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Valentine’s Day. The day we celebrate all matters of the heart: love, kindness, hope, and the hunger of the undead. This year decorate for the big day with that oft-forgotten sort of love: the longings of a flesh-starved zombie! Make this garland in festive felt and hang it up anywhere. We can’t say where you’d like to hang it - but draping it over your desk at work, or along the doorway to welcome your true love to dinner sound just perfect for this heart-felt holiday. Here’s our step-by-step guide to make your own!

 

First, gather your materials:

 

• Felt sheets in red or pink

• Paint in greens and browns

• Glitter or glitter-glue

• Thin cardboard

• Permanent marker

• Sharp scissors

• Yarn

• Embroidery needle

• Paint brush

 

 

Make your heart templates. Now, the traditional heart is great, and the easiest way to make one is to fold a piece of scrap paper in half and draw a large “J” shape on it along the fold. When you cut it out and unfold it, it should look just like a standard Valentine’s Day heart! But if you want the truly gory, undead look, you’ll want an anatomical human heart. Once you’re happy with the heart you’ve drawn, trace it onto your cardboard and cut it out. This will be your template!

 

 

Pro-Tip for Drawing a Human Heart: Draw a simplified version like this - first, make a wide teardrop shape with the pointed end downward and to the right. Next draw the three major blood vessels at the top, all leaning to the right (these are the Superior Vena Cava, the Aorta, and the Pulmonary Artery. The Aorta is the fun one in the middle with three little arteries stemming from it. Science!)

 

 

 

Trace and cut out your felt hearts. Place your template on the felt and trace it with a permanent marker. Carefully cut out each heart with sharp scissors, making sure to trim cleanly around the points and corners of each piece. Pro-tip: Use a marker that’s close to the color of your felt, and flip your anatomical heart template over before tracing it. That way any stray marks will be on the back (or ‘wrong side’) of your project.

 

 

Paint your hearts for undead flavor (and sparkle). Grab your paints and pour a little of each onto a piece of cardboard. Using a dry paint brush, dab a small amount of each color on the edges of each heart, moving from the outside in. The more irregular and mottled the hearts look, the better! After the first coat of paint dries, feel free to add a second layer of color and a dash of glitter glue for festive sparkle.

 

 

Pro-tip: Want to make a few hearts extra special? Cut out some bite marks at random intervals. Remember: a well-chewed heart is a well-loved heart.

 

 

Thread your hearts to form a garland. Using your embroidery needle, thread yarn through each heart from back to front, then front to back. Slide each of the hearts down the yarn as you thread it on, leaving a few inches of space them as you go.

 

 

After you’ve threaded all your hearts on the yarn, tie a loop on each end to fasten it off and make it easy to hang.

 

 

Hang up your lovely, partially-eaten hearts, and you’re ready to celebrate the most sanguine day of the year!


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Margaret Dunham

Margaret’s earliest memory is trying to get a plastic Playskool car up to 88 miles per hour. She lives in a beautiful DIY fortress about a stone’s throw from Peter Parker’s old digs in Queens. By day she writes full time for the City of New York and local nonprofit heroes; by night she spends her time crafting, writing, and kung fu fighting. Read all about it on her site The Fearless Gluestick.