From Little Hands and Big Hearts

“What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.” – Samuel Taylor Cooleridge.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to express your love for your family and what better way to do so than with handmade gifts. The three handmade gifts highlighted here are so simple and so quick that there is no reason to not make them. A few pieces of paper, scissors, glue, and a stapler and you can make all three.

1. Stained Glass Heart

Hanging in a window, the hearts look like stained glass as the light shines through the tissue paper. Another use would be to make one for each member of the family and use them as placemats. Contact paper cleans up easily without having to worry about food and drink ruining the masterpiece.

Materials needed include construction paper or poster board paper, tissue paper, clear contact paper (found at Wal Mart in the shelving paper section), and scissors.

Start by cutting a simple heart frame with construction paper or poster board. A heart made from an 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper works well for a window decoration. For a placemat, cut a larger heart from 12” x 12” paper. If you intend to hang the heart, poster board will work the best and will prevent the heart from curling over time. To cut the heart, simply use the old-school method of folding paper in half and cutting half of a heart on the fold. Both sides of the heart will be the same and children love this short cut. Repeat this process to create a heart frame.

Place the heart frame on a small sheet of contact paper sticky side up and place squares of tissue paper inside the frame.

Cover the space completely with small squares of tissue paper, or not, it is beautiful however it is made.  Spider Man gloves are not required but always make crafting fun.

Once all the tissue paper is in place, cover the heart with another sheet of contact paper sticky side down to make a heart sandwich. Trim around the edge of the heart frame. To hang, make a hole in the heart and thread a ribbon through. Suction cup hooks work really well on the windows to hang pieces of art.

2. I Love You This Much Card

Who doesn’t love personalized cards? This card is personalized and the recipient gets a wonderful momento – a child’s hug.

This craft is perfect for any age. Very young children will enjoy having their hand traced while older children can cut out the hands and write the sentiment.

The materials needed are simply scissors, paper, and glue or tape.

Trace the child’s hands and cut them out. On one hand write “I Love You!”. Glue two, 1” strips of paper together to make one long strip about 20” in length.

Accordion-fold the strip of paper and write “This Much!” on the folded sides.

Glue the hands to the strip of paper and set a heavy object on the card to let the glue dry.

And the final project!  A little hug in an envelope.

3. Heart Shaped Bags Made for Love Notes

These bags can be made in just a few minutes. Consider making one for each member of the family and hanging them on their dining room chair. For the month of February give secret love notes to each other and open the notes on Valentine’s Day. This is one tradition that comes not from stores, but from the heart.

The only materials involved are scissors, ribbon, stapler, and paper.  For this tutorial, white paper was used.  For a final project, patterned or colored card stock paper is recommended.

Simply cut out three uniform hearts by folding three pieces of paper together and cutting out a heart using the old-school method as described in craft #1.

The hearts are then all the same size and shape and will fit together perfectly. Staple the hearts together along the straight edges of the heart. The staples will show but will not be noticeable with patterned or colored paper.

Cut three pieces of ribbon 8” long and staple one above each of the top most staples just under the curve of the heart.

Tie all three ribbons together to form a knot for hanging and they are ready for love notes.

The patterned paper is so nice with such a simple pattern.  Children really enjoy picking their own style too!

Enjoy these crafts and the precious moments with your kids. You do not have to be Martha Stewart or even step foot into a craft store to create these fun Valentine’s cards and decorations.