Category: Valentine’s Day

a friendship bracelet with hearts

heart friendship bracelet

Knotting a friendship bracelet is definitely not an efficient way for a busy mom to spend her time… but sometimes inefficient projects are good for the soul, especially on a snowy day! This sweet little friendship bracelet was the perfect project for a school day that started with a two-hour delay and ended with an early dismissal.

friendship bracelet embroidery floss

I originally learned to make knotted friendship bracelets when I was a kid at summer camp, but I relied on this tutorial to learn how to make a friendship bracelet with hearts. The process is more complex than the standard striped bracelet or even a chevron pattern, so if you’re taking care of three kids while you make one, you may need to untie some misplaced knots as you go…

heart friendship bracelet

How old does an object have to be before it’s considered “vintage?” I’m afraid my clipboard from high school might soon qualify!

heart friendship bracelet

This little heart friendship bracelet would be a fun Valentine’s gift to send your best friend since childhood — if you’re lucky enough to have one of those! Or maybe you have a tween daughter who would enjoy making one for her BFF.

If you make a heart friendship bracelet and share it on Instagram, feel free to tag me (@rachelswartley) — I’d love to see it!

my littlest Valentine

heart-shaped glasses made from pipe cleaners

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Inspiration for the heart-shaped pipe cleaner glasses found here. I put a tiny dab of hot glue on each of the sharp ends of the pipe cleaners for safety.

mini heart bunting card

paper heart bunting card

Last weekend I assembled an IKEA Expedit shelving unit for storing all of my craft supplies. It was originally intended for Ethan‘s room, but the construction of his room took so long that I found a different use for it meanwhile! We’re just waiting for the carpet to be installed now, so I guess I’ll need to make another trip to IKEA soon. Poor me…

While I was gathering all of my craft items into one place, I came across some scraps of paper left over from the paper flag bunting and the mini bunting cards I made last summer. So I used some of those colorful little scraps to create a very similar bunting card, but this time I made the bunting with tiny hearts instead of triangle flags.

I punched out two hearts of each color and glued them together with a string between the layers. If you make a card like this, I recommend gluing the hearts to your string before you tie it to the card. I tied the string to the card first and I almost ran out of room! And actually, if you glue the string on the hearts before tying it to the card, then you can just use one heart of each color, which would be easier.

I only made one of these little cards, and don’t plan to make another. But hopefully one of you will benefit from my hindsight!

white paper heart garland

white paper heart garland

Paper is my favorite material to create with, and white is my favorite color (even though it’s technically not a color!), so of course I had to make some Valentine’s decor with white paper. This simple paper heart garland was made from four sheets of white cardstock and some white thread. I punched out the hearts using the same punch I used for the framed paper heart art I shared with you the other day. Then I stitched up five strands of 35 hearts each with my sewing machine and tied them to a tension rod.

If it looks like the room behind those hearts is empty, you’re right! Once the carpet is installed in our brand new room, then we can put furniture and little Ethan in it. Can’t wait!

chocolate dipped pretzels for Valentine’s Day

white chocolate dipped pretzels

I love tiny things. Make something smaller than usual, and it’s instantly more interesting. I think that’s part of the reason I’ve been making so many chocolate-dipped pretzels recently. Mini pretzels + mini heart sprinkles + chocolate = adorable little Valentine’s treats.

mini heart sprinkles

I found these itsy bitsy heart sprinkles in a bulk package at my local grocery store, but Wilton also sells them as “micro heart sprinkles.”

Just melt your chocolate in a double boiler (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and white candy melts), then dip your pretzels in the chocolate. Sprinkle with the tiny hearts and place on waxed paper to harden. These would make a pretty little gift for a friend, neighbor, your child’s teacher, or anyone else you love or appreciate! Most of mine disappeared during the Super Bowl party we hosted on Sunday evening, so I’ll need to make more soon.

chocolate dipped pretzels

P.S. Is it just me, or do you think the pretzels with milk chocolate look like little masked bandits?! Or maybe like they’re ready to attend a Valentine’s masquerade ball!

paper heart art

paper heart art

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is next week? I feel like we just celebrated Christmas, and now another holiday is just around the corner!

A few years ago I discovered the folded paper heart art made by Sarah and Bendrix, and I’ve been wanting to make something similar ever since. Their white-on-white art is very sophisticated, but I thought my kids would enjoy something with more contrast. So last week I punched out a bunch of white paper hearts (and one red one!), glued them to an 8×10 sheet of black paper, and stuck the completed project in an IKEA Ribba frame.

Our baby boy was born a few weeks before Christmas, so I didn’t do any Christmas crafting in December. Now that the pain of my pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel has mostly gone away, it feels good to start creating things again!

paper Valentine’s Day decorations 2012

While we were eating breakfast on the morning after Valentine’s Day, the kids asked me whether we would have to take all of our Valentine’s decorations down right away. Feeling like I had just made them, I assured them that we could leave them up for a while. I don’t know how long “a while” is, but tonight, a week after Valentine’s Day, all of my little handmade paper decorations still grace the walls and doors of our home.

I’ll soon take down the heart-themed banners I strung up in our living room and in the kids’ bathroom, and it’s about time to take the heart-shaped confetti off the dining table, but I suspect the decorations I added to the kids’ bedroom doors will stay there for months.

The V-Day message I taped onto Magen’s door was completely inspired by this wall of hearts created by Melanie of You Are My Fave. I cut out a bunch of cardstock rectangles, wrote one letter on each card, and attached them to her door with masking tape.

Across the hall, Hayden’s bedroom door is decorated with the same message in a different shape. I punched out 34 pink and purple circles and wrote one letter on each circle. I originally used double-sided tape to stick them to his door in the shape of a heart, but ended up reattaching some of them with a loop of regular tape after they fell off.

And now I’m just waiting for the day when the kids realize that they can rearrange all those little circles to spell out other messages…

marshmallow hearts with sprinkles

On a whim, I picked up a bag of pink and white marshmallow hearts at the store last week. My kids have been snacking on them as Valentine’s Day approaches, and in the middle of cooking dinner this evening, I decided that it would be fun to decorate a few.

I made these sweet treats in the same way I decorated regular marshmallows with nonpareils last year for Easter. I softened some candy melts in a makeshift double boiler, then dipped the marshmallows in the melted candy and topped them with sprinkles. Seriously, that’s it. They look so much fancier than that, don’t they?

The kids each ate one as an appetizer. Happy Valentine’s Day indeed!

drawing and painting with love

You might think this is one of my kids’ craft projects, but it was actually created by yours truly. And you might say that it was created with just Crayola crayons and paint, but I prefer to call it a wax resist watercolor painting. Sounds fancier, doesn’t it?

I made this Valentine’s-themed wax resist watercolor painting way back in early January, right after the Christmas decorations came down. I guess I needed a little splash of color to replace the festive Christmas decor, and Valentine’s Day provided an easy motif to work with.

I grabbed a box of 64 Crayola crayons from my kids’ craft supplies and pulled out almost all of the pink, red, orange, and purple crayons. Then I drew one heart with each of those 15 crayons, sometimes filling in the heart and other times just making an outline. Next I got out my watercolor paint (just the kind for kids, not artist’s watercolors) and painted over most of the hearts with pink, red, orange, and purple. When the paint was dry, I popped the completed project into a frame that I recently spraypainted and called it art.

The picture above doesn’t quite capture the exact shades of color, but it’s close. And I didn’t even plan out the colors terribly well, so the fact that all the colors look coordinated instead of garish was pure luck.

Lovely pink, red, orange, and purple luck.

mini notepad #3: Happy Pink Day

This Valentine’s-themed notepad is the third in a series of mini notepads I’ve been making. After making my first one on a whim back in December, I knew that I would be unable to resist the temptation to make more. The mini notepad I made in January featured a snowflake motif, so it’s not surprising that the one I made in February was made with Valentine’s Day in mind. Actually, I made two and mailed them to my sisters, along with some other little treats.

Here’s my Happy Pink Day mini notepad. I usually avoid both pink and hearts, but for Valentine’s Day, I just couldn’t help it.

This mini notepad is 2.5″ x 3.5″, filled with 18 little sheets of paper cut down from two sheets of white printer paper. Like the January notepad, the front and back covers are watercolor paper, but instead of painting it with watercolor paints, I actually used acrylic paint diluted with a bit of water. I drew the heart with a silver marker and filled it in with silver sparkly paint.

My favorite part of this one is the binding. I punched five tiny holes in the top, then stitched it all together with crochet cotton and knotted the ends in the back. It actually holds the notepad together pretty well. I’ve recently become intrigued with hand-stitched book bindings, so don’t be surprised if the next one I make also features some hand stitching.

Meanwhile, there are still two more Valentine themed projects that I haven’t written about yet, but I promise to show you those before V-Day is over. Hope yours is a good one!

paper heart garland

When the kids walked into their bathroom last night to brush their teeth before bedtime, they discovered a fun little bit of Valentine’s decor I made for them. Pink + hearts = usually way too cutesy for me, but I’m happy to make exceptions for Valentine’s Day.

paper heart garland

This paper heart garland is just seven handcut hearts strung on crochet cotton. I made loops at each end and hung it on their mirror using tiny suction cup hooks. (NOTE: photographing items in front of mirrors is frustrating at best, so I hung the garland elsewhere to take pictures.)

paper heart garland

I already had all of the supplies on hand, so this project didn’t cost me anything out of pocket. However, even if I had needed to buy all of the materials, it probably would have still cost less than what some people charge for handmade garlands on Etsy.

I don’t have (or even want, really) one of those fancy die-cut machines, so my first step was to create a heart template using part of a cereal box. Then all I had to do was trace it onto kraft paper and cut out the hearts.

I painted the white and pink polka dots with acrylic paint using a very fancy kind of paintbrush known as a Q-tip. OK, so it was just a regular ol’ bathroom-variety Q-tip, but Q-tips always work well for painting polka dots.

paper heart garland

After the paint was dry, I punched two tiny holes in each paper heart and strung the crochet cotton through the holes.

paper heart garland

There are a few other little artsy Valentine’s items that I’ve made recently, so I’ll try to post them before the weekend is over in case anyone needs any last minute inspiration!

paper heart confetti packets

If I had an Etsy shop, I would sell this. But I don’t {yet}, so these little packets of paper heart confetti I made will be given as gifts to people I know and love.

I created the paper heart confetti from three sheets of cardstock (pink, mustard, and kraft) using a mini heart-shaped punch I’ve had for years. I also made the little envelopes — they’re actually just waxed paper. I cut out a rectangle, glued the seams, then folded the top over and tied it with crochet cotton.

Tiny, lovely handmade things make me happy.