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Sew fabric hanging hearts with cross-stitched Dala horses this Christmas

What you need...
  • Fabric: evenweave, 18 count, cream; linen, 28 count, pastel yellow; Aida, 14 count, white; cotton for backing
    Thread, stranded, DMC
    Toy stuffing, polyester
    Embellishments: buttons, assorted; ribbon, gingham, red; cord, blue, red, white; bakers twine, blue and white; bells, aqua, silver
    Tape, double-sided
    Tapestry needle, size 26
  1. Blue Horse - 1 Cut cream evenweave fabric, 13cm square, and fold into four to find the centre. Begin stitching here from the centre of the provided chart for the blue horse. Sew over two threads of fabric, using three strands of cotton for the cross-stitch and two strands for the backstitch and outlining.

    2 Use two strands of pink cotton and a French knot for the eye. Dot a few stars around the horse using Algerian eye stitch and one strand of cotton. Place backing fabric onto the cross-stitch, right sides together. Draw a large heart on the back of the cross-stitch, then sew round the shape.

    3 Trim the seams and carefully cut a slit in the centre of the backing fabric for turning. Turn out and press. Fill firmly with toy stuffing and sew up the gap neatly. Stitch red and blue twisted cord
    around the edge of the heart. Do this by cutting six strands of cotton in two colours, three times longer than the length you need for the cord. Knot together at both ends and, holding threads taut, plait them. Bring the two knotted ends together to allow the cord to form and gently ease it so it's even. Knot the ends and trim. Add a red spotty button to the top-right of the heart, then sew gingham ribbon and a red heart button at the top for hanging.

  2. Red Horse - 1 Cut two squares from pastel yellow linen, 8cm. Fold one in half to find the centre, then begin stitching here from the middle of the chart for the red horse. Sew over two threads of linen using two strands of cotton for the cross-stitch and one for the backstitch. Sew the eye using one strand and a French knot.

    2 Place the cross-stitch right sides together with the other square, then draw a small heart so that the horse motif is in the centre. Sew round the whole heart and trim the seams. Make a small slit in the centre of the back, turn out and press.

    3 Stuff the heart and sew the back closed. Stitch red and white twisted cord around the outside. Thread green and white bakers twine through the top of the heart and tie in a knot to secure, then add a small silver bell at the base. Sew an aqua bell to the bottom of the heart.

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