By Andrea Tomkins
I think homemade Valentine’s Day cards make an amazing gift, which is why we’re a DIY-Valentine kind of family. But here’s the thing—when you need to make two dozen for your kid’s class, it’s really important to find something manageable to do. This is why our cards rarely involve intricate designs and embroidered details. (AS IF.)
My advice to my fellow DIYers is to (a) start early and (b) take an assembly line approach over a few evenings. If you don’t give your crew enough time there will be tears on February 13th. And some of them might even be yours.
I like this Valentine pencil craft because it’s something my kids can do by themselves. It’s not too girly and there’s no lovey-dovey stuff, either. (This was major criteria for my youngest; heaven forbid a boy thinks that she actually wants him to be her Valentine! Ewww!)
What you’ll need:
• Pencils. The first time we did this we used up a dozen pencils that came from loot bags over the past year. It was a great way of cleaning up the craft area and we didn’t need to take a trip to the office supply store.
• Pom poms in two sizes; small and smaller. We used a mix of grey, white, black and brown.
• Googly eyes or black felt
• Glue gun
• One 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of sticker paper (optional—if you want to try it, something like this would work great)
1. Warm up the glue gun. Please be careful as it gets very hot. Help your children with this part if they’re not old enough to do it themselves.
2. Have your child prep the bear faces and cut the ribbon. You will need two or three inches of ribbon per pencil. (The ribbon forms the necktie and hides bits of dried glue.)
3. Squeeze out a pea-sized bit of glue on to the bottom of the larger pompom and stick it to the top of the pencil. This is the bear’s head. The smaller ones form the ears and nose—glue those, then the eyes. My youngest decided she wanted winking and sleeping bears for some of her pencil toppers, so she cut out little black slits for their eyes instead of using the googly eyes.
4. Glue on the necktie last.
Instead of attaching a card to each pencil we decided to print our greeting on the sticker paper, cut it out, and apply it to each one. We wrote “You’re beary nice,” but “You’re a beary good friend” would have worked too.
That’s it! A totally bearable Valentine’s Day craft! (Har har.)
Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. She’s a freelance writer who is often found with camera in hand or scribbling madly in her notebook. She is passionate about arts and culture, travel and healthy living, and gets an extra big thrill out of helping parents and kids discover all the hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999. She’ll be sharing a great new craft idea here at CF.ca every Friday.