Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Craft

Before we get too much closer to the day, I will share my Valentine's Day craft/gift. It's great for kids of all ages. My mom had us make these growing up and we'd give them to our teachers and friends at school. Since this was the first year Will has to give out Valentine's at school I figured I should break out the old craft and let him enjoy it.

This is a simple weaved heart which can hold a little something for your Valentine. When I made them as a younger person, we would use felt. For this demonstration I used cardstock. Foam paper will also work. And if you want to use construction paper or fabric, be my guest!

  • Paper/fabric/felt/foam in different colors of your choice (I usually stick with reds, whites, pinks, purples, greys, and black)
  • scissors
  • something hard or stiff for your template (cardstock, cardboard)
  • stickers, glitter, sequins, lace, fake flowers and other items to decorate with
  • stapler, glue or hot glue gun
  • ribbon
  • candy
I started out by creating a template on my computer. A straightened oval with rounded ends (what the heck is this shape really called?!). In the center are three lines equally spaced. You can make them larger or smaller, but I find fitting 2 to a standard size 8.5x11 paper works best. Then I printed this template out on cardstock.

Cut out your template. If you're using a type of paper you can just repeatedly print out your template to cut out. Otherwise cut our your template then trace onto your paper, felt, etc. and choose which colors you are going to pair together.

I went with a purple and very pale pink
Fold your material (paper) in half and cut along the three lines. Repeat with second piece.

Since I don't like my ink or print to show, I fold my material so that those markings face in.

Now... for the weaving. Sadly, my photo was not very clear in explaining:

You take one strip and place it IN the other color strip. On the next weave, do the opposite. So my purple is INSIDE the first pink strip and then the second pink strip is INSDIE the purple strip. Repeat this, alternating the pattern. With paper and cardstock be careful not to rip your pieces. Felt is much more flexible and forgiving. There really is no special trick to making this easier. Try different ways and find what works best for you.

When you are finished weaving your heart should resemble this:
the outside

the inside

And here is where the fun part comes in. DECORATE! Since I was doing this with my son we did not go overboard. I kept it simple with stickers, glitter glue, and sequins. I used to make mine with lace around the edges, fake flowers to adorn, sequins, buttons, beads. Nothing is off limits. Be creative! And if you want to make them REALLY special, you can sew on some of your items.

Using ribbon of your choice, cut a 4-5 inch piece. I just guesstimate this part. Loop it together as shown in the picture below.

Staple, glue or somehow secure this ribbon to the inside back of your heart to make a simple handle.

Now for more fun: Fill with candy of your choice!

Once that is finished close up and secure your heart however you want. Since I was doing this for pre-schoolers I just used staples. You can glue if you want... or be more fancy using velcro or sewing closures. It is ready to give to your Valentine!

Here is a selection of color variations. I usually use the black, grey, or white with a color to give to boys. Somethimes they are a bit squeamish about getting something pink. I also realized, this would be a cute gift for wedding receptions. Use their wedding colors and you can even get the bride & groom names's written or printed on the top part of the heart and have the date in the squares. Cute, huh? Then guests can fill the heart with candy of their choice.

With the decorating feel free to be creative. The hearts closest in this photo are the ones my son decorated. My work is further up. His only job in this craft was the decorating... and for a 3 year old I think he did a pretty darn good job!

This is a quick example of undecorated felt hearts.

I hope you guys enjoy this craft and help create a fun Valentine's Day tradition!


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