Feelin’ the Love for Valentine’s Day Crafts!

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feelin-the-love-craftsSince assuming the role of “mom,” I’ve discovered that parenthood is really just a series of life lessons delivered via a tiny vessel known as “child.” And this week, I learned a few more of those lessons:

  • Kid–friendly craft projects = 10% kid and 90% adult.
  • Finger paints and my child don’t mix.
  • Flexibility, quick hands and a backup plan can produce lovely results!

First, I must note, that I by NO means proclaim to be an accomplished crafter. But for the sake of my toddler, I’m attempting to embrace my very limited artistic side on a more regular basis.

Now, back to the craft. My original plan was to help my 14-month-old daughter Alli create a sweet Valentine’s Day finger painted canvas that featured a heart and the phrase “my heart belongs to daddy” that we could present to my husband on Friday. What we ended up with was a masterpiece in its own right, but with a few on-the-fly adjustments. With the supplies below (many of which I gathered from various drawers around my house), we headed outside to paint!

alli 141Supplies

  • Old sheet, newspaper or plastic to protect your work space (we worked outside in the sunshine on the patio)
  • Washable, non-toxic finger paints in your favorite colors (did you know they come in glitter and neon varieties now?!)
  • White paper, card stock or canvas (size is your choice)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Multi-color markers
  • Single hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon (recycled from baby shower gift wrap)
  • Heart shaped stencil
  • Glue

alli 137My heart idea was a BUST once I realized I had no clue how to create a perfectly curved heart with perfectly straight painters tape (in hindsight, I’m sure I could find a tutorial on YouTube!), so I initiated plan B and laid out the word “love” on white card stock (this idea could easily be recreated with any shape, letter or word for a birthday gift, wall décor, etc). The tape will protect the paper from step two: paint application.

vday2Of course, once those bright, wet colors hit Alli’s tiny fingers, the screaming started. I knew in advance that she didn’t exactly enjoy sticky substances on her hands, but who knew she would have the nerve to completely reject my crafting in order to roll in the dirt and grass with the dog?!

After a bit of gentle persuasion, I managed to apply enough paint to the card stock so she, with some assistance, could produce a colorful piece of “art.” By that time, the paint had also reached her feet so I quickly took advantage of this unexpected opportunity and snagged two sets of foot prints so I could create grandparent gifts – BONUS!!

Back to the LOVE print…once the paint was dry, I simply removed the painters tape, added Alli’s fingerprint “signature” and popped the paper in a recycled frame and WHA-LA, the masterpiece revealed itself!

For the grandparent gifts, I used two foam hearts that I had left over from another Valentine’s Day craft project to stencil around the footprints. After cutting out the heart shape, I then glued the card stock to the foam stencil, punched a hole in the top of Vday1the heart, added a loop of pink ribbon and had Alli sign the back with a white finger print. I added her name and the date to finish the look.

After what could have dissolved into a messy FAIL, I’m happy I was able to temporarily drop my “type A” tendencies to enjoy the moment and produce three heartfelt tokens of love I know our family members with cherish.

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p>Contributor

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Family: Dad, Mom, Baby Girl and a dog named Gator.

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Education: B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida. Yes, I do bleed orange and blue!!

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Mom Acronym: WAHM (work at home mom)

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Your Perfect Day: Staring at a sun-filled blue sky while lying on New Smyrna Beach and jumping ocean waves with my daughter.

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Can’t Live Without: My "crackberry" BlackBerry phone -- yes, I'm a Blackberry loyalist (for now anyway).

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Favorite Pregnancy/Labor & Delivery/Parenting Tip: This one applies to all: JUST BREATHE!

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