Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fun Valentine's Day Project for the Kids!

I'm sure you all already know how much I love Family Fun magazine, so it should come to no surprise that I am posting one of their fun Valentine craft project ideas today.  This seemed like a very fun and easy thing for kids to make for Valentine's day, and also a great way to use up some left-over yarn, without having to run to the store to get any supplies.

Supplies needed:
- Corn starch
- Water
- 12" pieces of yarn (I used pink, white, and red)
- Heart shaped cookie cutters
- Parchment paper

 First, cut some yarn into pieces about 12" long.  I picked a variety of shades of pink, red and white, and also tried to mix some fun textures like zig-zag and fluffy yarns.

 Next, follow the directions on the Family Fun website to cook up your "glue."   Sammy loves to help me cook so he had fun making the glue.  It's just 1/4 C corn starch mixed with 1/2 c water, cooked on the stove top until thick and translucent.  I stepped away for a second and mine got a little chunky as you can see below, but after adding a little more water I got it smooth again...

 Lay out your cookie cutters on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Next, dip your yarn pieces in the glue.  Like I said, it's a little too thick here, but it worked.  Then you pull each string between two fingers to scrape off excess.

 Now, lay each piece inside the cookie cutter.  Try to make sure you have the edges fairly well covered so that it does actually look like a heart when you remove the cutter.

 Sammy did not want to get his hands dirty doing this.  So, this turned into a craft more for Mommy than him after a while.  But, if you have the same problem, I found this works well...if your glue is runny enough, you can "paint" it on with a basting brush too, after laying your yarn in the cookie cutter.

 I actually found this really helpful for pushing the yarn down into the cookie cutter, because otherwise it wanted to stick to my fingers.

 Remove the cookie cutters to see your heart shapes.

 I am impatient so I opted for the fast-drying method of placing them in the oven on "warm" for a while.  Drying time will depend on how much yarn and paste your hearts have.  When they were dry enough I peeled them up and flipped them over, and later put a stack of cookbooks on them to help keep them flat, since some wanted to curl up.

This is where Family Fun's project ends, but I modified mine a little and made it into something more...

 This is a photo of a decoration that I made in 3rd grade (I think) when my mom came to my Valentine's day party at school and lead the class in a Valentine's craft.  We sandwiched some string between these felt hearts that she had cut out, and decorated them with glitter.  I still hang this on Valentine's day and thought I'd make a similar decoration out of the yarn hearts...

 The next day they were nice and dry.  I took a tapestry needle and some string and knotted 4 hearts together in a string, with a loop on top.

 You could sandwich these and glue them along one string like my mom's decorations.  But, I like how thin and delicate just one heart looks with the light shining through.

 I had enough hearts to make three of these and I think they look pretty spinning around from the ceiling!

I think some fun variations you could try would be to sprinkle a little glitter in the glue, or on the hearts after you smoosh the yarn into the cookie cutters.  Also, it might be pretty to string some beads between them too.  I was also thinking that this could make a very cool garland if you made enough hearts!

So, whether your child likes to get his or her hands dirty, hopefully this will be a fun project for them, and turn out to be a cute decoration that you can use from years to come!

1 comment:

  1. Gretchen, stop over my blog. Check out some of the link ups that I join. You should definitely share this with others!! Super cute idea. Not sure if you like link ups or not. Kerri



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