I have always loved making Valentines with Maddy, Owen, and Cora.
I love the discussion and decision-making beforehand, I love the mess, I love the time together. And I love their proud smiles when they look at the big pile of little gifts they’ve created for their friends and classmates.
So this year, since it’s been an especially difficult time for me, I found I really, really enjoyed our Valentine-making process. Our sweet mini-stained glass hearts brightened the grey week, and we all were really pleased with how they turned out–for the most part.
‘For the most part’ because there were some that made Maddy frustrated because they were ‘too wrinkly’. There were some that Owe
Because we so love the Stained Glass Hearts that cover our windows this time of the year, Maddy and I thought it would be fun to make tiny ones and use them as Valentine cards. That way, each of their buddies could have his or her very own, very beautiful ‘stained glass’ heart for windows at home.
Thanks to one of our old faves–Melissa & Doug’s Alphabet Stamp Set–these mini hearts were simple and super-sweet.
Here’s the skinny:
- Sweet, Mini-Stained Glass Hearts: Just like the regular-sized Stained Glass Hearts, these Mini’s required only a few supplies: construction paper, tissue paper, alphabet stamps, and contact paper. If you want to hang yours, like we did, then you’ll also need some ribbon.
I cut out the hearts one morning while some of my girlfriends were over for coffee, so they were ready to go when Maddy, Owen, and Cora came home from school.
They were about 4″ x 4″ — not that big at all. (I’ll upload the pattern when I return from Toy Fair.)
Maddy and I decided on the basic plan: that instead of signing their names to each and every card, that they would use the alphabet stamps to stamp their names. We remembered that last year the name-writing was tiresome for everyone, so this year we decided to change things up a bit.
Cora and I made the first few after she came home from preschool one day and before we picked up Maddy and Owen.
Cora stamps the letters of her name. . .
. . . on her pretty heart Valentines.
She pulled the letters of her name from the stamp set, and we found a tiny heart stamp from another set we have (try the Melissa & Doug Heart and Butterfly Stamp Set), and she got rolling. Once she stamped her name, she decorated her heart with some hearts and pretty designs.
Then she wanted to start her ‘stained glass’ part.
Cora places the ‘stained glass’ in her heart Valentine. . .
. . . but before she’s finished, she stamps ‘BFF’. Of course.
Before she was ready to fold one end of the contact paper over the other to seal the heart, Cora decided that she wanted to stamp ‘BFF’ (for ‘Best Friends Forever’) on her Valentine.
I love it.
I cut pieces of contact paper that were large enough to cover both sides of the hearts, we peeled the paper and placed the heart on top of the sticky side. Then Cora carefully placed tiny pieces of tissue paper on the inside of the heart.
We used old pieces of tissue paper that may have been in gift bags–red pieces, pink and purple patterned pieces, and light blue pieces. I used the only pieces we had, but looking back, any mix of colors would work, and it’s a great reason to keep the tissue paper from gift bags. No one can tell if it’s old and crinkly once it’s flattened between two pieces of contact paper.
Once both sides were covered, we flattened the contact paper on the heart, pinching the sides and perimeter of the heart. We also used the handle of a pair of scissors to ‘seal’ the whole thing.
Maddy stamps her name onto the hearts. . .
. . . and Owen cuts the contact paper around the edges.
We cut around the edges of the heart, removing the excess contact paper, leaving only a small border of contact paper. This part caused Maddy a bit of stress; when she couldn’t properly flatten the contact paper, when there were ‘wrinkles’, she became really frustrated.
But I wanted Maddy and Owen to have a hand in their cards, so only if they asked for help did I give it, and I assured them that each card was unique–and that nothing was perfect.
However, when we held them up to the window to see the sun shine through the stained glass, we realized that you couldn’t see ‘wrinkles’ in the contact paper. That helped. A little.
And at one point, Cora spilled the tissue paper all over the table and floor, but we picked it all back up and kept plugging along. . .. . . and at another point, my tiniest decided she was finished making her Valentines so she dumped a huge handful on the contact paper. I told her it was so beautiful, I took a picture, and I asked her to go play with Brady for a while.
Cora may or may not have been finished making Valentines at this point.
Punching the hearts was hard for the kids–with the contact paper–so I punched and they threaded the ribbon through.
After all of the hearts were cut out, we punched holes in the upper left-hand corner, and we tied a tiny piece of ribbon through it. We all knew that the really cool part about these Valentines was that they looked like stained glass when held to the light or hung on a window, so we wanted to make hanging the hearts easy.
And that’s it! Our happy Valentine’s Day min-stained glass hearts were finished, and we bagged them and were on our merry way. . .
It’s not for everyone–making Valentines when you can buy them at a dime a dozen–but it’s always been something that we’ve done together, and I hope to continue it as long as the kids are willing.
Happy, happy Valentine’s Day!
Huge thanks to Melissa and Doug for their awesome stamps which made one part of this craft fun and easy!
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