Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Handy Heart Garland

I bet you were wondering if I even decorate for Valentine’s Day.  Well, the truth is: not much.  At least not in the past.  But I’ve made an effort this year to be much more decoratively inclined and so far I’ve done much better than previously in my life.
I seem to lean toward the same craft in variation when it comes to holidays - at least this appears to be the trend.  Oh, you know what I mean - my husband doesn’t call me the wreath lady for nothing.
Remember my first kid-friendly garland - the one for Halloween?  Then we did another for Thanksgiving.  We didn’t get on top of it enough for Christmas, but mini had one for her birthday.  So I knew we needed to replace that with a Valentine themed garland.  But not just any garland.  A super, duper fun, kid-friendly garland.
A Handy Heart Garland.  (get it??  Instead of CANDY heart??  Ha!)
To make your own, you should get:
Water based craft paint
Spongy brushes
Cardboard (preferably white) or heavy duty card stock or foam board
Hot Glue Gun
Craft foam
Heart cookie cutters
Mod podge
Clear spray paint
Lots and lots and lots of wet wipes and towels
Cover your work surface.  Cover it, or you’ll be sorry.
For my cardboard, I decided to use some circle cake boards I got with the intention of using them for this cake, but when intention flew out the window they ended up sitting down in my craft stash.  They came in a pack of ten-ish for cheap at walmart.  You could just use any old cardboard though - just paint it white first.
Now, cover your little one’s hands with paint.

Firmly press one hand onto the cardboard,

then, press the other one down, overlapping at the heel of the hand and working at about a 45 degree angle.

This creates a kind of heart shape.

Some of them are more “heart-y” than others.

The kids love this part.  I’m basically FORCING them to be messy.  When does THAT happen?

Wipe their hands between each different color.  Obviously.  
When you’ve used up all your cardboard and you’re sufficiently covered from head to toe in paint, lay your handy hearts out to dry.
Throw the kids in the tub.  There are bribery pictures, but I don’t think this blog is the place to post them.
While your hearts are drying, you can start making the clips to hang the garland.

Let your kids use a heart shaped cookie cutter to press a heart shape into craft foam.

I learned the hard way when I made the bats that it’s best if I don’t freehand it.

Cut the heart shapes out of the foam.

Cover the hearts, one at a time, with mod podge.

Let the kids douse them with glitter.

Just so you know, you will be picking glitter out of the grout lines for weeks.  Months from now, you will find glitter between your toes and wonder where it came from.

Hot glue them to the clothespins.

Take your glitter hearts outside and spray them with clear spray paint.  Yes, I know it’s way too cold to spray paint here right now.  But if you think I’m going to let those over-glittered spectacles puke glitter all over my house you’re crazy.  The clear spray paint will make the glitter stick without messing with the obnoxious glitz and glam.

After clean up, the handy hearts will probably be dry so you can construct the garland.
Cut around the handy hearts in a... you guessed it... heart shape.

 Once they’re all cut, measure out the length of ribbon you’ll need to swag wherever you want it.

Run a line of hot glue across the top back of a heart 

and lay one end of your ribbon over it.  Press firmly.  Make sure you leave a “tail” of ribbon.

Do this with the other end of the ribbon too, leaving the same amount of “tail”.

Now, hot glue the rest of the hearts to the ribbon, equidistant from each other.

 When you’re done with that, your heart clips should be dry.

Or they WOULD be dry if it wasn’t 20 below.
So, it’s time to hang it!

And let your kids admire.  Mine liked figuring out which hands were whose.
Handy heart garlands are almost as cool as candy heart garlands.  But they don’t have any calories.  So that's a plus.

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!


Unknown said...

Kim, this is SO CUTE!!!

Christina said...

Heyyyy...I think I know what my craft will be tomorrow in my classroom! I need to decorate for Valentines Day...and couldn't find a craft I loved yet...thanks!! Your kids are super cute too :)

Thanks so much for linking to "20 Below Thursday"!

Anonymous said...

This is very, very cute!!! Great ideas!

Crystal @ Ordinary Days said...

I teach preschoolers and they would love to do this! Thanks for the idea. Looks cute and fun!!

Sarah said...

Sounds like a fun project to do with kids, I bet it would also make a good gift for grandparents. Thanks for the tip about spray-painting to keep glitter in place, I'll have to remember that.

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