Do you adore the look of tied hearts? Here’s a rustic version using twine or rope. Read on to see how to make a rope heart like this one.
Also, see the video tutorial at the end of the post. It shows how I made the heart in the cake decor on this rustic wedding cake. But you can use the same technique for any wedding decor or home decorations.
What You Will Need to Make a Heart Knot
For the heart itself, you need ¼” sisal or other rustic rope and Matte Mod Podge.
Separate the rope into strands (mine had three intertwined). I used a single strand to make the smaller hearts and two to make the larger ones plus to secure the ends.
If you are putting the heart on a cake and adding burlap ribbon (like in the cake tutorial) you will also need:
- Natural Burlap
- Burlap ribbon
- Wax paper
- Heavy books or something else to weigh the hearts down while the glue is drying.
How to Make a Rope Heart, Step by Step
You will use the same same technique to make different size hearts. The difference is you use a single strand of sisal or small lightweight for the little heart and double-strand for larger hearts.
What we are doing is creating a Celtic or trinity knot, which has three lobes. Usually, this knot is round, but we are going to shape it, so the three nodes create a heart.
Let me tell you something before we get started—I am not crafty and I can do this. It took me some practice, and, still, there’s always a point where my hearts seem like total failures. But they work out. So you can do it even if you are not so good at this kind of thing.
Step 1 – Make the First Two Lobes of the Heart
Make sure you have plenty of rope to work with (you can always cut the excess off later). Then make a loop, being sure the short-tailed end is under at the point the rope crosses itself.
FYI, that crossing point where my finger is in the photo, will be where one of the top humps in the heart ends up.
You will now make the second lobe. Use the long tail to weave under the bottom part of the loop and over the top section.
Pull the rope through to create a second loop (“lobe two”) about the size of the first (“lobe one”). This second lobe will become the bottom point of the heart.
Assure the tail lies over the upper part of the original circle.
Step 2 – Start the Third Lobe of the Heart
Steps two and three together will be the third lobe. In step two, come back down through the two lobes you made in step one.
Do this with a 3-part weave:
(2.1) over the top of loop one,
(2.2) under the bottom half of that same loop, and
(2.3) over the bottom of loop two.
Step 3 – Finish the Third Lobe of the Heart
To finish the final lobe, weave back up through the knot, bottom to top:
(3.1) under loop two,
(3.2) over loop one,
(3.3) under the upper portion of loop one, and
(3.4) over the upper portion of loop two.
The point where the tail comes out after completing (3.4) is where the second top hump of your heart will be.
Step 4 – Tighten the Loops
Begin gradually tightening by working the excess slack out through the two tails. You may think your knot is a big disaster at this point. But do not fear.
Keep going! Some parts will need some loosening, and others will need tightening to form the right shape.
Step 5 – Shape the Heart
When you have the knot sized to your liking, craft it into a heart by pinching the lobes into semi-points. Cut off the excess rope and glue the raw ends with Mod Podge or other clear-drying adhesive.
If you are making the hearts as part of cake or wedding decor, continue on and use the heart in your project. If not, congratulations, you are finished!
Making the Hearts Food-Friendly
As you probably noticed, your heart is see-through. If you are using it on a similar-colored ribbon or for other purposes, this may not matter to you.
If, however, you are placing the heart on a cake, centerpiece, or another decor, it will look more beautiful with a backing. To apply a background, cut natural burlap in a heart shape. Use the heart you just made as a pattern, then secure with Mod Podge.
It may have crossed your mind that rope and burlap on a cake are unsanitary. You are correct.
The solution is to cover the surfaces that will touch the icing with wax paper. It provides a barrier, so nothing unsavory transfers to the cake.
Just cut the wax paper in the shape of your decoration’s footprint and either place on the cake or glue to decor with Mod Podge.
Adhering Hearts to Ribbon and Attaching to Cake
I decorated the top tier of the rustic wedding cake with a burlap ribbon holding a single small heart. The bottom layer has a ribbon with eight little, evenly-spaced hearts.
I also glued a single strand of sisal along the top edge of each ribbon. To make sure everything dries flat, place heavy books or other items on the hearts and ribbon while the Mod Podge or glue dries.
When you are ready to decorate the cake, use straight pins to secure in place (Note, be sure to tell whoever is cutting the cake about them, so no one gets hurt).
Rope Heart DIY Video Tutorial
The tutorial showing how I made the heart decorations for the cake is below. The procedure is the same as above.
But the steps are a little different. To make it easier, here are timestamps to the place in the video corresponding to each step in this written tutorial.
2:55 Make the first loop
3:12 Make the second loop
3:30 Start the third loop
3:48 Finish the third loop
4:08 Tighten the knot
4:40 Shape into a heart