These DIY felt heart ornaments with beading turned out SO CUTE – I cannot stop making them. Make sure you check out the photos after the tutorial to see all of the different variations I made – some of them are blindingly bedazzled! If you’re looking for Valentine’s Day craft ideas for adults, hopefully you’ll feel inspired to make your own beaded felt hearts! And if you need extra motivation to make them – beyond the fact that they’re cute and sparkly – here’s why I have made so many lately: the beading is really relaxing. In fact, the more densely I bead the felt, the more this craft helps me quiet my usually very busy brain. So you’ll see a progression of more and more heavily beaded hearts – to the point that some of them are actually hefty, lol.
What to Do with DIY Felt Hearts???
I think these beaded felt heart ornaments would be perfect for so many applications (let me know if you have more ideas, in the comments). You’ll see with the variations that I share at the end of this post, in a non-pink color scheme, that these felt hearts can add sparkle to your home in any season. Here are some ideas:
- add a string loop on top and hang from a door knob or cabinet knob
- string them together with yarn for a beautiful DIY felt Valentine’s Day garland
- mix them with pom poms to create a textural DIY Valentine’s Day wreath
- hang them from a vase of branches (like my DIY Easter egg tree, but with hearts!)
- stitch on spring themed designs (flowers! bunnies!) in pastel embroidery thread/felt for a V Day meets Easter craft!
- unpack them again in December, because these work as beautiful heart shaped DIY tree ornaments too
Supplies to Make a DIY Felt Heart with Beading:
Click here to see a list of supply suggestions, but here’s a breakdown, with more details:
- Felt (thinner and softer felt works best – something made for crafting, in either polyester or wool)
- Beads (I used 6mm or 12mm bugle beads and size 11, 10, 8, and 6 seed beads – you can choose any size)
- Needles (I use a regular sewing needle and a thinner beading needle)
- Tailor’s pen/pencil (or even a permanent marker)
- Poly-fil or any filler you prefer (a natural wool/cotton is nice too)
How to Make Your Own Ornament “Pattern”
Just like with my felt animal ornaments and my beaded moon ornaments, I made my own “pattern” by printing some clip art I like. This time I traced it onto a scrap of a thin cardboard box, so it’s more firm and easier to trace onto felt than just a piece of paper. I recently bought some freezer paper, so I’ll be showing you an even easier way to print and “make” patterns soon! For reference, my heart is approximately 3.5″ x 3.5″. I am planning to sit down this winter and create patterns you can download and print (especially for some of my felt animal ornaments), but I think a heart is simple enough that anyone can draw, trace or print one!
When you have your “pattern” made, trace it onto the back side of the felt, twice, and then cut out two matching hearts.
How to Make a DIY Felt Heart with Beading
Using the beading needle, stitch a random smattering of beads on the “front” of one felt heart. Be careful not to stitch too tightly, or the felt can pucker. You can also bead the “back” of the felt ornament, but I only bead the front, myself. I used a mix of bugle beads (in 6mm for this particular heart, but I’ve used up to a 12mm) and seed beads (size 10 or 11 is best, but a 6 or 8 works as well). You can use any size beads you like – including larger beads and sequins. You can even purchase a mixed bag of beads, in lots of different colorways, so you don’t have to think about mixing and matching!
Then use a blanket stitch to sew the two halves of the felt together, leaving an opening to stuff with poly-fil. I usually use a carpet and button thread for the edges, but lately I’ve been using an all purpose thread, which is thinner, because then I have the option of added a bead to the edges – plus the color selection is much larger.
You can use any stitch you like, but I prefer a blanket stitch for this because it keeps the stuffing nice and contained and is very easy to do. If you’re unfamiliar with how to do a blanket stitch, you’ll see that it’s really easy. Push the needle up from the back:
Then guide the needle back through the loop (and repeat – that’s it!):
If you’re confident in your stitching, try using a contrasting color for a little extra interest. Leave an opening a few inches long and then stuff with poly-fil or any other kind of stuffing. When you’re reading to close the edge, push the batting toward the center, away from the open seam, to finish sewing the two halves together without catching any batting in the stitches. Tie off the thread. Then gently massage the heart to work the batting back to the edge – this just helps to keep the batting from getting sewn into the edge.
That’s all it takes to make a DIY felt heart with beading. You can make these felt hearts in any size or color, and also change up the beading. Keep scrolling for some more inspiration…
Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!
DIY Felt Heart Variation: Contrasting Felt Heart Applique
I experimented a lot with my felt hearts, first by cutting out smaller heart shapes in contrasting felt and stitching them on before beading. This method added a lot of dimension and interest to the felt hearts, but was also a great way to use up smaller pieces and scraps of felt! For even more interest, I also tried beading the different colors of felt with different beads.
Here’s a closer look at the stitching – again, contrasting stitching will add a little more interest, but feel free to use a matching thread if you’re worried about your stitches. I can usually get mine pretty small and even, but even still I usually just grab a matching thread so the focus is on the beads and not my sewing. But I did experiment a little with contrasting threads, just so you could see what that will look like:
DIY Felt Heart Variation: Different Beads
I also experimented by adding larger, more sparkly, faceted glass beads. I varied the size of the beads as well, ranging from a size 6 to size 11 seed bead and a very small, approximately 3mm bugle bead all the way up to a 12mm bugle bead. The longer the bugle, the faster the beadwork goes – especially if you’re just using one color. The more I varied the size and color of the beads, the longer the beading took – but the end result was always so stunning, it was worth the extra stitching time!
A Tip for Choosing Beads: the sparklier the beads, the better! Look for foil lined transparent beads for the most sparkle. Even with my bugle beads, a twisted glass bugle added just that little bit of extra glimmer, which really catches the light. I did mix in some opaque, frosted, and even matte beads, simply because I have a LOT of seed beads, but if you’re buying beads specifically for this project, opt for sparkle.
DIY Felt Heart Variation: Beaded Edges
As a final variation, I added a bead while stitching the sides closed using a blanket stitch. This variation really “glows” when used as a tree ornament, back lit by tree lights or even sunlight.
You can also use edge beading inspired by Indigenous beadwork, which is what I have more experience with, but someone on TikTok recommended just adding a bead to the blanket stitch I was already doing and that was a fun suggestion so I tried it. On the top heart, pictured below, I beaded the edge with a size 8, while the second from bottom heart has the edge beaded with a size 6 – the size 6 is larger and makes more of an impact from a distance.
I hope you enjoy this felt heart craft project! I don’t often feel inspired to create Valentine’s Day crafts for adults, but these DIY beaded felt hearts have been a very enjoyable craft to make. Happy beading!!
OMG! I just love all your bead work! Just beautiful!
Thank you so much for the kind comment!!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these beaded hearts! Can’t wait to get started making a few of these in blue. Thanks so much for this idea!
I’m so happy you like this idea!! Happy crafting 🙂
OMG…these are just beautiful. You are so talented and creative, I wish you had some for sale. I know I would buy them as I’m not that talented. Always look forward to getting your newsletter.
I am planning to make some for sale! I decided to start selling a small amount of my felt ornaments, but I am aiming for next fall for a shop launch (before Christmas). I am currently taking some custom orders though, so if you’d like to email me, I can share pricing and color options with you 🙂 You can just reply to the newsletter email – it goes right to my inbox. I am so happy to hear you enjoy the newsletter! That makes my day.
These are simply stunning! I, too, would be interested in a custom order. Please send me the information when you have a chance. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.
Thank you, Mary, I am so thrilled you like them. Since I am getting so much interest, I will get organized and put together an order form or custom listing in my shop for custom orders.
So charmed by these hearts — and excited that you may be creating patterns for some of your beaded animals, which I love. Our entire tree decorating strategy has had to change now there’s a cat in the house. Love your felt and beaded wire creations.
Oh yes, I can definitely see how you might need a tree of un-breakable ornaments, haha! I’ll be sure to send out a special newsletter when I’ve launched the patterns. I’ve also been experimenting with ways to transfer them to felt more easily, so I’m excited to make them even simpler to make.
These hearts are gorgeous, and I appreciate that they are sewn on instead of glued. Working with a needle and thread is so much nicer than fiddling with glue. My favorites are those green ones but they are all gorgeous.
Thank you! I’ve always wondered how well felt will hold with glue, especially over time. Sewn this way, these will last many generations and could be an “heirloom”! I’m so glad you like them and thank you so much for your sweet comment 🙂