DIYdiy projects

DIY Heart on Your Sleeve

by Grace Bonney

Today has been a full-on explosion of heart-related projects, so I’m happy to wrap up the day with one I’ve been dreaming of for almost a year now. At last year’s Gift Fair, Amy and I saw these incredible Woolfiller kits at the Sweet Bella booth. Perfect for patching holes in wool garments, they’re an ideal base material for about a million great DIYs. So when I started planning something for Valentine’s Day, I knew I wanted to find a project that would let me use this kit to play with the idea of wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Last week I headed into the city to pick up one of these Woolfiller kits at Top Hat (Sweet Bella’s retail location). Each kit comes with all the tools you need and a great selection of pink, purple and peach colors. Using a simple heart stencil (I also tried a heart-shaped cookie cutter), I added colorful little heart patches onto a selection of inexpensive wool sweaters I picked up at the thrift store. The result was an array of hearts, not just on my sleeve, by on my elbows, back and shoulder. This would be the sweetest way to surprise someone you love — you’re not just mending a hole in their clothing, but also adding a little something special. The best part is that you don’t need any sewing skills. You’ll literally just be jabbing at the material with a needle, so it’s a quick and easy project to do after dinner one night. I made all of these while watching a movie and can’t wait to add another little heart to something else. (PS: I filmed a few quick video segments of me making this so you could understand the process. I found that the written instructions in the kit didn’t help as much as I’d like.) xo, grace

DIY Heart on Your Sleeve

Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Cost: Kit is $18.50


  • Woolfiller Kit (You can purchase here, call here or order internationally here.)
  • wool sweater/hat/gloves (or anything wool you want to patch/decorate)
  • heart stencil or heart-shaped cookie cutter (I used this stencil.)
  • Instructions

    1. Turn your garment inside out. Place the foam square under the garment where you’ll be putting your patch.

    2. Place a small, even patch of Woolfiller on top of the hole or over the section you’d like to cover.

    3. Lay your stencil on top of the Woolfiller patch. With the felting needles provided in the kit, jab into the fabric (over and over and over) inside the stencil until you’ve flattened out the Woolfiller patch.

    4. Flip your garment right side out, and you should see a good outline of the heart shape. Using that shape as a guideline, add smaller (thin) pieces of wool on top, inside of the heart shape. Using your needle, jab these pieces into place until you’ve got a solid shape on both sides. You can continue jabbing the needles into the wool if you want the shape to be flatter.

    (See the video below for a visual explanation. This step was hard for me to figure out when I tried this myself, so I wanted to explain it more clearly.)

    5. When you’re finished, flip the garment inside out and cut off any excess pieces of material with scissors.

    6. To wash, wash by hand or dry clean. The fibers won’t come out :)

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    • This is so cute! I remember seeing something similar floating around the pinterest world a while back, with flted hearts as elbow patches, but I love the idea of making small little details randomly placed here and there. And just think of all the other shapes you could use!

    • I love this idea! I’ll definitely give this a try, maybe even on some of my new knitting projects!

    • thank you for sharing this. I mean, now i can actually keep my sweaters. I cant wait to try this.

    • What a great way to patch holes in otherwise good sweaters. I have a couple that could use a patch!

    • ya know, i’ve needle felted stuff before and never thought about patching a hole in a wool garment with that process. literally, just the other day i tried on a knitted silk/wool skirt that i haven’t worn in ages and there were 2 tiny holes in the back…the location of the holes wouldn’t be good for a patch/applique……but…using a similar color wool as the skirt, and doing what you did, could make the skirt wearable again. thank you! p.s. the hearts are your sleeves are very cool!

    • Hmm… my favorite gloves just burst open on one thumb… now you’ve got me wondering if I can somehow felt them back together!

    • there have been bunches of cute yarn / wool /etc. projects lately, but as there isn’t really just a suggestion forum, i’m missing a lot of the great building and furniture posts. don’t get me wrong, i’m incredibly impressed by my many friends who knit and things i’ve seen on the site, but between the knitting and cat posts… maybe a little “crazy old cat lady”

    • I have a kit, and have been casting about for ways to put a heart somewhere . . . Thanks so much for this sweet design!

    • Brilliant! As someone who has darned her thick woollen socks for twenty years but never felt that the darning was artistic enough to display, this is a fabulous way to salvage woollens where the repair will be visible, like those worn elbows on my favourite sweaters. Thanks, Grace!

    • I did something very similar with my boyfriend’s hoodie in high school. I stitched a red heart in the shoulder, but made it ver small so he could still feel masculine wearing it. Totally got the idea from the Gossip Girl books. Its such a cute idea :)

    • oooh! i have a couple cashmere sweaters that have holes that I was so sad about. thank you for sharing!!

    • Lovely tut, Grace and it is very cute, but you look adorable! We haven’t seen you for a while here on the blog and you look fantastic!

    • You can felt on fabrics other than wool sweaters and you can use other fibers to felt with as well. I felt a lot of decor stuff but not on my clothes. I have a pair of knit gloves that are soooo ugly…now I know how to make them look much better and I already have what I need to do it. Thanks Grace!

    • This was so incredibly easy! I went to my local yarn shop, paid $1 for the needle, and 75 cents per 1/4 ounce of colored wool (which is actually a lot of wool, considering how little you use). The most expensive item was the foam block at $8 but it’s big enough to do large patterns if I wanted to. I started with a couple dots at the back of my sweater’s neck for practice. They look so cute! Definitely will be doing more of this.

    • Cute idea! What happens to the pattern and fiber when you wash the sweater? Do the colours bleed? Does the wool felt?