With Valentine’s Day around the corner, everyone is thinking of ways to say I love you. The anatomical heart templates by Tara of the Sewing Rabbit Team are perfect for embroidery or freezer paper stencils, allowing you to customize any T-Shirt, pillow or tote! This free download is a great way to have fun this Valentine’s Day, in a less traditional way. It is just the right amount of quirky, that every kid loves. Tara nailed it.
Anatomical Heart Valentine Templates
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share my first tutorial with the Sewing Rabbit readers!
It may be odd, but I sort of love the anatomical heart during Valentine season. (I guess it’s not a season? Certainly a retail season….anyway) For such a sweet holiday, it pleases me to throw some dorky spice into the mix. I’m going to share an embroidery and a freezer paper stencil template so all you weirdos and closet weirdos out there can join in the overly-literal love symbol interpretation fun.
I’ve created a stencil for putting a freezer paper design on fabric, and a simple embroidery design template, though you could actually used them interchangeably if you so desire. If you’ve never done a freezer paper stencil to create a fabric paint image, don’t fret! I’ve got some step by step instructions for you. If I can do it, trust me, so can you. Let’s get started!
(Hint: the image will print true to size if you download it. If you print directly off of google docs it will come out shrunken)
Starting with the embroidery design:
- Print out your template and use your chosen method to transfer the image to your fabric. There are some good tips here for ways to transfer a design.
- I used a piece of unbleached muslin to stitch on, which I then machine stitched onto the shirt when finished
- The stitches I used to create my embroidery were what we will call “freestyle”. A mixture of backstitch and some indefinable other stuff. But if you want a resource for basic stitches, there’s a great visual one at Purl Bee
It’s an understatement to say that I’m not the most accomplished embroiderer. Rarely do I ever finish a project that I start on. Partway through it I usually remember that I’m not that good at it, and my design ends up looking as disappointing as my handwriting. Like an 8 year old boy did it. But I made it through this time!
I started with the hard part and worked my way out. My daughter loves Fancy Nancy, who is really into French. I hoped (correctly!) that French would help my girly girl feel fancy in her new shirt.
- Finish off your design, adding any detail you like. I think it would look really cool all filled in with shading, but that’s stuff for better embroiderers than I. Stitch your heart to a shirt or whatever tickles your ventricles (heh….)
moving on to our fabric paint heart………
Freezer Paper Stenciling 101
If you’ve never done a freezer paper stencil before, the gist is that freezer paper has a shiny side that will adhere to fabric when you use an iron on it. The great part is that it doesn’t leave residue and you can even reuse your stencil. Mine rarely get reused these days though, because I have too many fiddly parts that get ripped when I pull the stencil up.
You will need
- freezer paper (shocker!)
- Sharp craft or exacto type knife
- Fabric paint
- Sponge or paint brushes
1. Print your template and play with scale to get it the size you want. Grab a roll of freezer paper.
2. Trace your template onto the non shiny side of the freezer paper.
3. Using a sharp xacto or craft type knife, carefully cut the sections out of your heart.
The important thing is that you leave those weird veiny parts intact.
See how I’ve left the veins running through the heart? I’m only cutting out the sections within it. A nice sharp knife really helps keep your stencil from ripping accidentally.
Now your stencil is all cut out! Time to heat up the iron. Crank it all the way up to high.
Press it really well onto your fabric, positioning it where you want it to be. Now we’re ready to brandish the paints!
- Choose some fabric paints you like and squeeze some into a dish. I used Jacquard neopaque black and a metallic copper to give it a dirty industrial feel…..because Valentines Day just screams “dirty and industrial”….lol.
Lately I’ve been using kitchen sponges to apply my paint. I just cut a piece off (not with your fabric scissors PLEASE!) and get a little bit of water into it initially so it’s not bone dry.
- Place your fabric on top of a piece of paper or cardboard to catch any paint that squishes through. Ask me how many oopsies I have on my ironing board…..ugh.
- Dab dab dab with your sponge and fabric paint. You may need two coats since it often looks better covered when you first apply, but then looks patchy after it dries.
Now you wait for what feels like a billion years because all you want to do is peek under that stencil to see what it looks like all finished. Freezer paper stencils are the new watched pot that never boils.
- When it’s dry to the touch and you’re satisfied with paint coverage, pull your stencil off and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for setting it into the fabric. Usually this involves a hot iron on the back of your fabric.
Now the big reveal!
You can do this on handmade clothes, storebought clothes, accessories…. anything you can think of!
Now do you want to see some cute pictures of my kids wearing their Valentines shirts? Of course you do ^_^.
Additional details on the shirts:
I used the Flashback skinny tee pattern, modified with an a-line shape and hi-low hem. I also faced the neckline on the embroidered shirt instead of using a neckband.
Happy Valentines Day!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…Happy Sewing!