It’s the time of the year when the shape of a heart makes its prolific comeback (although with a six-year-old girl at home, the heart shape is a pretty common part of daily life). Graphic symbols often carry with them deep histories (and controversies) over where the shape emerged.  This simple shape is no different. Apparently it is found in cave paintings dating as far back as 10,000 B.C.E.

Some believe that the shape was a simplification of the silhouette of the human heart; others believe that it was a sign used for a now-extinct plant called silphium, which was used as a form of birth-control—therefore becoming the sign of love.  Still others believe that the inverted heart symbolized the hanging scrotum —perhaps a stretch of the (over-active) imagination.

Wherever your beliefs land, it can’t be denied that the heart is possibly the most (over?) used symbol of our time. But then, why should that stop us?

Here is our version of the heart in stencil form:

Check back this week as we elaborate on all things love (and heart shaped), from Dr. Ruth to DIY Kits, and little girls’ valentines (to themselves).  “I love you. I love you. I love you,” she murmured as she gazed in the mirror.

Should we all find such self-love in these next two weeks… and for the rest of our lives.

P.S.: Heart rocks above were carefully selected from Natalie and Maggie’s collection.

10 comments on “THE SHAPE OF THE HEART

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  1. Pavitra

    Natalie, thank you for your generosity in sharing your lovely stencil….can’t wait to use it…love you for what you gave me – the ability to conquer my fear of hand-sewing using your lovely books….

      1. Donna

        I too love the plant bleeding hearts. Every time I hear the phrase “bleeding heart liberal”, I think of it. I can’t wait to see what you do with the stencil.

    1. Alabama Post author


      Yes, most of our stencils are large. Our team is checking on the PDF but it seems to be working from our end. We often use a local print shop to print-out our larger stencil artwork. We have found that a 36″ x 48″ stencil only costs about $3.00 to print. Saving us hours of tiling and taping back together again. Let us know if you continue to have issues.


    2. Alabama Post author

      Hi Grace,

      I checked the Heart Stencil and it downloaded for me. If you would like to email me at studio (at), I can email you the PDF of the stencil. Hope this helps.


      1. Grace

        Thank you Natalie and Erin! I was able to download it and open it, but I think the size is making my (old) computer unhappy. I haven’t had this issue with any of your other stencils, but no worries. I will take your advise and have it printed at a local copy shop. It really is gorgeous. Thank you again for sharing it with us!