Monday, January 31, 2011

Love and Affection: DIY Valentine's Day Ideas

OK! It's Valentine's month, and although for years and years I went around all self-righteously and pledged non-allegiance to the fact that North Americans had set aside only one day to spread the love, I am now a convert. Well, I still believe that we should spend much more time telling people how much we like each other, how much we appreciate the things others do for us, and do things for others as well... but MOST OF ALL... I am a huge fan of leaving little tokens of affection randomly for the people in our lives to find, if only so that it brightens their day.

I also love a good excuse to pull out all the crafting supplies in the house and set to work. Having kids gave me call to raise the bar for valentines givers everywhere. I spend days waiting for inspiration to hit right about the beginning of February and usually by the time the big day rolls around we have an army of crazy creations to hand out to all our friends. This year's batch includes individualized patches off the embroidery machine...

One year I bought a bunch of black heavy paper and a silver pen, expropriated a baggie of little rubber lizards from a previous birthday party, and glue-gunned a lizard to the top of each card with my son who put lizard tracks across the front and spelled IGUANA Be Your Valentine inside with a piece of candy taped to it. I don't know how many kids at his school even got it, but we had so much fun making them that I kept going and made one for all my friends as well. The very first black valentines I have come across :)

Does this not say LOVE to you?

Last year, the valentines we gave out were red felt hearts that Rowan sewed pockets into on the sewing machine (supervised) with a simple zig zag stitch, and we put a lollipop or chocolate in each. We used sparkle glue to write the person's name across the front. Not my favourite aesthetically, but he absolutely LOVED making them, and they were adorable when he was done. I have let go of a lot of my Martha tendencies for perfection having two young boys in my life :) It has been very good for my stress level. Sort of balances out the stress that comes from, say, stepping on LEGO pieces, or cleaning toothpaste off every bathroom surface possible.

This is very similar to the idea we used last year... the tutorial for this bag can be found on Momtastic here.

I have found a few really nifty ideas from around webville with Valentine's in mind and thought I'd share...

Of course my first visit for a project is always to How About Orange...

This is an awesome idea from Bloesem Kids, which I admittedly have not tried yet, but if perfected could become a household staple for invites etc. I LOVE this!

Design*Sponge has some pretty darn sweet ideas!

And of course there was a visit to Martha, but I was quite surprised that it was hard to find a new idea. I think Martha's crew must be the best recyclers (of ideas) in the craft world... and there is a place there for you to upload your own cards so they are probably fishing... :)
HOWEVER, I adore quilling, and this reminds me that it has been awhile... and the seed packets are always one of my favourites, as it is a nice reminder that spring is just around the corner AND the more flowers growing in this world, the better. Look for locally grown organic seeds for best results. And switch up the packaging, I don't know why seed packets have become so darn ugly, but it is worth making up some pretty little envelopes and transferring the seeds. Also, if you visit a nursery, you can get a sweet discount on buying the seeds in a bulk size package and dividing them up yourself!

Whichever you choose, be sure you love sending the love!

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