With Valentines quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share some sweet ideas for crafting with kids. Today, my college roommate, sorority sister, and blogging buddy--Stephanie is here to share an adorable kid-friendly Valentine craft. Take it away Stephanie!
Hi! I'm Stephanie from Twodaloo and I am thrilled to be guest posting today at Crafty Texas Girls! Since my blog is all about play and learning with little ones, I thought I'd pick a super cute and crafty Valentine activity that would make a perfect gift for someone special in your child's life.
Believe it or not, the inspiration for this activity came from one of my least favorite chores- cleaning windows. You see, I have twins that just turned two. And yes, twins are double the fun, and the hugs, and the giggles...and the fingerprints! Look closely at my windows, and my storm door, and my walls, and you'll see evidence galore. But someone recently pointed out to me that my time with my tots will go by all too fast, and one day I will look upon my clean house with sadness and wish for those smudges and smears all over again. So I decided to capture one of those handprints in a suncatcher, and here's how you can do it, too!
To create this project, you will need:
- An embroidery hoop (plastic and wood hoops both work for this project)
- A piece of clear vinyl large enough to overlap your embroidery hoop by an inch or two on all sides (see photo below)
- Paint in your color(s) of choice, glitter, embellishments, etc. *We used acrylic craft paint because that's what I had on hand, but you could use nontoxic finger paint if you are concerned about paint being accidentally ingested.*
Step One: Prepare Your Canvas
- Separate the two pieces of your embroidery hoop. Lay the outer ring of your hoop (the piece with the screw) flat on a table and loosen the screw almost the entire way. Place the vinyl sheet on top, making sure to overlap equally on each side. Then, lay your inner ring on top of the vinyl.
- Press the inner ring into the outer ring, sandwiching the vinyl in place. Tighten the screw a bit and then carefully pull the sides of the vinyl to stretch it as tight as possible across the hoop. When you are satisfied, tighten the screw the rest of the way.
- Trim the excess vinyl from the edge of the hoop, flip it over, and your canvas is complete!
Step 2: Add Your Toddler(s)Now this, my friends, is the tricky part. Toddlers and paint have a notoriously messy relationship. Most of the time, our painting sessions end up looking like this...
And if you try to focus too much on getting the perfect handprint, your project may end up looking like this (our first attempt)...
So how did I end up with such a perfect little handprint? Instead of making the handprint our central activity, I set the twins up with a huge sheet of white butcher paper, an assortment of brushes, and some other fun painting tools, and let them paint to their hearts' content. Then, when the time was right, I snuck in and got their handprints while their attention was focused elsewhere. No whining, no struggles, and the twins got to create freely and experiment with the materials, which is the best type of art for this age group. While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled some pastel glitter onto the handprints for a little extra sparkle. Then I let them dry overnight.
Step 3: Add Your Embellishments
After the paint is dry, you can jazz up your handprint with some fun embellishments! Since ours were Valentine's themed, I used some felt heart stickers and some adhesive heart gems. These are great for toddlers- the adhesive keeps the mess to a minimum and peeling and sticking the stickers and gems is a wonderful fine motor workout.
And the finished product?
A masterpiece, if I do say so myself! Although I am keeping this one for myself, this would make a perfect gift for grandparents. Slightly older children can get more creative with handprint art, but we kept it simple for obvious reasons! Another great thing about using clear vinyl as your canvas is that both sides can be painted if you desire...coating the back side with glitter glue is another way to add sparkle to your suncatcher. I hope you liked our little project.
Thank you, Samantha, for having me over today! Wishing you all a happy Valentine's Day full of smiles, giggles, and a few handprints!
*A big thank you to Craft Project Ideas.com for supplying the felt stickers and gems for this activity!
Stephanie is a speech-language pathologist specializing in early language and autism who is currently staying home with her two-year-old twins. She blogs about early childhood activities, creative projects, and parenting adventures (and mishaps) at Twodaloo. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and G+.
Thank you Stephanie for sharing your creativity with us. Please stop and visit Stephanie's beautiful blog. Her posts are always inspiring and uplifting-- a must read for all moms!
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