crafting: this is another project that I saw on Pinterest and one that was stitched up on a sewing machine. Since I still don’t count sewing as one of my strengths, I did this with vintage paper, double-sided tape and Baker’s twine and I’m very happy with how it turned out. If you’d like to try the sewing version, please go here, to Dottie Angel, a very cool spot that tells about the peachy crafty life of Tif Fussell, the person from whom I adapted this project.
Vintage Paper such as old sheet music
Colorful Covers from Old Sheet Music
Double-Sided Tape (I used Scotch brand permanent double-sided tape)
Bakers Twine or other string
Pencil (optional, to trace heart shapes)
Scrap Card Stock (optional, to cut out and use as heart templates)
Large Heart Shaped Punch (optional for punching out heart shapes instead of cutting)
Either freehand or using a template, cut various sizes of hearts from vintage paper. Cut them in two’s because you use pairs of hearts stuck together with the string in between. For every 6 or 8 hearts that are black type on paper, cut some from the pretty artwork on the covers of the sheet music or from other colorful decorative paper.
I make some strings from all the same size and some I mix up. Get a length of string and a stack of hearts. Decide which surface of paper for each heart will be facing outward.
Stick a piece of tape down the center of one of a pair of paper hearts. Put a few pieces of tape near the top of the curved parts of the heart or use a glue stick for getting around the edges.
Lay the string over the tape down the center of the heart and press the string into the tape. Put another piece of tape over the string.
Lay the second (same sized) heart on the tape (or tape and glue) and press to adhere the paper hearts together with the string inside.
Intersperse a colorful heart or two in between all the black and cream hearts created from the vintage sheet music or other vintage paper. The sheet music front and back covers are good sources for pretty paper and interesting graphics.
Repeat until you have a lovely string of hearts. Tie a little loop at the end of the string.
Tape the string up and make some more heart strings. I like to lie on the couch under my heart strings and blow and watch the hearts spin gently.
Thank you for stopping by.