I love a good DIY and the key to successfully completing projects with children is to estimate enough time so the joy of crafting remains until the end. With 10 days to go until Valentines, these DIY projects are great for budgets and they’ve been tested and approved by kids! I also think about teachers and making their life a little easier with holiday card exchanges and this Valentine heart DIY project keeps life easy for teachers because they are not personalized! Instead they are hand sewn and a reusable decoration/card/keepsake that children will love to receive. Here is a picture of the finished project:
Reusable Valentine Instructions:
This is a great DIY if you have oodles of fabric scraps! I only needed to purchase embroidery thread and felt squares so the cost was minimal. Here is what you need: sharp needle with med sized eye hole, your choice of felt, scrap fabric, embroidery thread, lollipops.
First step is to cut out fabric and felt hearts. Remember how you cut out the perfect paper heart by folding it in half and cutting 1/2 the heart on the folded edge? Use this same method for cutting fabric and felt so each side matches. Older children and adults can easily free hand heart cut-outs but to help younger kids, trace out the heart with pencil for them to follow. My example is this great combination of camouflage fabric and brown felt. It’s important to know your audience and picking different fabrics can really help with enticing the boy crowd into participating with this craft. We made combinations that both my sons and daughters gravitated to and the comment from my 8 year old son was “cool heart”!
Second step is to lineup the fabric heart on top of the felt heart and hand-stitch. This is a great tutorial for first time sewers. For younger kids, put them on your lap and help them stitch. You will be amazed how quickly they learn! I purchased a few different colors of embroidery thread to give some pop to the fabric hearts: beige, red, purple, and pink.
Final step for kids is to insert a lollipop into a stitch that acts as a holder. The stitching at the back of the heart actually looks really awesome, but if you want to take this DIY one step further and finish off the back, cut out another felt heart, place against the back of the valentine and machine stitch around the outside. The machine sewing is a nice contrast against the inside stitching on the fabric heart and embroidery thread – and will hide the stitching and tie-offs.
I have to add my personal perspective on this craft. To complete our hearts we loaded up a basket with all the supplies and took them to our after school activities. Children from the hockey rink and soccer gym all came over and commented on which fabric was their favorite, wanting to help push the needle through the fabric, and commented “can you teach me to sew?” It was really lovely to see just how excited kids get with making things themselves and taking a Valentine DIY to the next level to incorporate basic sewing. I’m really excited to know how proud my kids will be to hand out these special Valentines to family and close friends.
Valentine Tableware DIY
If you are hosting a Valentine party or responsible for bringing disposable tableware to your child’s school for Valentine baking or treats, here is a great tableware DIY project! This aspect of Valentines party planning doesn’t have to be toxic for the environment with cheap plastic or styrofoam. Check out this fun, budget friendly, and earth friendly DIY project that looks unique and is fun for kids! If you are in charge of tableware, invest in cups, plates, and napkins that can be composted. Keep dyes and ink out of your compost by stamping these items with beet juice rather than using an ink pad. Here’s how!
Take a plain plate made from compostable materials such as paper or bagasse (sugarcane) and a rubber stamp. Instead of reaching for the ink pad, purchase a beet and slice off a piece. Dab the stamp against the beet juice and use to stamp the tableware. The effect is subtle, fun, and kids understand the concept about only returning organic materials back into the earth. This DIY goes quick and the kids have lots of fun! Keep slicing off fresh sections of the beet for more juice. ** Tip – this is also a great technique for naturally dying home made Valentines play dough **