Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why Don't You Make Valentines Day Votives?

Yes, I know that Valentine's Day is a Hallmark Holiday - contrived to convince people to spend money on chocolates and cards and roses and jewelry. Exactly the sort of holiday you would think I would avoid with my need to limit consumerism and commercialism in our home. But I can't help it. I LOVE Valentine's Day.

I love that it's a holiday about love, passion, affection, sweethearts. I love the cupids, the flowers, the chocolate, the cards, and yes, I even the love sparkly jewelry. Say what you will, I jump into this Hallmark Holiday feet first.

Still, it wasn't until I had my own child that I rediscovered the joy in creating our own Valentine's decorations. The beauty in handmade. Somewhere between my own childhood and womanhood I forgot that half of the beauty of this holiday belongs to the cut out hearts, the puddles of craft glue, and copious amounts of glitter.

Yesterday we made our own Valentine's Day votive holders out of material we already had. I'm not reinventing the wheel here. This project has been done by many, many bloggers, in many schools, and by generations of children. Still, it was fun, cheap, and turned out so sweet.

You'll need:
A recycled glass jar (We used a washed out pickle jar)
Colored tissue paper
Scissors
Liquid starch
Craft brushes
Newspaper
A container to hold your liquid starch

We began by laying newspapers down across our work area. Liquid starch is just that. Liquid. It's runny and messy - which is half the fun.

We took white craft tissue paper and tore it into small squares. 3 inches square or so works well. Under supervision, to make sure that our recycled pickle jar didn't roll right off the table, I had my son lay a piece of tissue paper across the jar. He then painted a small amount of liquid starch right over the top of the tissue paper. We tried just dipping the tissue paper, but it was too soggy, and just matted together.


Continue laying the white tissue paper over your glass jar until the entire jar is covered:


While the jar was still wet, we took shades of red and pink tissue paper and cut out itty bitty hearts. You can add the hearts directly to the top of the first wet white layer. It will help them adhere. If you need too, feel free to paint on just a wee bit more liquid starch:



Add as many tissue hearts as you want and make sure to layer some of them.

Allow your votive to dry overnight. When it's completely dry place a small tea light inside.



The result is charming, don't you think?

Happily crafting away.

Simple Mama

30 comments:

  1. Fun! We did these at Christmas and used baby food jars and used red, green, and white squares. Kids really enjoyed it! :)

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  2. Those are SO adorable! Love it!

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  3. I think I'm going to try this! Can you also tell us how you made stained glass hearts?

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  4. Trish. take a piece a square of tissue paper and fold in half. Cut out half a heart, with the folded side of the tissue paper on the inside. Unfold and you have a whole heart.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2181972_cut-heart-shape.html

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  5. Looks a bit familiar!

    I love the hearts...maybe we'll do them this weekend. And I'm SO stealing the celery idea too. Thanks for inspiring me, again.

    (Oooh. I should add for other people who haven't made these yet that you can make them with both Mod Podge and slightly watered down Elmer's Glue too, if you don't have liquid starch.)

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  6. Love these---What is the song on your blog? I love it!

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  7. Melissa, the first song on my blog is called "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

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  8. Thanks! I made a couple today and they look wonderful... :)

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  9. So cute! I'm keeping this in mind for future holidays!

    blessings!

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  10. I know I'm a late poster but, I want this for all year round!
    My birthday is in February and love hearts. Just so adorable (^.^)

    ~ May

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  11. I just discovered your blog as I was adding to a list of Valentine's Day craft ideas for kids. You have amazing ideas here. I'm sure to come back. I even added this votive idea to this list:

    Valentine's Day Craft Ideas for Kids
    http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/cathleenking/valentines-day-craft-ideas-for-kids

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  12. Great project to do with my grandkids.

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  13. Put out the email at school today for my co-teachers to start saving glass jars. My fifth graders are making these for their Momma's this Valentine's Day.

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  14. Hi there! :) just read your blog, they look wonderful :)
    would love to know, what is liquid starch made of? thank you

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  15. I would assume it's pretty close to just corn starch and water. That's what the homemade stuff is, at any rate.

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  16. My fifth graders made these today for mom for Valentine's Day and they are precious. Did you put any kind of sealant on top so the hearts don't snag and rip? Thanks.

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  17. Mary Jane - I didn't put any sealant on top. I just made sure the hearts were very well pressed down with the starch liquid so that no ends were sticking up.

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  18. How I love this simple made present and that love makes me feel so enormously rich.

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  19. Going to try this with my fourth graders and baby food jars. Wish me luck....I hope the candles fit....

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  20. My kids did this today and all the white tissue paper is falling off now that they've dried. Not enough cornstartch with the water or what went wrong do you think?!

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  21. I'm not certain what went wrong. The liquid starch we used was from the laundry aisle in the grocery store - we didn't make it ourselves. You could also try a watered down white school glue.

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  22. They look beautiful! I will have to give it a try!

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  23. I love this project! However, I think I put on too much liquid starch because when I put on my red hearts the color bled all over. Will try again with less and will not put more on top of the hearts this time. Also, I used my heart punches and it was super easy to make the hearts (I have 3 different sizes). I wanted to try it first to get the hang of it but I can't wait to make it with my little ones...

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  24. i just made it and turnd out really well , thanks mama !!!

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  25. I did these one year for Christmas with a class of preschoolers. We used large baby food jars. I cut out holly leaves/berries from a holiday paper tablecloth and we used squares of colored tissue. Glued (watered down white glue) a layer of tissue and than placed holly leaves/berries on top of that around the jar. Used tea lights inside. They came out really pretty!

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  26. These votive lanterns are so cute and the perfect Valentine's Day craft! I hope it's okay, I've just finished a Valentine's craft round-up and have featured your handmade votives. You can see it here:

    http://jamiebrock.hubpages.com/hub/10-Easy-and-Inexpensive-Valentines-Day-Craft-Ideas

    Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I am sure many will find this useful for Valentine's Day :)

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  27. This was great! My 3 yo daughter and I made these today. We only had 2 jars and my daughter wanted to "paint" more so I cut the tops of some soda bottles from the recycle bin. Worked perfect..and didn't have to worry about her dropping it and it breaking. Thanks again for the idea!

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  28. This was great! My 3 yo daughter and I made these today. We only had 2 jars and my daughter wanted to "paint" more so I cut the tops of some soda bottles from the recycle bin. Worked perfect..and didn't have to worry about her dropping it and it breaking. Thanks again for the idea!

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