Friday Fun

Friday Craft: Homemade Valentine Gifts

If there’s one thing I really miss from when my boys were in elementary school, it was the classroom Valentine parties. The kids had so much fun shopping for, and making out, the Valentine’s Day cards. And then, of course, making their Valentine’s Day boxes.

If you’re stumped for some ideas for your little one’s Valentine party this year, Family Fun has some neat projects.

Clap Happy

On February 14, your child can give his teacher a big round of applause and a little luxury: a tube of hand lotion.


* Card stock
* Marker
* Tube of lotion
* Double-sided tape


1. Trace your child’s hand on card stock. Cut out the traced hand and use it as a template to make a second hand.

2. Write a message with marker. Affix the hands to a tube of lotion and add card stock hearts with double-sided tape.

Suggested Messages:
“You deserve a hand!”
“Hands down, you’re the best.”
“I’ve got to hand it to you!”

Clip Hearts

With these simple, message-bearing barrettes, Laura Stewart of El Mirage, Arizona, found an adorably useful way to tell the girls in her second-grade class, “We click!”


* Craft foam hearts (ours are 3/4 inch and 1 1/4 inches across)
* Hot glue
* Click-style barrettes (also known as contour clips)
* Scissors
* Colored card stock
* Marker


1. Arrange two or three craft foam hearts as you like and hot-glue them together. (Draw and cut your own hearts, using our
templates, or check your craft store for precut foam hearts.)

2. Glue the hearts to the wide end of the hair clip and let the glue set.

3. Cut a heart from the card stock. Write your message on the heart, then clip the barrette to it.

Suggested messages:
Valentine, we click!
Our friendship is “hair” to stay
I (HEART SYMBOL) your friendship

Crayon Hearts

Wax romantic come Valentine’s Day. Gather crayon nubs and recycle them into swirly, useable valentines. We can’t think of a better way to say, “I melt for you.”


* Crayon pieces
* Heart-shaped metal cookie or muffin tin (our hearts are about 1 1/2 inches across)
* Scrap paper
* Double-sided foam mounting tape
* Scissors
* Colored card stock
* Marker


1. Heat the oven to 250°

2. Crayon Hearts – Step 2 Fill each mold with crayon pieces and bake until the crayons melt, about 10 to 15 minutes. Tip: Place a sheet pan under the crayons to catch any drips.

3. Crayon Hearts – Step 3 Once they’re cool, remove the hearts from the molds and smooth any rough edges by rubbing them on a piece of scrap paper.

4. Use small pieces of foam tape to stick each heart to a 3-inch circle cut from card stock — or use our template, then add your message.

Suggested messages:
You color my world
Valentine, you make my heart melt
Have a happy Valentine’s Day, for “crayon” out loud!

Friendship Blossoms

Here, two classic Valentine’s Day gifts — flowers and candy — combine to make one sweet treat.


* Scrapbooking paper or card stock
* Scissors
* Lollipops
* Tape


1. For each, cut three heart-shaped petals, two leaves, and two flower centers from scrapbooking paper or card stock.

2. Poke a small hole in each, crease the petals as shown, and slide the pieces onto a lollipop stem. Tape the bottom to secure.

More messages:
You’re a sweet heart
Our friendship is blooming
Be my bud-dy

Scratch and Win

Everyone can hit the jackpot with these lottery-inspired valentines featuring messages hidden beneath scratch-off hearts.


* Metallic acrylic paint
* Dishwashing liquid
* Disposable container
* Foam brush
* Clear contact paper
* Templates
* Card stock
* Markers
* Glue
* 3-D paint pens


1. To make 36 hearts, combine 2 tablespoons of metallic acrylic paint and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a disposable container. With a foam brush, paint a thin coating of the mixture onto the nonadhesive side of a 13-inch square of clear contact paper. When the coating is dry, add two more coats, letting each dry thoroughly.

2. Next, download our templates. Print the Lucky Lotto page onto card stock and cut out the tickets. Using our heart template as a guide, cut hearts from the painted contact paper.

3. Write a message on the right-hand side of each ticket. Peel the backing from a painted heart and stick it in place over the note. If you like, glue each ticket to a 3- by 6-inch rectangle of card stock and decorate it with 3-D paint pens.

More messages:
You’re priceless
You’re a winner
Our friendship is worth a million bucks

Treat Transmitters

Personal robots may do our bidding in the future. But these adorable little inventions are already on the job, programmed to transmit Valentine’s Day messages.


* Template
* Card stock
* Double-sided tape
* Aluminum foil
* Candy


1. To make one, download our template. Trace and cut the robot body from a piece of card stock, fold as shown, and secure it with double-sided tape.

2. Use more tape to add aluminum foil arms, candy eyes and feet, and other details, such as bar codes, if you like.

More messages:
B mine
I ♥ u

Captive Heart

Show Grandma you care with this keepsake. The red wire is very flexible, so she can extract the note and treat while keeping the ornament to remind her of her sweetheart.


* 16-inch length of 20-gauge silver craft wire
* Heart-shaped cookie cutter
* Wire cutters or nail clippers
* Red craft wire (24 gauge or higher)
* Heart-shaped note and treat
* Ribbon

Instructions (click for pictures)

1. To make the heart, bend the craft wire around a pencil to form a loop 4 inches from one end.

2. Center the loop atop a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, and wrap the wire around the heart, pressing to shape it.

3. After you’ve made 2 loops, twist the ends together and trim the excess with wire cutters or nail clippers.

4. Remove the cookie cutter, then secure one end of a 3-foot length of red craft wire (24 gauge or higher) to the heart.

5. Run the red wire across the heart’s front and back, wrapping it around the silver wire at each pass. Enclose a heart-shaped note and treatas you go.

6. Tuck in the end of the red wire and tie a ribbon through the loop for hanging.

You’ll find many more ideas here. Have fun!

More from Write From Karen

Photo Story Friday

Photo Story Friday: Family Shot 1997


I ran across this family picture (taken back in 1997) when I was going through my books to sell in my Amazon book store.

Jazz (the little blond-haired boy) is holding a train in each hand. I remember he would NOT put those trains down so we shrugged it off and took the pictures anyway.

And I can’t believe how chunky Jazz looks in this picture. I think that’s probably the “biggest” he’s ever been in his life. He’s so skinny.

In fact, both boys are so skinny.

And what a heart throb Dude looks in his tie. He’s a heart breaker, that one.

I apologize for the quality. This is actually the proof that Sears printed out for us so it’s not the sharpest picture, but still, it brings back memories. 🙂