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How to Make a Valentine’s Day Garland

by Andrea Martelle
February 2, 2022
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heart doily featured image

Create a vibrant and colorful Valentine’s Day garland by painting paper heart doilies. Our editorial assistant, Andrea Martelle, tried out this classic Artful Parent activity with her two preschoolers and we love the way their heart bunting came out!

Updated January 2022

This Valentine’s Day garland is a favorite from The Artful Parent archives. I found this adorable heart garland super simple to make and my kids loved the process.

Valentine’s Day might be our favorite holiday, because who doesn’t love all the hearts? And a craft that results in a lovely decoration for your home? Even better.

For this activity, we painted paper heart doilies, then strung them together into a Valentine’s Day garland. This was the perfect opportunity to try out some new neon watercolors with my kids!

We followed Jean’s suggestion of painting the doilies on a small square of watercolor paper. This creates a mini watercolor resist heart painting that makes for an extra special valentine.

Valentine's Day Bunting pinterest
Photo by Andrea Martelle

Valentine’s Day Garland

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MATERIALS

*Note: Make sure you get the uncoated heart doilies rather than the kind that have the shiny coating. Otherwise, your paint may not absorb into the heart very well.

heart doily with watercolors_andrea martelle
Photo by Andrea Martelle

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Paint your doilies

    Hold the doily in place over the watercolor paper square (you can tape it lightly if you need to) and paint your doily completely.

    crosby painting heart _ andrea martelle

    If you plan on using the watercolor paper as Valentines, be sure to paint the paper surrounding the heart doily and the little holes inside the doily, too.

    watercolor doily heart_andrea martelle

  2. Let dry completely

    Lift the doily off the paper and let both dry completely.

    painted heart doilies _ andrea martelle (1)

  3. Paint doilies with vegetable oil

    Paint each doily with a light coat of vegetable oil. This is a great trick from Jean that makes paper more translucent (for the suncatcher effect) and the colors more vibrant!

    We did this on paper towels, to prevent our workspace from getting greasy.

    painting heart with oil _ andrea martelle

  4. Create your garland

    String yarn or baker’s twine through the holes in the tops of the heart doilies and create a bunting.

    We didn’t have a plastic yarn needle but found that if we wrapped scotch tape around the end of the baker’s twine, it went through the holes easily.

  5. Hang your garland!

    Finally, hang your garland in a sunny window, where you can enjoy it all month long!

    bunting hanging in window_ andrea martelle

We did this project in three stages: the first day we painted the hearts, and then the next day we coated them with the vegetable oil. It took about two days for the vegetable oil to absorb so the hearts weren’t greasy. Once it had absorbed, the result was lovely. Finally, we strung up the hearts.

Valentine's day garland in windows _ andrea _martelle
Photo by Andrea Martelle

We had such a fun time painting the doilies. And I found myself getting into it and painted quite a few hearts myself.

We love the Valentine’s Day garland we made, and I’m sure we will be making this again next year!

And the watercolor paper squares we painted came out beautifully, as well! Maybe we’ll use them to send as Valentine’s cards to our grandmothers.

watercolor doily hearts _ andrea martelle
Photo by Andrea Martelle

More Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

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heart garland pinterest
How to Make a Valentine\'s Day Garland

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