This woven coat hanger heart craft is another creative way to show your neighbours, community and city some love during difficult times without having to leave your home.
With a coat hanger, yarn and some basic weaving skills, kids can weave these coat hanger hearts to hang in the front yard or in a window to send a message of hope and love to friends, neighbours and your community.
Several months ago, I had the idea to do a coat hanger weaving project with my daycare kids, but somehow, we never got around to doing it.
Last week, although the kids can’t craft with me right now, it occurred to me that this would be a wonderful time to tackle this project.
I was inspired by the the creative acts of kindness people are doing from home during this time of self-isolation and social distancing. When I’m out for my evening walk, I’ve seen rocks painted with words of encouragement on the curbside for people to help themselves to. Teddy bears are displayed in windows so neighbourhood kids can participate in a community bear hunt, and inspirational messages written on sidewalks or displayed on homemade signs on front doors and windows.
My plan to do some coat hanger weaving gave me another creative idea: I shaped some hangers into heart shaped weaving looms, and I made these colourful woven hearts to hang in our front yard to send a message of hope and encouragement to people walking or driving by.
This was a fun project and quite therapeutic. It’s a great way for kids to put their weaving skills to good use and another way for families to safely share some love and positivity with the outside world at a time when it’s very much needed.
Two versions for different skill levels
Two of my hearts truly woven, so they’re perfect for older kids with advanced fine-motor skills, and one heart is simply wrapped with yarn, which is perfect for younger children who haven’t learned to weave.
To learn to weave, see our beginning weaving project here.
Bonus: the woven hearts do take a few hours to weave, so they’ll keep your kids entertained for a nice long spell.
What You’ll Need:
To make our woven coat hanger hearts, you’ll need:
- wire coat hanger
- plastic sewing needle
How to Weave a Coat Hanger Heart
- Shape coat hanger into a heart:
Hold the coat hanger by the hook and pull down on the bottom/center of the hanger to form the bottom point of your heart.
Next, bend the sides of the hanger to soften them into a rounded curve.
Finally, push the hook part of the coat hanger down towards the bottom point and then use both hands to bend and shape the two top bumps of your heart.
Make any final tweaks to the height and width of your heart by pushing/pulling the hook up or down.
- Wrap the hanger:
Before weaving, you will need to wrap your coat hanger with yarn (a thick yarn works best) to prevent your weaving from slipping around. This will create some “grip” as well as some little grooves for the warp threads to sit in.
Tie a long length of yarn to the base of the hook of the hanger. Wrap the yarn around and around the hanger, leaving a small gap between each wrap. Do this all the way around the hanger, and knot to secure when you get back to the hook.
Note: You can wrap the hook of the hanger at this point, or you can do that in the next step when you’re adding your warp threads.
- Add your warp threads:
Warp threads are the strings that you weave across. Adding these is called “warping your loom”.
To warp your coat hanger loom, tie a long piece of yarn to the top of your coat hanger heart. Wrap this yarn around the hanger from top to bottom leaving small gaps between each pass until you’ve wrapped from one end of the hanger to the other. With each pass, let the yarn rest in between the gaps of yarn that you initially wrapped the hanger with.
- Time to weave:
To weave, thread a plastic sewing needle with a long length of yarn and begin weaving in and out of the warp threads, back and forth across the heart. Every once in a while, gently push your weaving down the warp threads to close in any gaps.
To change colours while weaving, just snip your yarn, tie on another colour and continue weaving.
When you reach the end of your weaving, tie off your yarn and weave any loose ends into the back of the heart.
Hang your woven heart:
Now, hang your woven “Heart of Hope” in a tree or window or on a porch or balcony, or anywhere that it will be seen by people passing by.
What a beautiful and creative way to send a message of love to friends, neighbours and members of your community.
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Print off our checklist of 100 Fun Things for Kids to Do at Home. Stick it on your fridge, and they’ll never be bored again!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.