Valentine's Day Crafts, Recipes, and Decorations

Valentine's Day crafts for kids, Valentine's Day art activities, heart decorations, Valentine's Day recipes, and other fun Valentine's Day ideas

Painting a Map of My Heart :: A Family Valentines Day Art Activity

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

Our family participated in a lovely Valentines Day art activity this morning with each of us painting a map of our hearts. We included images and words for the things and people we love and value.

This is not the first time we’ve done this Map of My Heart painting activity. Maia and I painted our first heart maps three years ago when I came across the activity in Mariah Bruehl’s great book, Playful Learning. But Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect time to revisit the activity.

Watercolor Heart Activity 2

This time around I added in an idea from another blog friend, Alissa of Creative with Kids. I’ve been wanting to try Alissa’s make-your-own paint with water pages since she first posted about them. I don’t know what took me so long, but I finally did (3 years later!), in combination with the Map of My Heart activity.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

The two ideas worked wonderfully together!

I cut out large hearts from watercolor paper, squeezed little dots of watercolor paint (from tubes) along one side, let the paint dry, and wrote “Map of My Heart” in small letters across the top.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

The family woke up to DIY paint-with-water heart maps at their spot at the table, a black pen, a paint brush, and a cup of water. And everyone drew and painted the things that they held near and dear to them on their maps — all before breakfast.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

Nothing like a little family bonding and reflection time disguised as a Valentines day art activity to make this mama happy.  :)

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

The little dots of dried watercolor paint worked surprisingly well–better than I expected. And the kids loved the idea!

Note: The watercolor tubes I bought were the cheapest possible ones from Michael’s and the paint cracked a bit as it dried. Not a big deal, and the project still worked well, but if you want a paint that doesn’t crack, then maybe buy a mid-priced watercolor tube rather than the bargain basement stuff.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

We grouped our family heart maps on the side of the fridge above our motley collection of cookbooks for now. I’ll probably migrate them over to the kids art display wall soon, though.

How about you? Did you do any family Valentines day art activities today? Another good spur-of-the-moment one is the interactive heart mandala. And, of course, either the Map of My Heart or the interactive heart mandala can be made any time of the year, not just at Valentine’s Day.

A Heart Suncatcher with Mosaic Tiles from the Light Table

Make Heart Suncatchers with Light Table Mosaic Tiles -- A fun Valentine's Day activity for kids!I set up a quick version of a DIY light table about a month ago (after years of saying I would make one) and it has been absolutely wonderful during these past few weeks of snow days and illness. The kids have gravitated toward it again and again.

The light table is simply a large clear plastic storage bin with a string of white Christmas lights inside. It’s the easiest and cheapest light table possible, yet the kids would call it Fun with a capital “F” and I would call it a sanity saver.

Most recently Maia and Daphne made heart suncatchers with some of our translucent mosaic tiles. They are really quite gorgeous!

What began as a mosaic design and symmetry activity on the light table became lovely heart suncatchers when we sandwiched the lightweight tiles between sheets of contact paper.

Here are some photos of the process from light table to suncatcher:

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Testing Metallic Drawing Materials (on Black Valentine’s)

Lace Up and Metallic Valentines 22

We’ve had metallic crayons for the last couple of years and loved them, but for some reason never tried them on black paper. Why not? I have no idea. But it was a big oversight on my part. Metallic art materials look great on a black background!

I recently picked up a few new metallic art materials to try out and decided to test them all side by side and share the results with you.

Feel free to chime in at the end with your own experiences with metallic art materials—I obviously haven’t tried them all!

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Stained Glass Heart Crowns for Valentine’s Day

Stained Glass Heart Crowns -- a fun kids craft for Valentine's DayWe made stained glass heart crowns the other day as a Valentine craft, using the same technique as our flower crowns from last spring.

Instead of flower petals, though, we used colored tissue paper—both the little heart shapes you see here as well as geometric shapes—and added extra decorations to the crowns with metallic drawings and doodles.

They turned out great!

Daphne has been calling herself the Queen of Hearts since. And making royal decrees that usually end in giggles.

It’s been a month of snow days and illness here. Which means it’s also been a month of pretend play, fort building, and art activities (between snow play and doctor visits). I don’t think the girls have both been in school on the same day since before Christmas!

Here’s how we made the heart crowns:

(in case your kiddos would enjoy being the kings and queens of hearts, too!)

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Heart Doily Printed T-Shirts Redux :: 3 Years Later!

Heart Doily Printed T-Shirts Redux :: 3 Years Later!

Remember those heart doily shirts we made a few years ago?

We really loved them! So much so, in fact, that when Maia outgrew her shirt, I cut out the heart and sewed it onto a larger shirt. We liked the contrasting colors of the old heart on the new shirt, that when I decided it was time to make another round of heart doily shirts, I thought I’d do it that way right from the beginning.

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Painting Heart Doilies & A Valentine’s Day Bunting

A Painted Heart Doily Bunting - A fun kids' art activity that also makes a great Valentine's Day decoration

We're getting into Valentine's Day making and decorating a little early this year. I don't understand why I get so inspired by hearts every year, but I do. My kids are all for hearts year round, by the way.

This time we painted heart doilies, which we strung together into a Valentine's bunting (with the addition of oil for the suncatcher effect). This activity also creates watercolor resist heart paintings that can be used for Valentine's Day cards or decorations.

Here's how we made the painted heart doilies and bunting:

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Heart Sculptures :: A Great Valentine’s Day Craft & Gift!

Heart Sculptures -- A fun Valentine's Day craft and gift. Would make a great paperweight

We had so much fun with the plaster balloon sculptures, that we made them again the next day. This time, we (I, mostly) focused on seeing if we could shape the plaster-filled balloons into hearts.

And yes! It worked!

So now we have some sturdy plaster heart sculptures and have plans to make even more as Valentine's gifts. (I think they'd do great double-duty as paperweights.)

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Plaster Balloon Sculptures with Kids

Plaster Balloon Sculptures with Kids -- So fun! You have to try this!We made sculptures the other day with balloons, plaster of Paris, and four giggling children. The whole process and experience was awesome and was the perfect antidote to the freezing weather outside.

Let me just say right now that you have to try this. It takes a bit of prep, but is so worth it!

I found the idea and instructions for the plaster balloon sculptures on First Palette, pinned it ages ago, and have been meaning to give it a try since.

So glad we finally did!

By the way, I recommend you read the step-by-step instructions at First Palette if you’re going to do this project. They are excellent and specific.

We did ours slightly differently (mostly to make the plaster mixing & pouring easier), but not by too much.

Plaster Balloon Sculptures with Kids

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Kids’ Homemade Valentines :: Think Process AND Product

Kids' Homemade Valentines -- Think Process AND Product 

When it comes to kids' homemade valentines, I think it's important to consider the process as much as the finished product. Especially with younger children. Yes, you and they want the finished product to be a valentine that they'll be proud to give to Grandma or their friends. But, keep the process kid-friendly. To me this means interesting and appropriate for your child's age and skill level.

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