artworkDIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: scandinavian-inspired wooden heart

by Kate Pruitt

Every once in a while, I like to try out DIY projects that are very simple, almost too simple: few materials, even fewer steps and no big requirements for effort or money. There’s a time and a place for a massive, complex DIY, but right now, when it’s rainy and everyone I know is catching colds and sniffles, I want something I can polish off in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea and watch a couple old episodes of 30 Rock . . . man, that first season was good!

This simple balsa-wood heart is inspired by the minimalist, nature-inspired interiors I’ve been admiring lately, like the ones I imagine Kim Krans of The Wild Unknown might possess. This heart is so, so easy to make and very versatile for display around the home. Stick it to a wall, hang it in a corner, prop it on a shelf — it’s pretty easy to make use of it. I hope you have as much fun with it as I did. Enjoy! — Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • two balsa-wood strips (1/32″ x 2″ x 35″)
  • wood stain
  • foam brush for staining
  • hot-glue gun
  • scissors


1. Remove stickers and any sticky residue from the balsa strips and stain one side of each strip. Be careful not to let any stain drip over the edges or get on the other side of the wood, and leave the strips in a well-ventilated place until the stain is completely dry.

Note: You’ll notice that in my process shots, the wood is not stained. This is because I decided to stain at the end, so I could see what the heart looked like completely untreated. If you are sure you want to stain, it’s best to do this step before assembly; however, if you want to wait to make the decision, it is relatively easy to stain the interior of the heart once you’ve assembled it.

2. Take one strip and gently pull one edge until it overlaps the other edge, forming a teardrop shape out of the strip. You want the edges to be almost exactly perpendicular to each other when they overlap, but then pushed to a slightly more acute angle, as you can see here. Put a big dab of hot glue between the edges, then press firmly and hold until the glue sets. Repeat with the second strip.

3. Once both strips are in identical teardrop shapes, hold them so that their bases overlap (similar to the way you assembled the strips in step 2). The right side of the left teardrop and the left side of the right teardrop should overlap each other and form a straight line until the shapes begin to curve away, forming a heart shape.

4. While holding the heart shape in place, put a dab of hot glue between the two bases and pinch firmly while the glue sets. Now your heart shape is firmly adhered and cannot be adjusted.

5. Snip off the overlapping edges with a sharp pair of scissors to clean up the bottom edge of the heart shape. If they fray a bit, you can easily clean up the edges with a fine-grit sandpaper.

6. Now your heart is ready to hang or prop up for display. The piece is so lightweight that you can attach it to a wall with adhesive or sticky glue dots, but if you wish to make the display more permanent, you can use a very tiny tack or nail through the base to hold it in place. You can also hang the heart or prop it up on a tabletop or shelf for a simple, modern display.


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