This year’s handmade valentines

I’m happy to report we finished Corban’s valentines a whole day early, and I didn’t have to go to the store to buy any supplies for them. Success!

(Tulips to brighten up a freezing rain kind of day and celebrate that our cats are locked in our bedroom for a few days working on some training issues…which I will have to share another time. Oh, and cats in bedroom = flowers are safe from getting eaten by them.)

Last year we were the lame ones who didn’t give out candy with our valentines (which, as a parent, I am great with, but I know the kids get excited about little treats). This year, Corban’s school doesn’t allow any food with valentines (score) but we had a bunch of glow sticks on hand, so there’s our treat. And since puns are not only encouraged but celebrated on Valentine’s Day, here’s what we ended up with:

I traced hearts onto card stock while Corban and Mara cut them out.

Haddon got to be in charge of handing out washi tape while the big kids carefully taped the glow sticks on.

I fixed about a third of the taped glow sticks so they were in the right spots and wrote out the pun while the kids played, and then Corban addressed each with his classmates’ names and signed his name. Oh, and decided which color glow stick each person would like—very important.

Now they are safely tucked in a box so the glow sticks don’t crack before they’re delivered.

Here’s another fun and easy valentine we made one year…

…and a less easy valentine (for that special someone, not your kid’s class).

We also just turned fruit snacks into butterflies with heart antennae one year.

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Handmade pop-up valentines

Handmade cards make me giddy, so when Corban had his first real school valentine exchange last year, we sat down together to make the cards ourselves. Corban requested pop-up cards. My goal was to just use what we had to make them. This was not a huge challenge, as I have a hoarder’s supply of paper and I’m a recovering clearance craft supply purchaser.

Here’s what we ended up with and how we did it.

First we cut the cards from cardstock and I had Corban cut two slits in the fold to make the pop up part.

Next I traced a bunch of hearts onto glitter paper and Corban cut them out and added smiley faces with permanent marker.

Corban wrote his classmates’ names on the front of the cards. We had just enough foam glitter sticker letters to use one for the first letter of every kid’s name.

He stamped a heart above the name.

Then he signed his name on the inside.

And finally we glued the hearts onto the pop-up tabs.

Sure, it’s more work than buying a pack of valentines and signing your name, but we had fun in the process and Corban was pretty excited about his cards.

This year Corban says he wants to make his cards again, so we’ll see what we come up with! And I do remember that choosing a box of valentines from the store was always super exciting as a kid, but I’ll save that joy for when I have multiple kids in school.

In other news…

I realize that it’s been a WHILE since I’ve written here, and I’m not sure what made me start typing up a post again last week. Maybe it’s that the only professional writing I’ve been doing for the past year plus has been medical/health related and I’m missing the more creative, fun topics I covered at the Journal Sentinel. If I can keep up posting here, I’ve got a lot to share. Much has happened in the past year!

Valentine’s Day DIY goodies

My mom was a Pinterest mom long before Pinterest (or even the Internet) was around. She always made Valentine’s Day extra special with a craft or handmade gift. In first grade I had the COOLEST valentine card box for school (remember making those?) My mom helped me make a candy heart house with a slot for valentines (think gingerbread house but with conversation hearts). That thing would totally be all over Pinterest these days.

Last February I was on maternity leave and in total nesting mode, so I made several DIY goodies. They’re no conversation heart gingerbread house, but still kind of fun and festive.

3-D “I love you” Valentine – tutorial here.

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Valentine’s Day wreath (which easily converts for any season) – tutorial here.

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[My wreath remained in Valentine’s mode until about October. Then it had a brief stint in fall mode, and it’s currently still in Christmas colors. Oops. Time to make it pretty in pink again!]

2-ingredient strawberry fudge. I made it last year but never wrote about it. It’s just a bag of white chocolate chips melted with a container of strawberry frosting stirred in (I made a batch with cherry frosting too and liked it even better). I topped mine with mini M&Ms. It’s sickeningly sweet, but strangely addictive. Recipe is from this blog post.

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I’ll keep you posted if I get ambitious and do anything cutesy for Valentine’s Day this year. Right now, though, I’m in Groundhog Day mode. Yup. We are having a little gathering Saturday to celebrate Peter’s favorite movie and the holiday behind it. Groundhog cookies, here I come.