I equate me trying to craft to a mother of toddlers trying to use the bathroom alone or sneaking chocolate. The exact moment I get started, I am no longer alone. I am caught. Don’t get me wrong; I love my little crafting companions, and most days I enjoy creating with them. But, there are moments I just want to be left alone with my creative processes.
The day I recently decided to embark on a solo Valentine crafting adventure was no exception. The girls were playing so nicely with each other. One with her Legos and the other right next to her sis with a city of cars. I could hear them happily chattering away as they played. So, I jumped at the opportunity to play around with craft supplies.
But wouldn’t you know, as soon as my supplies were all laid out, and I was about to get started, I heard a sweet little voice say, “‘Can I help you, Mommy?” What happened to my quietly playing children from just one minute ago? How could they have possibly heard me? I’m convinced that children have some sort of ‘Mom is alone and doing something fun without me’ radar. Soon, another little gal was in the doorway stating that she would like to do a project too.
Well, what was I to do? Put the supplies away? Tell the girls to go back to playing? I knew neither of those things would make all of us happy, so I chose option number three: Have a Valentine’s Day Decor Adventure!
My craft for the day was to make a Valentine’s Day banner to hang on my mantel. With some quick thinking, a search on Pinterest, and use of my stash of well-intentioned craft supplies (who else has one of these stashes?), the girls’ craft was to make a coordinating framed piece of artwork. These projects turned out to be pretty simple, inexpensive, and adorable. Feel free to use them as inspiration as you prepare for Valentine’s Day (my most favorite holiday of the year-not kidding).
Valentine’s Day Banner Supplies:
- Old book (I picked one up at a thrift store for $1)
- Cutting mat of some sort
- Red paint
- Paper towels
- Large black sharpie
- Heart-shaped paper doily or other decoration
- Glue (glue stick, school glue, or decopage)
- Small clothes pins or hole punch
- Remove desired amount of book pages and trim edges so all pages are the same size. I used 8 book pages for this project. (My fabric cutter and mat worked much better than my paper cutter to trim edges.)
- Find the middle of each book page and measure 1.75 inches up from the bottom. Mark that spot with a pencil, and use a ruler as a straight edge to make a diagonal line from that spot to each bottom corner. Cut along those lines and discard the triangle piece of paper.
- Put a little blob (technical term) of red paint on a paper plate or other container. Add a small amount of water to dilute the paint.
- Using a scrunched up paper towel, dab the diluted paint around the edges of each book page. Allow to dry.
- Use a black sharpie to write your desired message on the book pages. I used ‘Be Mine.’ (I had planned to use paint and stencils, but due to extra help and executing two different projects at once, I opted for a simpler technique).
- Glue a heart-shaped paper doily (or other decoration) on one book page.
- Once dry, hang on twine with small clothes pins. Another option would be to punch two holes in the top of each book page and string onto the twine before hanging.
- Hang up the banner, and enjoy the festive DIY project you accomplished!
Framed Valentine’s Day Artwork Supplies:
- Old book pages
- Wood picture frames
- White or off-white paint (mine was a small bottle of ‘antique white’ from Walmart’s craft section)
- Paint brushes and/or sponges
- Cutting mat or ruler and scissors
- Red paint (or other Valentine-y colors)
- Random scraps of paper, ribbon, burlap (or whatever else inspires you)
Framed Art Directions:
- Disassemble the frame: Set aside the glass and cardboard backing. Place the wood frame on a painting surface.
- Paint the frame with a thin coat of white paint and let dry. I like to use a sponge brush for this step. You will need 2-3 coats of paint. Let dry between each coat.
- While paint is drying, cut a book page to fit inside the frame.
- Decorate the book page using paint, glue, and random scraps. (We looked at Pinterest for inspiration, but the girls really used their imaginations at this point).
- When the decorated pages and frames are completely dry, reassemble the frames and insert the decorated book page.
- Be sure to write a name and date on the back of the frames just in case your children become famous artists (or if your memory fades and you can’t remember who made what).
- Find a spot to display the unique piece of art, and admire the handiwork of your child (or yourself)!
While it took extra time (and a TON of patience on my part) to complete these projects, the girls and I had fun creating together. We found homes for their masterpieces (and mine). The fruits of our adventure add a little something special to our Valentine’s decor. My girls love decorating our house (they are little Joanna Gaines wannabes). They thoughtfully found places for all our Valentines decor, and while some things aren’t quite where I would put them, I think I’ll leave them be. All too soon I’ll be doing these things on my own again.
So, enjoy creating something unique this Valentine’s Day. It may mean you have extra help and a bigger mess, but seeing your kiddo’s artwork (even if it is scribbles on paper) around your home will warm your heart. It is an adventure worth taking!
Happy Decorating Adventures, and Happy Valentine’s Day!