Handmade Valentines

Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday of them all. It seems, despite my best efforts to manage my expectations, I always experience some sort of romantic let down. It’s silly, really. The one day of the year when the romantic nature I do my best to keep to myself, seems to rear it’s ugly head and dream up all sorts of wild scenarios and surprises. Perhaps it’s my husband’s fault for seeing the bar so high on our first Valentine’s together.

Now that you know my dirty little secret, I’ll let you in on another. The best way to manage my annual Valentine’s Day disappointment is to put my heart into making the day better for other people. And now that I have a little guy, with a good group of tiny friends, I thought it would be really fun to make them something special.

I first started this project intending to make soap crayons for the bath, but for whatever reason, maybe it was the soap I bought (goat’s milk from Michael’s) or the mix of food coloring I added, but they didn’t actually color. And you can’t give kids crayons that don’t color, you know? I didn’t think the kiddos would find tiny soaps all that exciting, so I rifled through my office cabinets, came up with a whole jar full of crayons that weren’t from a set and used the heart mold I bought to make some little rainbow crayons instead. In addition to these little crayons being a fun and crazy combination of colors, they aren’t candy, and I always feel good about being able to provide an alternative to sugar on typically sugar-filled holidays.

To make these crazy little crayons you’ll need:

  • fingernails + time, for peeling the crayon labels
  • 100 or so “peeled” crayons, colors of your choice
  • paring knife + cutting board for chopping crayons
  • silicone heart mold
  • oven, set to 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crayons are completely melted
  • patience for the crayons to completely set before you pop them out and see how they turned out

To make the cards, I used a little pack from Target, some stamps and ink we had on hand (similar here), and had Emmett color all over a piece of white card stock, traced hearts on the back, and cut them out to paste on the front of the cards. I’ve had a bunch of these little canvas bags stored away since I went through my Anthropologie phase quite a few years back, and I thought they’d be super cute for our crayons with some sweet names and initials stamped on the front.

These valentines are SUPER simple and obviously imperfect, but I really love how these turned out, and I can’t wait to deliver them to all our little friends tomorrow with my sweet boy. If you’re running out of time and looking for something super easy, give these babies a go! There’s just something about putting love and time and care into making and delivering handmade goodies. Edible or not, I always enjoy the gift giving process ten-fold when my gift comes from the heart. I hope I can teach Emmett the same thing as he gets older. Here’s to an extra special Valentine’s Day for everyone, may you (and especially me) keep your expectations in check and hopefully, be pleasantly surprised!

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