And now an arrow Valentine’s Day card to go with the candy bar from last week!
For the background of the card I used 8.5″ by 5.5″ white card stock folded in half. I attached doilies to the fronts of the cards. I found these beautiful pink and gold doilies last year at Michael’s, and I noticed that they have lots of doilies in the stores this year too. It seems like doilies are cool again – just a few years ago it was nearly impossible to find even plain ones at any store, but now there are really pretty varieties of colors, designs, and shapes all over the place. I plan to stock up so that I’ll have plenty on hand if doilies become hard to find again in the future! I cut strips of shiny gold poster board for the shafts of the arrows. I attached the gold strips to the centers of the doilies with pop up dots. I punched hearts out of red card stock for the ends of the arrows and attached them with pop up dots as well. I stamped tiny Valentine’s Day tags with a stamp and punch from Stampin’ Up and tied them to the gold pieces with red and white baker’s twine. That’s all – pretty quick and easy.
I realize the clock is ticking, but you might even have time to make these and get them in the mail in time for Valentine’s Day. At the very least you’ll be ready WAY in advance for Valentine’s Day 2018!
Even though I say “It’s Always the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I’ve got to admit, this winter hasn’t been the best. Around here it’s been dreary and wet and ugly. During the month of January all I wanted to do was hibernate. I spent a good chunk of my free time curled up on the couch completely unmotivated to do much of anything. On the plus side, I got to watch a few IU and Butler basketball games from beginning to end, something I haven’t been able to do in years. On the downside, I didn’t get around to doing any blog posts or any craft activities. But today, the sun is shining and I feel energized and ready to come out of hibernation (even if the groundhog felt otherwise). So I’m saying farewell to the doldrums of January and greeting February with a smile and a cute Cupid’s arrow project you could make to give your friends for Valentine’s Day!
You will need chocolate bars, heart shaped chocolates, and Pixy Stix. Cut white pieces of paper the correct size to wrap around your chocolate bars. Wrap the bars and tape them on the backs. If I made these again, I might also wrap some pink doilies around the bars to make them look a little more colorful. Use glue dots to attach the Pixy Stix to the tops of the bars. Punch hearts out of red card stock with a heart shaped punch. Use glue dots to attach the heart shaped chocolates to the hearts then use pop up dots to attach the hearts to both ends of the Pixy Stix to be the ends of the arrows. I finished the bars off by wrapping some red and white bakers’ twine around them, attaching little stamped tags, and tying bows.
Stay tuned for a matching Cupid’s arrow card coming soon… assuming I stay motivated and the couch and college basketball don’t start calling my name again!
I realize it’s a bit late in the game for 2016 to be posting a poem of the month for February. It’s just that February is such a short month and so packed with holidays: Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, even Ash Wednesday and Leap Day this year… it was hard to squeeze the poem in before now. At least you could use it next year if you’d like. And the coolest thing about this poem is that it actually manages to combine 2 of the holidays: Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.
This is one of the few poems I use that actually rhymes. I learned in college that children (and adults) are often intimidated by writing poetry because figuring out how to make it rhyme can be difficult, so I generally don’t have children write rhyming poetry. However, Valentine’s Day just lends itself to simplistic rhyming poetry (roses are red, violets are blue… you get the idea). In fact, to introduce this activity I usually have the children write a rhyming “Roses are Red” poem as a class. Then I have them choose some words to describe America and list words that rhyme with those words. Finally they put the words together into 4 line patriotic poems. This is a poem written by one of my third graders years ago:
What did you say
Hip hip hooray
Not very intimidating at all, and perfect for celebrating both Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. Just have the kids copy their poems on red hearts and decorate them with red, white, and blue stickers and put them on display.
So obviously this is a little late in the game for this year, but I wanted to share my Valentine’s Day marquees anyway. If you want to make some, you could always plan ahead for next year, or if you aren’t unexpectedly snowed in like we are at the moment you could make a quick trip to Michael’s and make an impromptu Valentine’s Day decoration. On a side note, speaking of impromptu, seriously – what’s with this snow? Come on weather people! Get it together! This morning they said we would be expecting one inch of snow starting at about 2:00 pm. I checked again when the snow started in earnest at about 12:30pm and suddenly they were saying we will get 3-5 inches instead. That seems like a big change, right?? Also, I don’t understand how the county south of us has a “Winter Weather Advisory” and is supposed to get only 1-3 inches of snow but we don’t have any sort of advisories. Sigh. I guess I’m still bitter after the dusting of snow we were supposed to get 2 years ago on Valentine’s Day turned into something like 9 inches.
But back to the marquees. As with my other marquee decorations, I got arrow and heart shapes from the Heidi Swapp Marquee Love brand at Michael’s. I painted the outsides metallic silver and cut red glitter paper using the templates provided for the insides. Then I put the light covers and lights in and that was it.
Short and sweet – but now it’s time for me to start working on our family Valentine’s Day celebration. We always stay in for dinner on Valentine’s Day – a tradition we started due in part to the fact that there is usually some sort of snowy weather that makes going out a miserable option. My friend Sara is right – there always seems to be snow on Valentine’s Day – whether or not the weather forecast knows it.
February’s card of the month is, of course, a Valentine’s Day card. I love this banner valentine from years past that I found in my card file box.
I used red card stock cut to 8 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ and folded in half for the background. I got an assortment of Valentine’s Day papers from Stampin’ Up and punched out a heart from one of the printed papers. I attached it to the lower right side of the front of the card using pop up dots. I stamped “Happy Valentine’s Day” in red ink on ivory card stock, punched it out, and attached it on top of the heart with more pop up dots. For the banner at the top of the card, I used a punch to make assorted little “flag” shapes from the various valentine papers. I put a pop up dot on the back of each one and stuck red and white bakers’ twine to the backs before sticking the whole little banner to the top of the front of the card. I also added a sparkly heart sticker to one of the little flag pieces for fun.
Inside Banner Valentine
For the inside of the card, I used an old Stampin’ Up “xoxo” stamp and stamped it in red ink on ivory card stock. Then I punched it out with a heart punch and used pop up dots to attach it to the upper left corner. I also added a little heart punched out of one of the valentine papers and one more sparkly heart sticker.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
We decorated for Valentine’s Day this weekend. As much as I love my January/winter decorations, I must say that I am really over winter this year (even though this winter so far has been a walk in the park compared to the last 2 winters), so switching to Valentine’s Day decorations felt like a breath of fresh (and not frigid, shiver inducing) air.
As a result, I was motivated to put out more Valentine’s Day decorations than usual. These Ball jars were one of my new additions this year. I saw the idea for these cute jars on Pinterest. All I did was get a white doily for each jar and attached them with glue dots. I punched hearts out of red card stock and used glue dots again to stick a heart on top of each doily. Then I took red and white bakers’ twine and wrapped it around each jar a few times and tied it in a bow on top of the each heart. I finished the jars off by filling them with conversation hearts and tulips – my favorite flower for Valentine’s Day. I even made a mini version with a heart on the lid to complete my collection. I love them – they make me feel happy and warm like spring is just around the corner… Come on Groundhog! Don’t let me down!
While I mostly sing the praises of holiday and special traditions (after all, that’s the point of this whole blog!), there is a downside to having lots of special holiday traditions – it’s extra disappointing when you don’t get to celebrate them. Sometimes being forced to change plans and alter celebrations from the way they have always been done can be a good thing because that can be how fun new traditions are born. That wasn’t the case with Valentine’s Day 2015 though. The highlights of this Valentine’s Day (and the entire month of February leading up to it) in our family included 3 cases of the stomach flu, 1 very bad cold, saying farewell to my fabulous teaching partner as she moves to England with her family, and packing up our entire house in a whirlwind after our house sold much more quickly than we expected. None of these things are traditions I wish to repeat on Valentine’s Day 2016.
Usually, each year for Valentine’s Day I make and send cards, I make valentine treats for my friends, I do crafts with our daughter, I bake Linzer heart cookies, we have Valentine’s Day play dates with treats, I make a heart shaped pizza for dinner, I make some sort of heart shaped cake or cupcakes for dessert, and we go out somewhere for a fancy dinner in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Needless to say, not one of these things happened this year. Instead we went with store bought treats and a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s that was less heart shaped than advertised and looked as though it had some sort of blockage in its aorta.
Store Bought Valentine’s Day
At least we got to be together. And even though having our special traditions in place made us miss them more this year, I’m very glad that we can start looking forward to doing them again for Valentine’s Day next year.
This week’s project is an oldie but a goodie for me (as you can tell by how well loved and worn it looks in the picture). This valentine train engine is from my very first year of teaching (a group of second graders who are now college graduates. Yikes!) and it is still my favorite container for collecting valentines in the classroom.
To make a valentine train, each child needs a shoebox. Have them bring their boxes in ahead of time so that you have plenty of time to cover them. I usually get some cheap rolls of pink, white, and red wrapping paper, although bulletin board paper works well too. Wrap the boxes without the lids. Poke through the tops of the boxes, cut the paper covering the tops, and tape the paper down on the insides of the boxes so that the boxes are open on the tops. Give kids poster board wheels to glue on the bottoms of the boxes. Then give them all kinds of Valentine’s Day supplies – doilies, stickers, hearts – to decorate their train car boxes however they wish. Write their names on the sides of the boxes. When it is time to deliver valentines, line the boxes up in the shape of a train. The teacher gets to be the engine of course! Then have kids put their valentines in their friends’ train car boxes. The will love their valentine train for sure!
The card of the month for February is, of course, a Valentine’s Day Card. When I think of making valentines, I think of mixing and matching all kinds of random supplies – doilies, stickers, ribbons, sparkles, etc. – in all shades of red, pink, and white. I especially like this valentine I made a couple of years ago because it reminds me of all the hodgepodge valentines I made when I was little.
I started with red card stock and folded it to make the cards. Then I chose some cute Valentine’s Day stamps from Stampin’ Up, stamped them, colored the pictures, and punched them out. I also punched some bows, hearts, and other shapes out of pink, red, and white papers. Finally I got some stick on jewels and pearls to add some sparkle. After I had all my supplies ready, it was fun to arrange them all on the cards. I enjoyed experimenting with various layouts, and each card turned out to be a little different and unique. I even added some decorations on the inside of the cards.
Inside of Hodgepodge Valentine
Making valentines is so much fun – especially when you don’t have a specific plan and you can mix, match, and be creative!
Valentine’s Day is almost here! Let me share my favorite Valentine’s Day bag with you. Sure, it’s always fun to get a white paper lunch bag and decorate it with all the extra hearts and doilies you might have around, but this mailbox bag is extra special!
I like it for several reasons. First, I think it’s cute and clever. The red, white, and blue bag is also fun to make in February if you are focusing on patriotic themes like President’s Day or (this year at least) the Olympics. It also works great with a community helpers unit – study post offices and postal workers the week of Valentine’s Day. In addition to making these darling mailboxes, have kids mail real letters to themselves. I LOVE these fun heart stamps I found this year for mailing my Valentine’s Day cards.
Valentine Mailbox Bags
The bags are very simple to make. First get a paper lunch bag. I was lucky enough to find these cool blue ones at Target a few years back. If you can’t find those though, white or brown paper lunch bags will work too – just cut blue squares to glue on the lower halves of the bags. Glue red dome shapes on the upper halves of the bags. Glue white name plates across the middles of the bags. Have kids write their names and decorate them with hearts and stickers. Set the mailbox bags up and let the Valentine’s Day mail delivery begin!