Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the kids

By Lisa Martin

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the kids and help the little cupids create clever notes and nifty containers to store them in.

Odds are you already have an abundance of raw materials around your home to turn into a fun, festive holder for those declarations of love. Decorate cereal boxes, Chinese takeout or ice cream cartons, tissue boxes, oatmeal cylinders, and all manner of metal cans with wrapping or butcher paper, stickers, paint, fabric, ribbons, wallpaper scraps, and more.

Itching to try a project that’s a bit more ambitious? Behold these darling creations you can tackle with your tots!

Papier-mâché heart box

As a crafty mom and the founder of the Art Projects for Kids site, Kathy Barbro starts with inexpensive modeling clay that the children form into “plump, round hearts.” From there, she instructs:

  • Wrap each heart completely in plastic wrap.
  • Cover the heart with two layers of papier-mâché.
  • Leave to dry—typically a few days.
  • An adult should cut around the edges of the dried papier-mâché with a utility knife. “The kids have such fun opening up the heart and removing the plastic-wrapped clay,” Barbro says.
  • Paint the papier-mâché surfaces with acrylic paint.
  • Coat with Mod Podge® or spray with a clear acrylic sealer.

Valentines card container

Budding architects will take to constructing little valentines card containers from ice cream or craft sticks. Their imaginations might churn out anything from a castle to a fortress or sweet shop!

All you do is:

  • Line up a dozen ice cream sticks.
  • Glue three sticks crosswise to hold them in place.
  • Make the sides by interlocking seven rows of sticks.
  • Glue the insides of the corners together and let dry.

For complete step-by-step instructions on how to finish the top and bottom of the box, go here.

Unique valentines

Now that you’ve crafted a cool container, it’s time to make unique cards with the kids!

The artsy maven at Then She Made… offers some quirky riffs on store-bought sentiments.

“If you’ve got some guitar players in your family like I do, the guitar pick valentine might just be the perfect thing,” blogs Amy. She took a pair of sharp scissors to a pick, cut a tiny notch out of the top and voilà: an especially artful expression of affection.

She also fixes small, heart-shaped mazes (think birthday party favors) to cardstock. The result: a fun, inexpensive, action-packed card.

Crafty crayon project

Old crayons live life anew as especially artsy expressions, a project courtesy of Ellen Luckett Baker, author of 1, 2, 3 Sew: Build Your Skills with 33 Simple Projects.

Simply remove the paper wrapper around old crayons (brighter colors work best), arrange them in a heart-shaped muffin tin and melt in the oven at 275 degrees for about eight minutes. Let them cool and pop them out of the molds. Tape them to a card or put them in a cellophane bag with ribbon for a fun twist!

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One Comment

  1. Alvin
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Wonderful Article.

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