You will need:
A piece of cement board, tile backer board, or drywall (determines the dimensions of the final piece)
A piece of coarse screen 1/4" or larger mess
A piece of aluminum sheet (I used anodized roof flashing... inside of an aluminum can would work)
Putty Knife or Spatula to spread drywall compound
Latex Paint (black or dark brown
Spray Adhesive (other glues may work)
Drywall patching compound (mud)
Step 1: Cut the board to size
Use a utility knife to score the cement board, then break it off over the edge of a table.
Step 2: Cut out your hearts
Cut a smaller heart shape out of the aluminum. Be careful for the very sharp edges.
Step 3: Cover the board
Keep the back fairly clean and place the buttered board on your worksurface.
NOTE: The compound or "mud" can be smoothed or left rough as desired. Thicker layering may produce interesting cracks when dry.
Step 4: Place the hearts
Step 5: Paint it
You can experiment with some dryer brush strokes or thin the paint with water, but I like the look of the solid full coat. Since this is basically un-primed drywall, I had to give mine two solid coats.
Step 6: Clean your heart
I am using a moistened Q-tip here but tissue, paper towel, fingers, tooth picks..... all good.