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Candy conversation hearts are all the rage around Valentine’s Day, but with a few scraps of felt and embroidery floss you can make some of your own that have your sentiments on them and can be used year after year.

Materials list

Variety of 9-by 12-inch felt squares or scraps

Heart-shaped template or cookie cutter

Coordinating embroidery floss

Embroidery needle

Straight scissors

Pinking shears

Pen or pencil

Instructions

Trace template for hearts: Using a pen or pencil and your template, trace two hearts onto the felt for every mini-conversation heart you wish to make.

Felt heart-stitched messages: Cut the hearts out using pinking shears while removing the pen or pencil lines. Lightly pencil on a sentiment and stitch it on with three strands of embroidery floss using the back stitch. You may also just leave the hearts blank.

Stuff felt hearts: Using the running stitch, stitch two hearts together, stitching almost all the way around. Stop and stuff it with bits of cut up felt. Once it’s stuffed, finish stitching it closed.

Now, here are some ideas on how to use them.

Lay a few where your sweetie puts their watch and rings for bedtime to surprise them.

Send a couple in your child’s lunch bag on the big day…or any day you want to tell them you love them. (My son is 14…FYI, don’t do that at this age…)

Place them on or sprinkle them around the dinner table during the season.

Sprinkle them on the bed as a sweet surprise for your valentine.

Toss one or two in a briefcase or coat pocket so your loved ones can make the discovery while they are away from you.

Matte and frame in a shadow box to be brought out year after year.

Sew a safety pin to the back and pin them on your purse, coat or a scarf.

Ribbons could be sewn on to the hearts and they could be hung from a chandelier, strung like a garland over the fireplace or across a headboard or mirror, or skip the ribbons completely and just pile the hearts into glass jars or bowls.

Use your imagination and I’m sure you’ll think of so many wonderful places to hide them to surprise your special valentine.

Shari

Shari Hiller and Matt Fox are best-known for HGTV’s “Room by Room.” They now host the PBS television series “Around the House with Matt and Shari.” Visit them on their website mattandshari.com.

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