A Sweet Disorder

“A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility —
Do more bewitch me than when art
Is too precise in every part.”

Robert Herrick

I love Valentine’s Day.  I think it’s lovely to set one day aside a year (it would be nice if there were more really) to celebrate love.  And I know many people associate Valentine’s Day with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, and overpriced flowers, and forced dinner dates, and such.  But it doesn’t have to go that way.  I’m pretty certain St. Valentine wouldn’t have known  a box of See’s  from a Roman Senator.  My mother always gave me a little something for Valentine’s Day when I was a child.

We’ve got some crafts in the pipeline.  But while we’re gearing up for V-Day 2012, here’s a look at some of the crafts we’ve done in years past.

Paint Chip Valentines

Those great big paint chips work very well for making all kinds of cards and other crafts.  For this particular holiday, we stuck with reds, pinks, lavenders, and blues.  They can be trimmed, punched, or cut into shapes and mixed with various colors of card stock or scrapbook paper, and/or heart-shaped doilies to make some very sweet and pretty handmade Valentines.

Decoupaged Valentine Mailboxes

Something personalized is especially nice when you’re a person with an uncommon name.  Nibsy still has this little mailbox and she keeps special cards and letters in it.

I lucked upon a cache of mini mailboxes marked down for clearance in the craft store.  They were decorated with popular Disney characters from well known tween shows.  We covered up the Disney tweens and the mailboxes looked all the better for it.

All you need to decoupage a mailbox is:

  • A mailbox or other container suitable for holding important correspondence
  • Mod Podge
  • Assorted paper
  • A paintbrush
  • Patience
  • Sandpaper
We roughed up the exterior of the mailbox first.  Then we simply layered paper and decoupage glue in a crazy quilt-type pattern all over the box.  To finish, I wrote Nibsy’s name on a piece of paper with a calligraphy pen and we decoupaged that on as well.  Let it dry and it’s ready for use. We added a couple of heart stickers to the flag to keep with the Valentine motif.

Matchbox Valentines

I saw this idea on Inchmark.  I still think it’s adorable.

It’s very easy.  Take the matches out of the matchboxes.  Fill the empty matchboxes with candy or a surprise of some sort.  Then use scotch tape to secure trimmed pieces of construction or scrapbook paper to the exterior of the matchbox.  We got fancy with two different heart-shaped punches and some ribbon.  There are lots of different ways these could be done.

DIY Photo Valentines

Photo cards have become a pretty standard thing, especially at Christmas.  I like to make my own photo cards.

For these, I taped a red paisley tablecloth to the wall to use as a backdrop and then snapped away while my kids posed for the camera.  We used a couple of foam core conversation bubbles for this as well.  I saw this idea on Oh Happy Day and we have used the conversation bubbles a lot.  They are super fun as photo props.  I simply cut the foam core into an appropriate shape and then painted the bubbles with black chalkboard paint.

NOTE: Photographic subjects may not utilize props exactly as you might want them to, but sometimes the result is better for it.

DIY Valentine Photo Book

Nibsy is fascinated with the idea of making books.  We decided last year that along with the photo cards, we would also make some photo books.

Crafting, like love, is often messy but almost always worth the effort.

And now, I will excuse myself to ponder how my children look so much bigger and mature than they did last year.

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