CRAFT HEART CANDY POCKET VALENTINES

  

               

Grab your school-age kids and make these eye-catching see-through “sewing card”-style hearts filled with sweet treats to share the love on Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the stuff you’ll need for several heart pockets:

–Clear acetate (find by the sheet at art-supply stores or by the foot at hardware stores)

–4 1/2-inch-wide heart-shaped cookie cutter for a pattern, or draw and cut out same-size heart on poster board or heavy paper for a template

–hole punch

–yarn in reds and pinks, or red and white baker’s twine

–darning needle (or use a plastic lacing needle made for kids)

–small pieces of candy, such as conversation hearts or red hots

–red or pink construction paper for small heart tags

–glue or double-sided tape

Here’s the fun:

  1. Set the heart-shaped cookie cutter or template over two layers of the acetate. Draw the shape with a pen or marker. Cut out both layers, making sure they are identical pieces.
  2. Punch holes around the cut out acetate pieces 1/4 inch in from the edge and about 1/2 inch between each hole. Be sure that holes match up when pieces are together.
  3. Match the acetate pieces, and sew yarn or twine in and out of the holes beginning at the top left side of the heart. As you complete the stitching, leave an opening to fill the heart with candy, then finish the stitching through the final holes on the top right side. Use a whipstitch to make a very colorful heart pocket. A running stitch works, too.
  4. Tie the two loose ends of the yarn in a bow at the top of the heart.
  5. For a tag to hang from one end of the yarn, cut out two 1 1/2 inch construction paper hearts. Glue or tape them together sandwiched with the yarn. Write a little Valentine message to someone special.

Extra home-decorating idea:

Decorate your home for Valentine’s Day with the heart shapes by stuffing one or more with brightly colored thin tissue paper strips instead of candy. First, staple around the outside edge, spacing staples every 1/4 inch and leaving a 2 inch opening for stuffing. Stuff with strips in Valentine colors until the pocket is filled. Staple the opening shut, then staple a ribbon or string to the top of the heart shape for hanging.

When St. Patrick’s Day comes in March, and Easter in April, make and fill more shapes like shamrocks, eggs, etc., for charming home decor.

DECORATIVE PAPER STRIP HEARTS

 

 

 

The heart shape is a traditional and enduring symbol of love when celebrating Valentine’s Day. Why not display a beautiful heart with creativity in your home starting this week with this easy to make eye-catching version using easy to cut paper strips and a stapler? That’s all you need to make memories, while you craft lots of fun with your family.

Grab some pink, red and white construction paper or other colorful paper with or without designs that fits your vision for hearts, and enjoy this messless paper craft activity with your school-age kids. Your preschooler can also lend a hand, when you make it together.

Here’s the stuff you’ll need:

–3 sheets of construction paper in three different colors (I chose white, dark pink and a light shade of pink for these directions.)

–ruler

–pencil

–scissors

–paper cutter (optional)

–stapler

–glue (optional)

–thread or fishing line for hanging (optional)

 

Here’s the fun:

  1. For each heart with the colors I used, measure, mark with a pencil and cut with scissors or a paper cutter:

2 strips of white construction paper, 1 inch by 3 inches

2 strips of dark pink construction paper, 1 inch by 5 inches

2 strips of light pink construction paper, 1 inch by 7 inches

 

  1. Pile the 6 strips, starting with one white short strip, one dark-pink strip, two light pink strips, the second dark pink strip and end with the one short white strip on top. They should be evenly stacked up at one end. Carefully staple this 1-inch-wide stack about 1/4 inch from the even end.

  1. Bring the loose ends of the white strips away from the pile (and over the staple) to form a heart shape. Hold with one hand as you pull back the light pink strips and then the dark pink strips in the same manner.

Staple the six strips together near the pointed end of the heart.

Bend paper near the staple to spread out the sides.

If you make more, string several in different sizes vertically with fishing line and hang from a hook attached to the ceiling or by a window and watch it move freely with the air.

MARBLED PAPER EASTER EGGS

marbled egg
While the older kids are busy coloring Easter eggs, your preschoolers will enjoy this tactile and fun way to make marbled paper eggs using an unlikely art supply: shaving cream! When complete, enjoy the artsy egg-shaped designs as decor in your home. Make a large one to hang on a door, and cut out minis for a charming garland to display just about anywhere!

Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
–2-inch-by-4-inch piece of corrugated cardboard
–16 toothpicks
–9-inch-by-13-inch baking tray or pan with edges
–shaving cream
–liquid food coloring, poster paint or acrylic paint, diluted 1 part paint to 2 parts water
–heavy-duty white construction paper
–squeegee
–scissors, ribbon and craft supplies for decorating paper eggs

Here’s the fun:
First, make a tool for swirling the color. Poke ends of the toothpicks 1/4 inch apart into the gaps of one long side of the piece of corrugated cardboard. The toothpicks should fit snugly in the cardboard, to resemble a comb.

Spray shaving cream in the baking tray or pan. Kids will have fun playing with it as you guide them to level it out with their hands.

Drop two to three different colors of food coloring or diluted acrylic paint on top of the shaving cream. (When using paint, I use small spoons or an eyedropper saved for crafts when transferring paint to the shaving cream.) The tray should now be filled with blobs of irregular colorful polka dots.

Use the toothpick “comb” to make a few swirls down and across the paint. Aim to make the designs on the surface of the shaving cream rather than dragging the colors too deep. Your child might say with delight, “Hey, I’m combing shaving cream!”

Immediately set a sheet of paper on the design, bringing the left and right sides up slightly. Press gently all over the paper, then lift. Let set for a minute or two, then, using the squeegee, remove the shaving cream in one smooth motion into the sink to reveal a beautiful marbled design. Rinse the squeegee. Let paper dry completely.
Make more designs by adding more coloring or paint.

Cut marbled paper into a large Easter egg shape. Decorate with a few craft supplies if you wish. Punch a hole at the top and tie a string for hanging. Or, make small egg shapes and glue to a long string or ribbon for a springtime garland.

Note: Remind young children that although the shaving cream may look like whipping cream, it is not edible.

MAKE A DECORATIVE PAPER STRIP SHAMROCK

Shamrock

For those of us who don’t claim Ireland in our lineage, it’s a stretch to dance a jig, much less remember to wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. No wonder I was pleased when I shared a photo of this paper strip shamrock craft idea with my neighbor and received a reply, “Your shamrock warms my Irish heart!”
The shamrock has traditionally been the national emblem of Ireland, so why not display it with creativity as a sign not only of the coming holiday, but also a welcome to the green of a long-awaited spring?
Grab some green construction paper and basic supplies from your home office. Enjoy this messless art project with your school-age kids. Your preschooler can also lend a hand, when you make it together.
Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
–2 sheets of construction paper in two different colors. (I chose a light and a dark shade of green for these directions)
–ruler
–pencil
–scissors
–stapler
–household glue
–thread or fishing line for hanging
–paper cutter (optional)
Here’s the fun: (Find step-by-step photos at www.donnaerickson.com)
1. Make the paper strip hearts.
For each heart, measure, mark with a pencil and cut with scissors or a paper cutter:
2 strips of light-green construction paper cut 1 inch by 3 inches;
2 strips of dark-green construction paper 1 inch by 5 inches.
Pile the 4 strips starting with one light-green short strip, the two dark-green long strips and end with the remaining light-green short strip on top. They should be evenly stacked up at one end. Carefully staple this 1-inch-wide stack about 1/4 inch from the even end.
step1
Bring the loose ends of the short light-green strips away from the pile (and over the staple) to form a heart shape. Hold with one hand as you pull back the long strips in the same manner.
Staple the four strips together near the pointed end of the hearts.
Make two more.
step2
2. Make the shamrock.
Arrange three completed paper strip hearts on a work surface to make a shamrock. Staple the pointed heart ends together. Bend the paper near the staple to spread out the sides. Cut-out and glue on a thin paper stem.
step3
Make several paper strip shamrocks and hang in a window or from a chandelier.