I’ll be honest with you, I miss the Valentine’s Days of elementary school.
Everyone in class had to exchange valentines with everyone else. And more selfishly, I liked to see how much more creative I was than the rest of my class. From the mailboxes we had on the edges of our desks to the valentines themselves, I always had to try to outshine the rest of my class.
Every year I wanted to go the extra mile and give away hand-packaged treats, but that was deemed unsanitary. Somehow though, the girl who accidentally fed us brownies with shards of glass in them on her birthday got off with a warning.
For the college incarnation of Valentine’s Day, I treat it like any other day. I do whatever I need to do in terms of schoolwork and I may let my inner-wino come out. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this, and I know more than a few people who are pretending that this holiday doesn’t exist at all. This year I decided to jump out of my comfort zone and decorate my house a bit, while pretending I’m actually celebrating Dionysus – the god of wine for those of you playing along at home – instead of Saint Valentine.
You see, I have an inexplicable fondness for hearts. Other than elephant butts, I can pretty much only draw hearts, so they wind up on nearly everything. The margins of my notes are filled with hearts, like I’m some sort of lovesick Libson girl, and the cork board above my desk has at least three hearts on it.
So this week I’m going to share how to make some heart-themed décor. I figure that even if a little late for the holiday, both of these crafts can be modified into spring-themed crafts with some simple modifications.
But in the interest of full disclosure, the first of the crafts I’m going to share with you came during winter break and uses Christmas ornaments. I did, however, make it with this Valentine’s Day column in mind.
Supplies for heart garland:
– Felt-heart shapes, I used ornaments because they already had holes in the top. Any felt shape with a hole in the top can be used. Be creative and make your own.
– bobby pin
Steps for heart garland:
1. Gather up your supplies. The number of felt hearts you need depends on a few things including how long you want your garland to be and the size of your felt hearts. I used 12 hearts.
2. Cut your yarn to the length of garland you want. I opted for my garland to be approximately 26 times the length of one heart.
3. Working from the center out and using the bobby pin as a needle, string on the first felt heart. Knot the yarn on both sides of the heart to prevent sliding.
4. Do the same for the rest of the felt hearts. I put about the length of a heart in between each one as an attempt of spacing them evenly. Of course, if you’re interested you can always use more precise measurements.
5. Hang up your garland wherever you please. Mine is currently above my TV at home and I think it’s a nice twist on the more traditional pennant garland.
The second craft is Martha Stewart inspired. I say ‘inspired’ only because I will never be as good at crafts as Stewart’s bang-up team of crafting minions. I came to grips with this years ago doing Martha Stewart craft box kits every holiday season.
So I didn’t expect the outcome of these sun catcher crayon hearts to be perfect, but they were fun to make and they can definitely be cut into a multitude of shapes. And let’s just say pumpkins are definitely happening next Halloween.
Had I known about this craft while still living in the dorms, I totally would have done this. I personally think it’s a great alternative to crudely constructing lewd words out of Post-it Notes and sticking them on your dorm windows. But please, for the love of Martha, just don’t use it to craft a “swag” sun catcher.
Supplies for crayon hearts:
– pencil sharpener
– wax paper
– newspaper or Kraft paper
Steps for crayon hearts:
1. Select the crayons you would like to use for the hearts and remove the label and sharpen the crayon using the pencil sharpener. Collect the shavings. I’d suggest using like colors, or at least ones that if they bleed into each other wouldn’t look horrible.
2. Tear off a sheet of wax paper and fold in half.
3. Open the wax paper and evenly distribute the crayon shavings on one side of the waxed paper. Fold in half, again.
4. Place wax paper between two layers of newspaper or Kraft paper.
5. Run the iron over the wax paper on medium heat until the crayon shavings have melted. Check frequently to prevent any burning.
6. Remove the waxed paper and allow to cool.
7. Once cool, cut out the now sun catcher-like waxed paper into patterns. Hearts, of course, are optimal for the holiday.
8. Tape onto windows to catch the light and decorate your room.
Meghan White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.