Patriotic Denim Heart

When I get a hole in the knee of my jeans, I move them from my Wear-in-Public pile to my Only-While-Gardening pile. When I get a hole anywhere north of the knee, I see what I can salvage for a craft. Today's project, a flag-inspired stuffed heart, uses a leg. 

I worked on this for a few minutes here and there over about a week, never spending more than 10 minutes at a time. While it's not my usual style, I like the rustic, handmade look for this project. Embrace imperfection, right?! Affiliate links below. 

Patriotic Denim Heart



Make a heart pattern on scratch paper. When you are happy with your pattern, pin it directly to a pant leg, making sure the side seam is out of the way. Cut out the heart. You will have two identical pieces with their right sides already facing out. Do not separate the pieces. Add Wonder Clips around the outside so that they don't shift. 

Cut the hem off the denim pant leg and set it aside. 

Thread a needle with all six strands of red embroidery floss. Remove the clips closest to the point of the heart, leaving the ones nearer the top in place. Flip the back piece of denim backward so it is out of the way. Starting at the point of the heart, use a backstitch to sew a horizontal stripe through ONE piece of denim. Leave a tiny seam allowance on each side of the stripe. Continue moving up the heart until you have red stripes that go from one side to the other on the bottom half of the heart. I have four stripes, but the number you have will depend on the size of your heart and how close together you sew them. If you want it to be flag-accurate, make three stripes. I was winging it; if you want to plan ahead or don't trust that you can sew in a straight-ish line, you can use tailor's chalk pencils to draw guidelines.  

 Here, I'm finishing up my final full-length red stripe. 

Start the next red stripe in the middle of the heart and continue to the right edge. Do the same for the remaining red stripes. As you can see, I left clips on the upper left. You can also see the hem that I cut to length. I eventually pulled out the gold thread since it didn't go with my project. 

Next, using all six strands of white embroidery floss, sew a white stripe between each pair of red stripes. 

Move the clips to the right side. Still using all six strands of the white embroidery floss, sew French knots in the blue field. I ended up with 18 instead of the actual 50 on the flag. (Fun fact: The 18th state is Louisiana, which we visited in 2019.) 

Move the clips back to the left. Fold the hanger (hem) in half and place it at the top between the layers. Thread the needle with blue, then backstitch through all the layers to secure it in place. When the hanger is secure, switch to a whip stitch and sew clockwise around the edge of the heart. Stop at the top row of white stars. Stuff the heart with fiber fill, pushing it into the point.  

Sew the opening closed by continuing the whip stitch until you reach the hanger. Switch back to the backstitch and sew across the hanger once more to reinforce it. 

The edges of the heart will naturally fray. If it's unevenly frayed, you can trim the too-frayed areas or scratch at the not-frayed-enough areas. Have fun sewing!


  1. Cute. Fun fact: This girl doesn't wear jeans.

    1. I probably wouldn't either, if I lived somewhere hot and humid.


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