I simply adore decorating for Christmas. Not an inch of our home is safe from glittery lights, silvery garland, or greenery and pinecones. And I bask in it, especially last year, when my little guy would gasp, "OH WOW!" nearly every time we turned on the lights. After roughly six weeks of this glitter and glitz, however, I am equally thrilled to clean it up, put it away, and relish the temporary organization.
Cue February. Somewhere about halfway through January, I start to miss the festive touches of the holiday season - just in time for the next holiday. I know Valentine’s Day is a minor holiday, but my nerdy heart loves a day that celebrates love. So with that adoration for the day of amore and my longing for a bit of holiday decor in our home, I bring you this month's project: a heart garland.
The best part of this project is how easy and adaptable it is. I made mine for the mantle and one of our archways, but it could go on your staircase, in your window, or in a doorway. If you have particularly young ones, you could start with one heart this year and add on each year to see the evolution of their artistry. You don't really need any special materials - even paper plates would work for this project. Simply grab your kids, settle in, and enjoy.
This project was surprisingly easy and very inexpensive. Not to mention the possibilities for creativity are endless. Have fun and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
KIDS CRAFT: VALENTINE'S HEART GARLAND
* Construction paper or cardstock in any color you like (It doesn't have to be all pink and red!)
* Felt or fabric in any color you like
* String, ribbon, or twine
* Scissors (make it even more fun; use pinking shears or scallop scissors - Fiskars makes great ones!)
* Glue, double-sided tape, or hot-glue
* Optional extras: Crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, paintbrushes, stamps, glitter or puffy paint, scrapbook paper, doilies / lace, sequins, stickers, etc.
Step 1: Make a template for your heart on a piece of paper or cardboard. I used the old-fashioned "fold the paper in half and cut" method of heart-making. I made several different sizes for variety. In order to keep the shape of the hearts similar, I started by making the smallest heart, which I then used as a template for the middle sized heart by tracing it onto paper and cutting about an inch outside the outline. I repeated this, using the middle-sized heart for the biggest heart, and this worked for keeping their shape the same.
Step 2: Trace your hearts onto paper and cut them out.
Step 3: Layer the hearts the way you want to them to look in the final product. Using double-sided tape (you can use glue, but I found this caused the paper to pucker, which I didn’t like), assemble your heart! You can decorate before or after assembling, but definitely before moving on to Step 5; I let Little Man decorate one that I had assembled…unfortunately, he also decided to practice using scissors on it!
Step 4: Repeat the first three steps to create as many hearts as you like. I like groupings of 3, so I made six hearts altogether.
Step 5: Punch two holes in your heart with a hole-puncher – one on each side. You want the holes to be on the upper half of your heart – near the top, but not at the top – or when you hang your garland, your hearts will sag…and no one wants a saggy heart! (For this step, if you have steady hands, you can also use an Exacto knife to cut two openings instead of using a hole-punch.)
Step 6: Place your heart with the holes over another heart. Mark a small dot with a pencil through the center of each hole onto the heart beneath it. Gathering 2-3 hearts (with the one you just marked with the pencil on the top), punch through the mark. Continue until all of your hearts have openings, whether by hole-punch or Exacto knife.
Step 7: Measure your ribbon, basing your length on the size of the place your garland will hang and the amount of swag you want your garland to have when it hangs. Add an extra 6”-12” so there is room for error.
Step 8: Loop your ribbon through the holes or Exacto knife cuts on your hearts. Repeat until all hearts are strung on the ribbon.
Step 9: Hang garland in place; I used Command strips. Then, rework your hearts until the spacing is to your liking!
If you decide to use felt or fabric, there are some minor differences:
1.) In Step 3, assemble your hearts using hot-glue for felt or fabric glue for fabric.
2.) Since a hole-punch won’t work on fabric, use chalk to mark lines on your hearts in Step 6, and cut with a sharp pair of scissors. The chalk will come off with a damp sponge.
3.) If you are afraid your fabric will fray, use puffy paint to outline the fabric, as is showing in the red heart with pink gingham fabric (The gingham fabric is from my bridal shower almost 5 years ago! I thought it was perfect for a Valentine’s Day craft!); this will seal in raw edges and look lovely.