Thursday, February 12, 2015

Easy, Dreamy Valentine Craft for Kids and Bigs

The kiddos and I did the BEST Valentine's Day craft this week.
It's one of my favorite crafts to date.

Over the years I've developed an acute case of tunnel-vision. I have to believe it somehow lends itself to self-preservation, but the problem is, I have trouble thinking too far into the future. I get mired in the details of each day, then go to bed thinking, "What day is tomorrow? What's on the agenda?" It's always a little foggy.

Which means, by the time I think about doing a holiday craft, the holiday is just days away and it doesn't seem worth it at that point.

Guess what?
It's totally worth it.

Allow me to present my case.

Exhibit A: This is a fun-for-everyone craft that will cheer everyone up and eat up a too-cold-to-play-outside hour.

Exhibit B: You don't need any special supplies. As in, none.

Exhibit C: You might love it so much that you decide to keep it up year-round. (Like me.) ( can pull it out again next year and love it all over again!)

Exhibit D: More free therapy!

I dug out my trusty heart-shaped paper punch* for this one. The truth is, I punched a fresh stack of catalog hearts last week, then put them up for safe keeping, then promptly forgot where I put them.

Insert: despair, low-grade rage, thoughts of premature aging.

I remembered this idea, which was BOMB.

Here's what you do:

Give each of your kids a sheet of watercolor paper (if you have it) or just regular white paper of some kind. We had a few sheets of watercolor paper left (I buy it 50% off at Michael's) and we also used regular copy paper.

Bust out the watercolor paints (you could also use other kinds of paint or even markers or crayons) and ask each of your kids to fill up the paper, however they like, with color.

I catch myself wanting to micro-manage, which is the opposite of fun and the opposite of art. I make a concerted effort to not "direct" them, though I do have to always remind them that mixing all the colors together will just make brown.

The point is for everyone's to be different and unique - to reflect who they are.

Also make sure you sit down and do a page or two with them. Free therapy! Turn on some music. Share your techniques. Chat. Enjoy the peace. Change the water every 2 minutes. Etc...

You'll end up with a bunch of gorgeous, colorful papers. I couldn't stop staring at them! So pretty. I made a concerted effort to use lots of color, and not just pinks/purples/reds. I'm telling you, this is year-round art.

Let your papers dry, then take your heart punch to them. (Or free-hand some hearts if you don't have a punch.)

This was the BEST part.
But you probably already knew I'd say that.

I lined my hearts up on an old, unused canvas and taped them on with double-sided tape. You could also use your hot glue gun for a more permanency. I didn't measure my heart placement and I didn't over-think which hearts I used. The best kind of art is the imperfect, free-wheeling kind, baby.

(I also liked how the edges didn't lay flat against the canvas. You could totally glue them all the way down, but I just adhered them right in the middle, because I like a little dimension.)

I cannot stop loving this. CANNOT!

Each of my four littles are represented on this canvas. All of my little hearts.
They all had different styles, used different colors.

Calvin was all blue, all the time.
Avery was feeling the moody purples.
Ruby was just a total watercolor rock-star.
Silas did some super cool squiggles.

I'll be on the hunt for a cool, old frame for this. I think it might live forever in the girls' room.

I implore you to try this one. There's no good reason not to!

Report back, homegirls.

Tell me everything.

I love you! (Was that awkward?)
~ Shannan

* I got my heart punch years ago at Michael's (with a coupon!) but you can also buy one on Amazon right here. This is my exact model, though this heart might be a bit larger. (Not entirely sure.)

**Amazon affiliate link!