Process Art Fun: Layered Hearts Sewing Project


Give yourself an open-ended, process art project by gathering some materials to make decorated, layered hearts. This is a great project for adults and kids and can be done with other shapes, too, or no shapes at all. Affiliate links included for your convenience.

Fun with Process Art

Sometimes I feel like we get so wrapped up in the finished product of a craft project.

At least I know I do.

process art hearts

You see a craft on Pinterest or have an idea for something you want to make and you have all these expectations that the thing will turn out as well or better than the model you have — whether it’s real or in your head.

But it seems like that rarely happens.

What we (or I, anyway) make usually falls short of the vision.

Which is why it’s a good idea sometimes to take the time to make something just for the sake of playful experimentation. To not really care exactly how it turns out.

You can call it process art or free art or just making for fun.

Whatever it is, I think we need more of it.

Process Art Layered Hearts

This project did actually start with a vision in my head of how I wanted it to be. I was going to take a bunch of fabrics and cut out heart shapes and sew them together and maybe embellish them in different ways and it was going to be super cute and fun.

And it was, but what I did wasn’t quite the same as what I imagined.

I decided that instead of allowing that initial vision to dictate what I did, I would just start making and see what happened.

I mostly used items that were in easy reach of my sewing machine or that were already in my office. When I couldn’t find what I “needed” I did something else.

I ended up making five hearts that are all pretty different, and most of them came out really well.

Of course how mine came out is not the point, but I show you mine so you can make your own free art hearts secure in the knowledge that there is no right or wrong way.

Process Art Heart Examples

sewing process art hearts

I started with a heart that I’d cut out for a different project and didn’t use. It’s the only heart I didn’t freehand cut (it was traced from a cookie cutter, I think).

I added a larger heart (cut from a cloth napkin that needed mending) and a smaller heart (leftovers from a dress I made the girl recently).

I used the sewing machine to try to sew around the hearts, but those curves are kind of tricky. And I added some beads in a flower shape.

felt process art heart

The second one is a piece of red felt I stitched around with metallic pink yarn. It’s glued to a fleece heart and the plastic bead is glued to it. (Fabric glue is the best invention ever.)

heart sewing project

Then I made another one with the help of the sewing machine. I pinked the edges of one of the hearts, stacked them together and did more of a freehand sewing on top to secure the layers.

It came out in kind of a heart shape, which was unintentional but I probably should have expected. It may be my favorite.

fleece heart valentine

The second white fleece one sat on my desk for days. I had glued on the red fabric strip (left over from the crocheted rug project) and intended to do beading on it, but I was very resistant to actually doing it.

So I wrote on it with a Sharpie instead, because the best projects are ones that get done, am I right?

sewn heart fail process art

Finally I tried to sew a tiny heart pillow. It did not go well.

And that’s OK! It was still fun to try.

And trying IS the whole point.

Make Your Own Process Art Heart Project

If you want to try this free art project at home (and I hope you do!) gather some scraps of fabric or paper, different embellishments like beads, markers, paint, etc., some scissors and glue and your sewing machine or hand-sewing supplies if you want to.

Then just start playing! See which fabrics or papers you think look good together. Try them.

Which ones would you never pair? Try that, too.

Add beads or buttons or draw something or write something. Use hole punchers to decorate or make a peek-through portion.

Do whatever you want.

Seriously.

And have fun!

I’d love to see your creations if you give this process art a try.

Are you more of a process person or a product person? Do you ever try to focus more on one or the other? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

process art layered heart project
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