Heather is happiest when taking a beautiful photo, creating something in her kitchen, or elbows-deep in a DIY project.
Easy-to-Make Projects That Are Quick, Too!
Both of these projects are quick, easy, and use minimal craft supplies. Everything I used to create these projects were items that I already had. I spent less than ten dollars total buying a couple things (mostly Valentine-y paper) at Michael's craft store and Hobby Lobby. Both stores carry all the items used for these projects, and I only went to both because they stock different varieties of scrapbook paper.
Two Valentine's Crafts for Kids
- Lunch Sack Critters (Gift Bags or Puppets)
- Valentine Keepsake or Memory Boxes
Buying Craft Supplies
First and foremost, try to use what you already have. These are both great projects for using up odds and ends that you've got leftover in your crafting collection.
The only items I purchased for these crafts that I didn't already have were some pieces of Valentine-themed scrapbook paper. Buy them in the off-season before the cute designs are all gone, and take advantage of any sales or coupons. I hit a few different stores for a nice variety.
I highly recommend using decorative punches for these projects. You can pre-punch shapes for younger children to use, and older children really have fun punching their own designs. I used heart and circle punches for my bag and box projects below. The punches enabled me to save time and make some very creative pieces.
If you don't have any in your personal crafting supply, the simple shapes (like hearts, circles, and flowers) aren't very expensive. I recently purchased the heart punch that you'll see featured in this article and only paid $6.00 for it. They are usually about $10.00, but I had an e-coupon on my iPhone and saved $4.00 at Michael's.
Die-Cut Cardstock Hearts
This was my first time using this product, and I absolutely swear by them now. I don't have a cricut machine, so when it comes to heart shapes at this size, these are the next best thing. I even used them to trace more hearts onto patterned papers for some of my other crafts. They made completing both of these projects quick and easy—especially for smaller children.
I purchased these hearts in a package of 48 (it includes red, magenta, and white hearts) at Michael's for $2.99. I didn't have to freehand or guess-cut any of my own hearts. I was even able to easily cut one heart into a set of wings and cut another heart into a set of eyes and a beak with only two cuts (see pics).
You Will Need:
- a small brown paper bag (brown bag lunch style)
- paper (construction, scrapbook, craft, etc.)
- markers and/or crayons
Brown Paper Lunch Bag Critters
A brown paper lunch bag can lend itself nicely to a Valentine's Day project. Using a paper bag, creativity, and art supplies, you can transform a plain lunch sack into something truly cute. I completed this craft in a couple different ways: as a gift bag and as a puppet. They're both easy crafts that you can make to keep or to give as a gift.
The gift bag version can be used to collect valentines and candy at a Valentine's Day classroom party, or to put a gift in. Hold on to your brown-handled bag from Starbucks or Paradise Bakery and recycle it in this fashion (the logos and printing are easily hidden under your imagination and crafting)! If you don't have one, you can use a lunch bag and put your own handles on, or decorate a plain gift bag sold in most stores. Use whatever crafting and art supplies you have at home.
The very bottom of the lunch sack will serve as the face for your puppet. When completed, open the bag, invert it, place it on your hand and have a puppet show. This is a cute craft to make for yourself or as a gift. Use traditional brown paper sacks for eco-friendly puppets or specialty red ones for Valentine's Day (I bought a package of red lunch bags at Target in the plastic- and paper-ware aisle.) The red bags are about the same price as the traditional brown ones, although you get about a third of the amount.
You Will Need:
- a box (lid optional)
- paper (construction, tissue, scrapbook, etc.)
- crayons, markers, paint
- decorative punches
- miscellaneous embellishments
Valentine-Themed Memory Box
This craft is a great opportunity to recycle or decorate a box that you might already have laying around the house. If your box has writing or printing on it, simply paint it or cover it with paper before decorating. I used a plain brown keepsake box from Michael's ($3.99) that I use to store old greeting cards in. It's very similar to a shoe box. If you'll be making yours for a Valentine goody box, you can even use a clean/empty Kleenex box that already has a nice hole in the top. Otherwise, create a slit/slot on the top of your box so valentines will fit inside.
Decorate your box with practically anything! I used a variety of scrapbook papers, decorative punches, faux pearl adhesive embellishments, and glue. That's it! You can use buttons, flowers, stickers, even dried macaroni! This project comes out beautifully no matter how much time you have to spend on it.
Sealing the Box
Seal your beautiful box with a light coat of Modge Podge. Choose a glossy shine. It will go on a little white-looking like Elmer's glue but dries clear and shiny (as long as you are using a glossy finish). Matte finish will work also BUT if you're using glitter for example, it will dull your glitter.
Gift your creative masterpiece as a memory or keepsake box or simply use it as a beautiful gift box. If you're creating a Valentine memory box for someone special, consider using photographs or their favorite colors when decorating it.
Tips for Enjoyable and Successful Crafting
- Don't shop at the last minute! If you're looking for cute paper or embellishments, buy them in advance. Shop ahead of time so you can take advantage of unique selections, sales, and coupons at multiple crafting stores.
- Pre-cut, pre-punch, and prepare! If you'll be doing this project with small children or a large group of children, or even both, try to prepare certain elements in advance. Purchase die-cut cardstock hearts or pre-punch your own hearts with a decorative punch and lovely seasonal papers—kids love to use punches but if there aren't enough to use simultaneously then there could be some grumbling and unfinished projects.
- Use a gluestick! I used about five different types of glue while making these Valentine crafts just to get a feel for what would work best. I recommend using a glue stick. It's easy to hold-- especially for little hands and the liquid glues (both bottled and tubes) tend to turn your paper to mush and make it curl in all the wrong places.
- Don't glue your bag or box together! Unless you mean to! From time-to-time, check on your animal and make sure you haven't accidentally glued its mouth shut or glued it together at the sides when attaching a wing or hand. Same goes for your box. If you want your box lid to still be functional, decorate it separately from the rest of the box. Also make sure both pieces have had adequate time to dry before reuniting them.
sweetstickyrainbo on February 13, 2015:
Love the cute lunch sack critters!
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 14, 2014:
Love the lunch bag critters! The memory box is also nice. Great job! Pinned!
Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on February 14, 2014:
Beautiful hub! I love the photos, especially the lunch sacks. Well done. Congrats on HOTD!
Donna Herron from USA on February 14, 2014:
Hi Heather! Congrats on your HOTD! Have a great day!!
CraftytotheCore on February 14, 2014:
Nicely done! Congrats on your Hub of the Day! Happy Valentine's Day!
Preston and Kate from the Midwest on February 14, 2014:
Congratulations on Hub of the Day! You have some magnificent crafty skills. -Kate
Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on February 14, 2014:
Congrats on the Hub of the Day! This is just beautiful! Nice job Heather!
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on February 14, 2014:
Beautiful hub! Lovely photos and Happy Valentine's Day! Congrats on HOTD, too!
FlourishAnyway from USA on February 14, 2014:
Congratulations on HOTD for these delightful crafts. Makes me wish I was a school kid again. Voted up +++ and pinning.
swilliams on February 14, 2014:
Very well done! Your crafts are amazing. Great Article. I know my art would not turn out as nice however it's nice but I can dream. Thanks!
Claudia Mitchell on February 14, 2014:
Congrats on your HOTD! I love this, especially since I am helping out with my daughter's Valentine's Day party at school today. Fun crafts.
Better Yourself from North Carolina on February 14, 2014:
Love these Vday craft ideas, especially the lunch sack critters!! Think it's too late for this year but will have to make use of this next year. Great hub, voted up!
RTalloni on February 14, 2014:
Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for these nice crafts for kids!
poetryman6969 on January 11, 2014:
Ah the giving and receiving of candy hearts.
JoanCA on August 18, 2012:
I love these ideas. My kids love making puppets with brown paper bags.
Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on August 18, 2012:
Very creative ideas for bringing that creativity in our kids. I will sure try some of these ideas with my young boy, thanks. Voted up and useful.
Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on August 18, 2012:
Makes me want to make valentines. Great ideas. Sharing on pinterest on DIY board. Thank you for sharing some sweet ideas.
Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on August 18, 2012:
Awesome ideas! I have some elementary school teacher friends who will love this. Shared and pinned.