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With a few discarded mailing tubes, construction paper, and Fiskars Squeeze Punches you can craft these characters in under 20 minutes.
If all the pink and hearts and lace weren't enough, society throws in kissing, the word LOVE everywhere they turn, and the worst of it all, the expectation of giving Valentines to everyone in class, including the girls. That's dangerous territory!
If the idea is for them to celebrate a day of relationships by telling the people in their lives what they mean to them, giving them some control over how they do that can make the holiday much more bearable. And it can make them much more cooperative! My son and I used a few Fiskars tools and some paper and fabric scraps to create Valentines for his classmates. We made simple cloth bags that involves stitching 3 straight lines, and we dropped a little notepad and a piece of candy in each one.
As we were planning, my son said it was important to him that the bags not be Valentine's Day themed so his friends could use them any time of the year. He also wanted each Valentine to be personalized with his friends' names.
We began by cutting a 4.75 inch by 14 inch strip of fabric for each bag.
Next, we folded the strip in half (short ends together and right sides together) and stitched up each side (the long edges) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, followed by trimming the seam allowances with Fiskars Pinking Shears to prevent them from unraveling.
Then, with the bag still inside out, we folded the top edge of the bag over about 3/4 inch. We stitched 1/4 inch from the raw edge of the hem to create a casing for the tie and turned the bag right side out.
We finished the bags by snipping 2 small holes in the tie casing and running a length of yarn through the casing using a paper clip. Be sure that whatever material you choose for your tie is strong enough to withstand being pulled on and tied. Some yarns will break very easily. You might consider twine or ribbon.
We decided to personalize the notebooks. You can purchase little notebooks inexpensively as party or holiday favors. These Christmas notebooks were $2 for a package of 8 and after Christmas, 1/2 price. We covered them with scrap paper, stamped names on them, and added a few colorful punched shapes to finish them off.
Adding a wrap with a sentiment to snack sized candy bars is where I worked with my son to show him that you can safely tell a person something nice about how they make you feel, even if it's a girl! We used Fiskars stamps but you could easily print out your own sentiments.
We played on the name of some of the candybars. His friend Parker gets a 100 Grand bar with a wrap made by combining 3 stamps from the Grateful Simple Stick Rubber Stamp set.
His friend Beth gets a Snickers bar with a wrap that tells her she makes him laugh. He loved this one. Laugh. Snickers. Ha-ha! And it's safe yet complimentary. Everyone's happy!
And we had some wraps that didn't play on candybar names. His friend Ben gets a Hershey's bar with a wrap that tells him how awesome he is in general.
So if you have young boys, think about exemplifying the spirit of the holiday. Have a heart. Instead of getting exasperated with a battle over mass produced cutesy Valentines, help them come up with a few safe sentiments of their own so they can learn how to participate in the holiday in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
4.75 inch x 14 inch fabric scraps
stamping ink pads
snack size candy bars