DIY Valentines from the Heart

DIY Valentines from the Heart- The Art Pantry

Encourage kids to express authentic gratitude and love this Valentines Day, by making something from the heart. Handmade Valentines are easier than you think! Just set up a Valentine crafting station with some fun supplies like blank cards, patterned paper, fancy scissors, glitter glue, markers, washi tape, stamps ,stickers, or whatever else you have around. Invite your children to make their own Valentine cards for friends and family. If they need a little inspiration, you can create a few samples ahead of time, or sit down and work along side them!

 

 

Handmade cards are filled with so much love and joy. I’ll take that over candy any day!

 

Secret Message Valentine Gift Experiment

Karuna recently discovered these cute mini paint sets in the toy store. I didn’t know if they would paint very well, but I thought they were the perfect size to give as gifts with a secret message Valentine (one of my many “Pinspirations“). We first cut out a heart from watercolor paper, then used a white crayon to draw a hidden Valentine message. The white crayon on white paper keeps it invisible until you paint over it with watercolor. The crayon will then resist the watercolor and you will see your message!

Karuna was so excited to find out what her secret message was, but sadly this little paint set was not up for the challenge. The small brush created scratches in the paper and the paint trays couldn’t hold enough water to lose their opacity.

So we started over and tried a real watercolor brush and some better quality paint and… voila! The secret message was revealed!

With the success of our new paints, Karuna couldn’t be stopped. If I hadn’t convinced her to take a lunch break, I think she could have gone all day making secret Valentines. I’ll remember this next time I need to do some work around the house :)
I’m still intrigued by the idea of giving a secret card with an attached watercolor set.  With a nice set, this little baggy would be an awesome goody bag, thank you card, or birthday present. Just write an invisible note and gift away!
 

Papermaking

Last week’s art class was all about paper. We played with paper, ripped paper, glued paper collages, and even experimented with making paper! The teachers prepared the paper pulp, by blending up white newsprint with water. When the children arrived they were offered a mixing bowl, spoon, white pulp, liquid watercolors and glitter to create their own unique paper pulp.

At first we tried spreading out the pulp onto a screen with cheesecloth to drain the liquid, but that didn’t seem to work well (and didn’t capture the children’s attention like we thought it might).
So the teachers adjusted their process and offered each child a tray with a towel and a piece of fabric to soak up the pulp juice. Being able to work individually at their seats helped get the kids excited about the pulp.  They used all kinds of tools to squish it, pound it, roll it and color it!

To really flatten the pulp and get the excess water out, the kids placed a piece of fabric over their pulp to continue the pressing and rolling process.

For the final step, children could shape and decorate their paper with flower petals and sequins- check out this paper pulp man!

 After drying for a few days, the papers were firm and ready to take home. They looked awesome!