Friday, 13 February 2015

All you need for a perfect Valentine's Day...

So it's the big day tomorrow... Most romantic day of the year... Blah blah. Anyway in my mind it's an excuse to do some super cute toddler crafting and cooking :)

So here are our three favourite valentines-themed activities we've done over the last 2 weeks. We loved doing them and hope you enjoy reading about them! 


The present

I'd thought about making little hearts from salt dough (like our Christmas stars) but once I saw this idea on "Mum in theMadhouse"'s blog I knew we had to try it. Although, I hasten to add, this is not for the faint hearted. Trying to get a toddler (let alone a 5 month old...) to make their thumbprints into a heart shape (and then recreate this shape exactly the same with ink!) is no mean feat. So please bear that in mind when you compare our *very* homemade attempts to the ones done by Jen from MumInTheMadhouse!

I used the same baking soda clay recipe I used for the handprint casts but this time I left it on the heat a tiny bit longer as otherwise it was too sticky to cut shapes out of. Once I was happy with the consistency I flattened it between 2 sheets of baking paper using a chopping board (so much easier than using a rolling pin!) and then D cut out shapes using a heart cookie cutter. We then attempted to get D to make thumbprint 'hearts' on each and I finished them off by stamping his name along the top and poking a straw through to create a space for a hanging ribbon.

Pre-drying (not quite sure why picture has flipped itsiefl 90 degrees...)

 We then left them to air dry for 24 hours (turning them over twice in that time) before re-stamping the names (with red ink this time) and inking the thumbprints. D loved this bit - and especially when he got to do lots of practice thumbprints on some paper before and after!

Once they had hardened slightly I inked in the names

Perfecting thumb printing on paper first :)
 After another 24 hours I sealed them with some ModPodge Sparkle and then a clear sealant. 

Ready to be sealed

Add a ribbon and they're ready to be gifted :)

Ready to go
Don't forget to write the date on the back!


The card

What is Valentines Day without a card (apart from sad and empty. Lol)? There were soooo many ideas I wanted to try out, all of which I think D would've had great fun with, but in the end I settled on a "wax resist" card and love the results!

I can remember making pictures like this when I was younger - especially around Bonfire night as brightly coloured crayons under a blue wash make awesome fireworks. But for Valentines day we settled on a slightly  more topical shape and colour scheme...

These are super simple to make - this is all you need:

Simple set-up - this was for 2 kids

I drew some hearts on pieces of watercolour paper, using a white crayon. Then I diluted down the watercolours and let D paint the paper and expose the pattern. 

First experimenting

After a bit of trial and error (and a break for some pretend-pizza-making!) we hit on the best method. D did an initial whole-card-wash with a diluted watercolour paint and then added splashes of colour with his stamping paint bottles (probably not their correct name!). And look at some of the ones he made - I think they look great!

Some of the cards D made

Then I just mounted them on a piece of folded coloured card and there they are - perfect homemade cards :)

I love how these turned out :)

The food

I wasn't initially going to do any special V day cooking with D as we cook together quite regularly anyway. But when I saw this post from Messy Little Monster I couldn't wait to try it ourselves!

All you need - easy peasy
It really is so simple. We used food gels (rather than liquid colours) so I just mixed a small amount with water and voila - edible watercolours :) 

D getting stuck in

Finished hearts

Don't forget to use a new paintbrush though - however good my cleaning skills are I'd rather have a new un-painty one on my food!!
Then you can eat them plain, make them into a sandwich, cook them as toast...

Someone else didn't want to be left out...

Both enjoying a Valentine's-themed snack

What a simple but cute idea?! And could be tailored for any occasion. Imagine all the kids at a birthday party designing and "painting" their own bread? Love it!

As an aside this is what the kitchen roll looked like that I used in the tidy up - how cool is that?! Next time I'm going to let D do some "painting" on kitchen roll and see how the colours all swirl together

So what about you? Would love to hear any Valentines Day crafts you've tried recently. Or if you try any of the ones above I'd love to know how it goes :)


  1. Looks like you all had a fabulous time

    1. We did :) thank you for sharing your clay heart post, they make such lovely keepsakes