Make Hearts

Make Your Own Hearts

Spread some love and kindness in your world and make space for calm presence. Heart-making is a simple stitching activity, and all kits come with instructions. Anyone is welcome to make hearts to give away for free as part of our kindness community.

Over the years, many heartists have told me that making hearts has helped them to heal from trauma and deal with anxiety, depression and grief. There is something beautiful about focusing on kindness while mindfully engaging in hand sewing, and the benefits of practicing altruism, self-compassion and mindfulness are well documented in research, too.

Be kind to yourself as you sew and remember that the most perfect hearts are the ones made with love. Neatness and perfectionism are not the goal - kindness is.

Be warned: making hearts is addictive, especially once you see the response from people when you give them away.

Shop kits

Recommended Materials

  • Felt: I use only 100% wool felt, as it’s beautiful to work with and kind to the environment. It creates a quality heart that will withstand a lot of squeezing, holding and pocket-dwelling. I only use pure wool felt for my heart-making and all the hearts and kits I sell. If you prefer not to use wool, I encourage you to find an eco-friendly option to suit your needs.

    Stuffing: I started out using synthetic stuffing which you can get at craft stores. However, in the spirit of kindness to our planet, I prefer to use natural fibres. You can get pure wool stuffing right here in my shop or look for other eco-friendly options like eucalyptus or bamboo.

    As a rough guide, 100 grams of wool stuffing will fill about 100 hearts.

    Thread: If you’re using six-strand embroidery thread, I recommend using only two strands when stitching your heart (this is what I do). If you don’t want to split the thread, the single strand perle cottons work well (as long as they aren't too thick) and can be easier for groups, young Heartists and beginners.

  • Packaging: It's a great idea to wrap your hearts before sharing them - this allows you to include the 1000 Hearts mini-flyer and keeps hearts clean and hygienic, especially if you're offering them in hospitals, aged care, schools etc. For eco-friendly, biodegradable cellophane bags, I recommend Buy Eco Green:

    Needles: I use size 24 Chenille needles which have a larger eye for embroidery thread and are sharp for neat stitching.
    These are the needles supplied in the kits I make.

    Make sure you have good scissors; a big pair for cutting out hearts and a little pair for snipping thread and trimming edges. 

    Our Heart-Starter kits are the perfect starting point for becoming a Heartist – they come in packs appropriate for beginners and more advanced crafters and are available in our store.

Kindness is for everyone...

I've made a big effort to ensure 1000 Hearts is as inclusive as possible. Not everyone has the fine motor skills, eyesight or coordination to stitch by hand and make small hearts - the larger template is good for people who would like to sew but need a larger project, or you can make a template to suit your heartist's skill-level. For people who are unable or prefer not to sew, simply being part of a heartist's group can provide a sense of community and inclusion. Sometimes helping with little tasks such as winding thread, sorting pre-cut hearts or wrapping made hearts can be fun, simple and provide a sense of purpose and usefulness.

Hearting with Kids

I think many of us have memories of being taught to sew by our Mum, Grandmother or other older person. Hand-sewing is a useful and practical life skill, and also teaches patience, perseverance and creativity. I've made hearts with children as young as three years old and yes, we used a sharp needle! With supervision, kindness and trust, kids will take pride in learning a new skill and making a heart for someone they love. Small children who are unable to master sewing can help by choosing colours of felt and thread, passing sewing supplies and helping to wrap and give away the hearts.

Heart-making is a wonderful activity to introduce to schools, youth services, childcare, holiday programs and at home.

Hearting with teen and young adults

Making hearts is a great way for teenagers and young adults to express their compassion and kindness. It's a practical, hands-on way of showing someone they care about them without having to say any cringe-worthy or embarrassing words out loud.

Hearting is also a lovely activity to do together where there's a shared focus and goal, and conversation can flow naturally (and silence feels fine when you're concentrating on sewing, so there's no awkardness if people aren't feeling chatty).

Try not to make assumptions about who will (or won't) want to make hearts - offer it to everyone and see who is willing to give it a try. Take the opportunity to talk about kindness. Ask some simple questions; When was someone kind to you? What did it feel like? When have you been kind to someone? Who is someone you could be kinder to?

See what evolves...

Hearting with Grown-ups

There are endless possibilities for hearting with grown-ups! Gather your friends, neighbours, workmates, form a community group. Take your heart-making supplies to a local cafe or library and sew for a while - see what questions and conversations arise.

Heart-making can be a wonderful addition to hospitals, aged-care facilities, charity groups, volunteer organisations, parties, celebrations, events, festivals...the list goes on.

Hearting creates connections and gets people talking and thinking about kindness. It's a simple, portable activity which is super rewarding, as it doesn't much time to make a heart and before long, you can get quite a stash ready to share.

A word on safety and hygiene

Pocket hearts are beloved by people of all ages, but please be aware they they are not designed as toys and may pose a choking hazard for the very young, elderly or people with swallowing difficulties or disability. While it's super fun to embellish hearts with buttons, beads and attachments, I encourage you to consider who will be receiving your hearts, and what is the best option for them. In many cases, embellishments are appropriate and add a personal touch which makes hearts even more special. If in doubt as to who will receive your hearts, plainer is generally safer.

It's a great idea to wrap hearts before donating to organisations or services, as this keeps them clean and new for the recipient. Biodegradable cellophane bags keep hearts hygienic while also being kind to our dear Mother Earth.

If you're donating hearts to me for distribution, I'm happy to receive them pre-wrapped or as they are (I wrap them before I send them out).

Think about where you'll share your hearts

When you start making hearts, you may have a very firm idea of what or who you're making them for. You might make them to share with your friends and family, local charities, schools, services, hospitals and businesses. Or you might just be keen to get started, but have no real idea of where your hearts might end up.

As you're making your hearts, focus on good intentions - if you know where you're giving them, focus on the person or people who will hold the heart. Think about what colours, design and embellishments would work for them.

If you don't know where your hearts are going, I suggest keeping them on the plain side, as these can be gifted easily to anyone.

No matter where your hearts are going, put love into each stitch and make sure the magic of your compassion and goodness is contained within each heart.