When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, homemade is best. Well, I take that back. Tiffany’s is best, but it’s impractical to hand out jewelry to your kid’s classmates and teachers unless you are one of those show-offy billionaire types. Those of us with limited time and funds can still come up with adorable and inexpensive gifts that are thoughtful and cute. Not unlike ourselves.
Craft number one costs just a few cents per item to make. And if you have a little one who wants to help, this is a great one to do together.
Packing Tape Washi Bookmarks:
You’ll need a roll of clear cellophane packing tape – go dig out the one you used to mail all those long distance Christmas gifts – a roll or two of decorative washi tape, a hole punch, some confetti (which you can make with the hole punch if you don’t want to buy some), a scissors, and a bit of ribbon or string.
1. Cut one piece of packing tape about 6 inches long and lay it on the table, sticky side up.
2. Sprinkle confetti onto center of the strip of tape.
3. Cut another piece of packing tape of equal length to the first and lay it sticky side down on top of the first piece. Like you’re making a sandwich.
4. Trim the edges of your tape to make it nice and neat.
5. Use washi tape to trim the borders of your bookmark. Lay a strip of washi tape so that its center aligns with the edge of the packing tape and then fold it over so that one half of the tape strip is on each side of the packing tape (look at the picture to see how it should look).
6. Punch a hole in the top of your bookmark and loop your piece of ribbon through it.
Craft number two is also very inexpensive – I think I spent about 8 dollars total on supplies and it worked out to a little over a dollar per finished item.
Clay Heart Fingerprint Pendants:
You’ll need some oven bake polymer clay like Fimo (or you can mix up some salt dough, but I’m going for convenience and speed here). You’ll also need a small heart shaped cookie cutter, some paint – I used a tube of rub in silver finish, a toothpick or pointy thing, and a jump ring or pinch bail. If you don’t know what those last two are, you can find them in the jewelry making section of your local craft shop. And if you can’t find them, just ask a store employee – they will know.
1. Roll out your clay to about a ¼ inch thickness. Thinner is okay.
2. Carefully press fingerprints into the heart. I had my kids do one fingerprint on each side of the heart. If you have a cooperative pet and are willing to make the pendant a bit bigger, I bet you could even do a paw print.
3. Poke a hole in the top of your pendant. This is where your jump ring or bail will go, so make it big enough to accommodate that.
4. Bake at 275 for 30 minutes (or whatever the directions on your clay recommend).
5. After your pendant has cooled, use a small amount of paint to finish it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Photo credit: all photos, Nanea Hoffman