UK crafters are being asked to make pairs of hearts to help Coronavirus patients in hospital stay connected with their loved ones at home. Due to social distancing, hospital visiting is severely restricted at the moment, but NHS workers have come up with a sweet way to bring families together when they've been separated by the virus. One heart is given to the patient on admission and the other to a family member, partner or friend. They can then hold the hearts during phone and online chats as a way of connecting with each other.


The hearts for hospitals campaign is spreading around the country as more NHS trusts request the hearts and more crafters join in with donations. Below are some of the hospitals currently looking for handmade hearts:

We'd love to see your handmade hearts! Share your pictures with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags for the appeal you're donating to and tagging us #helpinghearts and #gatheredmakers to see what other crafters are making. For more free projects and inspiration sign-up to our newsletter.

Main image: Happy Hearts by Jane Burns for Simply Knitting magazine

3 ways to make hearts for hospitals

If you'd like to take part and make hearts for the NHS we have three free patterns that you can use. Our knitted, crocheted and sewn patterns are suitable for beginners and can be made with supplies you already have at home.

Before starting your project, make sure you check the requirements of the appeal you are donating to, as they may have specific guidelines that you need to follow. You may also be asked to include the date the heart was made so it can be quarantined before being passed on to reduce any risk of infection.

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Free heart knitting pattern

We love this simple stocking stitch pattern from Jane Burns – it's so quick and easy to knit you'll soon have a pile of hearts ready to donate! Just dig out some DK-weight yarn from your craft cupboard and you're ready to go… Cast on this knitted heart pattern.

Knitted heart pattern
Cast on Jane Burns' knitted heart for a hospital near you.

Crochet heart pattern

Ilaria Caliri's amigurumi balloon heart is just adorable, and it's quick to crochet in whatever yarn you have available, so get searching in your stash for some colourful scraps! If you're a crochet newbie, check out our crochet for beginners guide for tips and tricks to get you started. Make a crochet heart for charity.

Whip up a handful of Ilaria Caliri's sweet crochet hearts.

Sewing heart pattern

Put those offcuts to good use with Judith Dahmen's pretty heart sewing pattern. This super-simple design is perfect for beginners, and if you don't know how to use a sewing machine it's easy to make by hand too! Sew your own fabric heart.

How to make fabric heart decorationsjpg
Use up your fabric scraps to sew these hanging hearts by Judith Dahmen.

Charity craft ideas

Got the charity crafting bug and want to do more? Here are some great makes you can donate to good causes!
how to crochet a poppy


Sarah WinsperDigital Assistant, Simply Knitting and The Knitter

As well as spending her working life thinking about yarn, Sarah designs knitting patterns in her spare time, too!

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