Kiss the Birdies
It’s fun for kids to make their own Valentines for 
school mates and family members, 
and it doesn’t have to be a big production, expense, effort or mess.
Here is a very simple, cute project for your kids to make Valentines, 
quickly, inexpensively, and lovingly.
It’s so much fun to kiss the paper!
If you are doing this with a group of unrelated children, 
they should each have their own lipstick. 
Write each person’s name on a piece of masking tape, 
and tape it to their lipstick.
MATERIALSa printer, card stock in a light color to print the birds on, ribbon, hole punch, thin markers or colored pencils, lipstick Optional: stickers, rubber stamps, glitter etc.
1. Fold a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" piece in half. 
Draw a bird shape with black pen as above, on one of the halves. 
Outline the wing and print two on 8 1/2" x 11" card stock.
2. Practice kiss printing on a separate piece of paper on the table.
Lay birds on a table. Apply lipstick to lips, pucker up,
then kiss each bird inside the wing, one by one,
3. Decorate with thin markers and/or colored pencils,
adding beaks and eyes, or whatever suits you.
4. Punch a hole in the tail. Tie on some ribbon, yarn or raffia.
5. Sign the back and/or cover the back with more kisses 
and a message.
Ta Da! Sweeter than candy!



Look at these beautiful flowers, representing the Garden of Humanity that were created by a sweet group of about ten kindergartners, 1st graders and 2nd graders at Ethel Clossen Baha'i School in Chester County PA  The idea behind the project was that we were creating a bouquet to give to an assisted living facility nearby.

How did we make them? There was some preparation beforehand, because it was a young group, and we basically had an hour together. Older kids could do more of this project themselves.

Materials: Any kind of papers including scrapbook papers, wrapping papers, pages cut from books, menus, wall paper newspapers with different languages, basically any kind of paper! 

Scissorsglue sticks and extra thin pipe cleaners.

A 1/16" hole punch, alot smaller than the ones we usually use. Can be found at any craft store.

Magazines with people's faces in them.

Flower templates - make them yourselves

Flower templates are made by drawing flower shapes and a leaf shape onto a piece of card stock.
 I printed a few copies of them onto card stock, 
and cut them out for the younger kids to use as templates. 
Older kids could make their own templates, directly onto card stock to use.

The faces were cut from magazines, using a spool of thread as a circle template. Place the spool over the head, trace around it and then cut out the head. For these younger kids, I cut out faces and glued them down and printed up a few copies on regular paper. Older kids can pick their own faces directly from magazines. The younger kids just cut the faces out from the papers I printed.

We used the the flower templates to trace the flower petals onto the assorted papers, then punched 16" holes in the centers. We threaded the flowers through the pipe cleaners, one by one, largest first then medium and then small. Once all the flower shapes were on the pipe cleaner, we bent the tip of the pipe cleaner over to keep the flowers from sliding off. Then we glued the faces, right on top of where the pipe cleaners were bent over. Leaves were added by folding them over the pipe cleaners a couple of times, at the smallest end place, and glueing into place.

The kids worked together knowing that these flowers were going to be given to the senior citizens. We spent a good deal of time talking about service, about how good it feels to make beautiful things and give them away. The kids were very excited at the thought of how happy these flowers would make people feel when they saw them.
So one by one, the garden grew, and turned into a beautiful bouquet.

This inspired presentation represents the diverse world of humanity.
We are truely flowers of one garden.
Note: I have several books on making flowers with paper. Some of the inspiration for this project came from a delightful book
on making paper flowers by Sandra Evertson called Fanciful Paper Flowers.
I just discovered that she has a wonderful blog too!


 Here's how I hacked a Valentine Card for my sweetie from the Dollar Store today.
I picked this somewhat dorky one, because it had a lot of metallic highlights in it.

front of card 
inside of card

found a stash of beautiful handmade metallic paper
and a piece of white art paper.
folded white art paper into accordion, by folding it in half first,
then again and again to make accordion
measuring about 16" long by about 4" wide.

ripped the store bought card in half then cut out pieces  of it.

cut panels of handmade paper and sewed them into the "pages" of the accordion
then sewed the pictures from the insides of the dollar store card, added some birdies on each end. Birdies were made by glueing handmade paper to both sides of cardboard, to create sturdy tabs to open it out from folded position.

There was really no good spot on the front to put the recipients or givers name, so added that to the back.
back of card when opened, love the stitching all over the place!
front closed

back closed
Ta Da! quite the bang for a buck.


.....was trying to think of a way to use the hearts in a deck of cards for some kind of Valentine's Day decoration or card.....so for inspiration went to the dollar store and got two packs of cards for A DOLLAR! one blue deck and one red deck.

I took out the blue deck and put all the hearts into a pile, and sat there looking at a pile of hearts and all the other cards......an aha moment arrived shortly....It would be great to use all of the cards. So how about a Valentine Banner?

I tried a few different versions and this is the best one for stability with two cut out hearts in between. There were several cards left. If you had a few packs of cards you could mix and match to create quite the Valentine decorum.

My finished banner is about 9 feet long! I wanted to photograph it but it's too long, so just scanned the beginning and the end.

Valentine Banner Tutorial

You will need:
    - at least one deck of cards
    - yarn or ribbon
    - a pair of scissors
    - a hole punch
1. Keep out the Ace through the King of Hearts cards (12 in all)
2. Cut the rest of the deck into hearts by simply folding them in half and cutting. (The fold gives the banner some dimension)
3. Punch the holes in the middle of the edges of both sides of the cards and the cut out hearts.
4. Cut yarn or ribbon into 10" pieces. Cut two 24" pieces to tie onto either side of the banner at the end.
5. Lay one cut out heart down to the left of the Ace of Hearts.
6. Thread the yarn through the back of the hole on the right hand side of the heart and the back of the hole on the left hand side of the Ace and tie the heart and the Ace together leaving a little space between them. If tied too close together they don't hang nicely. I tied them into a knot with the yarn a bit loose, then put my finger on the knot and gently tied another knot on top of that knot. Then tied into a little bow.
7. Add two cut out hearts, then the Two of Hearts, then two cut out hearts,  the Three of Hearts and so on and so on. After the King tie on one more heart. Then tie the 24" pieces of yarn on either side of the cut out heart on the left of the Ace and the cut out heart on right of the King. Ta Da!


Make Winter Gnome Puppets!

This picture of my four year old grandson shows a Winter Gnome made full size with the template printed on a full 8" x 11" paper. If you want to make smaller gnomes, just choose the option when you print to fit two images on the page. The best paper to use is card stock.


For added va va voom, glue a real pom pom on the top of the hat!

Here is a template to download and print as many copies as you like, for a fun gnome making activity.

Make A Magic Fish

Materials Needed: Contact Paper, Jewel Toned Crayons, Watercolors, Paintbrush, Scissors, and 8 1/2" x 11" Card Stock, cut in half. I have tried this activity with watercolor paper and it does not work.

You will need a Fish Shaped Template that you make by drawing a simple fish shape onto heavy paper and cutting out. The fish should not be any bigger than 3 1/2" x 7".

Trace the fish shape onto printed side of contact paper. 

Cut the fish out along the line you traced.
If you are working with a group of children, then cut out multiple fish from the contact paper,
 by simply stacking layers and cutting through all of them, using the traced one on top. 
The paper may slide around a little bit, but that's OK.

Peel clear part off of the paper. This is most easily accomplished by starting at one of the corners on the mouth and peeling the rest away. Long fingernails come in very handy here. If you are working with children, they may need help getting it started, but once it has started, let them peel the rest off.

 Paste the peeled fish, sticky side down onto the paper. Let children paste it down themselves, it DOES NOT HAVE TO BE IN THE CENTER! Make sure all the edges are smoothed down really well.

 Get out the crayons and scribble scrabble! Be aware that you need to get the crayon up to the contact paper edges around the fish to help define it when you eventually remove the paper.

Get out the watercolors, and dip your brush into the warm contrasting colors
(reds, oranges and yellows) and paint all over the top of the picture.

Put the picture aside to dry. Time may vary depending upon the enthusiasm of the watercoloring and amount of water used. If you are outside, it will take about five minutes to dry, inside around ten.

Once the paper is dry, gently pull the contact paper off, starting with the tail end. Children may need help starting this process, but make sure they get to peel the whole thing off for the big reveal of a big white fish.

Now color in the big white fish with markers! 

Ta Da!

I am going to flip mine over and make a postcard out of this,
and mail it to somebody, not sure just yet who that will be.

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