Fresh blooms look even lovelier when wrapped in punchy paper. Kids can make this pop art with bubble wrap and paint.
What You'll Need: 16" square of bubble wrap, masking tape, 16" square of primed medium-weight canvas, 2 colors of acrylic paint, sponge brush, flowers, ribbon
Make It: Place bubble wrap face up on work surface and secure each corner with masking tape. Apply paint to bubble wrap using a sponge brush. Place canvas (white side down) on top of the paint-coated bubble wrap and gently rub the back to transfer paint. Lift canvas and repeat with a second paint color; set aside to dry. Place canvas print side down and place flowers on a diagonal, with blooms peaking out over the top left corner. Fold the bottom right corner of canvas up towards the top left corner. Fold the top right corner toward the bottom left corner, then fold the bottom left corner in and tie a length of ribbon around the bottom of the bouquet to secure.
Your child can surprise friends on Valentine's Day with a cute pouch stuffed with treats.
What You'll Need: 4"x6" muslin bag, 3?"x5?" piece of cardboard, 2"-long fingerling potato, kitchen knife, cutting board, 2 ink pads or colors of acrylic paint
Make It: Insert the cardboard rectangle into the muslin bag. Cut the potato in half lengthwise. Take one potato half and press firmly into an ink pad or paint, then press onto the bag to create one half of a heart shape. Press the other potato half into a second ink pad or paint and press onto the bag to complete the heart. Let dry before removing the cardboard.
Spread the love with this gorgeous garland and homemade valentines that are sure to make an impression.
What You'll Need: 2"-square wood block, plastic wrap, cotton twine, scissors, cardstock, assorted colors of acrylic paint, sponge brush, craft glue, baker's twine
Make It: To protect the wood block, cover it with plastic wrap. Wrap cotton twine 10 times in one direction around the block and knot the end; trim excess twine. Cut cardstock into 7"x11" pieces. Paint the cardstock rectangles with a sponge brush and let dry. Apply a thin layer of complementary paint to one side of the string-wrapped block using a sponge brush, then press onto one of the cardstock rectangles. Press the block onto the paper repeatedly to create desired pattern or design; set aside to dry. Repeat for the other pieces of cardstock using assorted paint colors.
Once finished and dry, turn the cardstock rectangles paint side down and fold them in half widthwise. Draw a heart shape using the folded edge as a side of the heart, cut out, and unfold. Apply glue to the unprinted side of one heart and sandwich a length of baker's twine horizontally just above the top of the folded edge; press hearts together to secure. Repeat with the remaining prints, placing hearts about 4 inches apart on twine, until garland reaches desired length.
What You'll Need: Pink construction paper, alphabet blocks with carved letters, painter's tape, crayon
Make It: Arrange alphabet blocks letter side up to spell out desired word or phrase. Place additional blocks flat side up to the left and right of each word and at the top and bottom of each letter. Tape around the outside of the block arrangement to keep it in place. Fold construction paper in half to create a bifold card. Open the card and position its top flap on the block arrangement. Peel wrapper from the crayon, then turn it sideways and rub over the paper until an impression of the word or phrase appears on the front of the card.
This homemade hold-all is even sweeter than the goodies you can stash inside. Kids can create custom designs using contact-paper cutouts and paint.
What You'll Need: Unfinished wood keepsake box, contact paper, pencil, scissors, 2 colors of acrylic paint, paper plate or paint palette, sponge brush
Make It: For flower design, cut 5 hearts from contact paper and stick them point-to-point in the shape of a flower to the lid of the box. For heart design, turn the box face down on contact paper and trace it with a pencil. Cut out the square and fold it in half. Starting at the fold, draw half of a heart shape and cut out. Peel off the back of the contact paper and stick the heart to the lid of the box. After preparing either of those designs, use a sponge brush to apply one paint color to the top and inside of the box. Paint the sides of the box and, if desired, write a message inside using a complementary paint color. Let dry completely before removing the contact paper. For heart design, paint an initial in the center of the heart shape and let dry.
Perk up your Valentine's Day breakfast table with sweet settings.
What You'll Need: 12"x18" piece of unprimed medium-weight canvas for each mat, painter's tape, scissors, pen, X-Acto knife, cutting mat, contact paper or drawer liner, assorted colors of fabric paint, paper plates, sponge brushes
Make It: Tape the corners of the canvas to your work surface. Cut a 3"x7" rectangle from contact paper. Draw an O shape and an X shape about an inch apart. Use an X-Acto knife and cutting mat to cut along the outlines to create a stencil. For each color, pour a few tablespoons of paint onto a paper plate. Tape the stencil to the top left corner of the place mat and lightly dab one paint color inside the O shape of the stencil with a sponge brush, then dab a different color paint inside the X shape. Continue moving the stencil and dabbing paint inside until the design covers the entire place mat. Let dry for several hours, then pull a few strands of canvas from each side to fray the edges.
For more printmaking ideas, check out Christine Schmidt's book, Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques and Truly Original Projects.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Parents magazine.