Sunday, January 27, 2013

DIY valentine project

 I've seen several projects similar to this on Pinterest, but I wanted to put my own stamp on it, and now you can too!  With Valentine's day quickly approaching, here's a simple project that even the kids can create.

The finished project. 

 As always, first gather your materials.

you'll need:
  • a frame of some sort, proportionate to the size of your letters
  • a set of alphabet letters.  I used dimensional stickers.  If you're lucky enough to have a Cricut, or something like it, you can print out an alphabet from there.  Choose any font you like, or have your kids create their own letters, that would be really cute.
  • a heart of some kind to replace the O in your alphabet.  I don't usually go for much bling, but i thought the contrast between the letters and the heart was nice.  You could use your Cricut or die cutter, or even cut one out of construction paper.  Whatever you like.
  • a solid colored paper for the background.  I liked this dark blue color.
  • pencil, scissors, paint, brushes, etc.  And some glue that didn't make it into the picture.
I went looking for a regular frame, but the cute laser cut frames were on sale, so I decided to use one. If you decide to use a regular frame with a back, you won't need to repurpose a cereal (or in this case, Cheez-it box).  You could even use an extra frame you have lying around.

 Also, I was going to attach that chipboard bird to the bottom right of the frame, but I decided it was too much and I left it out.  He'll be used in another project, I'm sure.

Options... I decided to paint the i and the u from my alphabet.  You can use different stickers, or print out red letters, or whatever you'd like.  I wanted my letters to all be the same font, so I painted them.  You can see that bird was going to be blue... now he's a bluebird of happiness on his own.

 Step One: If you're using a regular frame you can skip this step.  Otherwise, measure the hole in your frame and cut your backing (aka, the cheez-it box) so that it overlaps about 1/4 inch.  I had to make sure the frame wasn't visible through the little holes in the frame.  I always look for a way to repurpose what would otherwise become trash, even if it is recycle trash.  Cereal-esque boxes are great for journal or book covers, matting for pictures, etc.

Cheez-its - the snack that keeps on giving!

Step Two: clue your background paper onto the backing for your frame, and make sure everything lines up correctly.

ah, there's the glue that didn't make it into the supplies pic!

Step Three: Begin lining up your letters to make sure they'll all fit.  I was using stickers, so I made sure not to press them down at all, lest they lose their sticking power.  This took a while, and a bit of futzing.  I kept the frame around the backing to make sure I kept everything within the frame's space.  If you have a high level of spacial reasoning, you might not take as much time as I did.

getting closer.......

Step Four: Once you finally have your letters situated, press them down to stick them in place.  I had to glue a few of them down because they had used up their stickiness, even though I tried to be gentle.  Not a big deal.
Now get ready to stick your heart in the place of the O.  I wasn't super concerned about the I, O, and U lining up, but it was a happy coincidence that they did.  I placed my <3, and then thought it would be cute if I cut up the other <3s in the package to fill up the empty original <3

my <3 is overflowing!

the finished <3, and you can also see that my letters have written text on them

Step Five: paint your frame.... this is also optional, depending on the frame you chose. 

 Steps 6 and 7: I got too wrapped up in what I was doing and didn't snap a picture of me placing the backing into the frame and gluing it down.  You could also use little staples, or, if you're using a real picture frame, this part is, again, unnecessary.  I just glued it down and painted the back to match the front. As always, try not to use too much glue or paint on your cardboard, or it will get soggy and bend and curl.  I always struggle with this concept.

Step 8: I wanted to let my red letters dry for as long as possible, so I glued them on last.  And that's it, you're done!  Now go show someone you love them with this cute and easy project!

 As for cost and time - waiting for the paint and glue to dry on everything took the longest.  I completed this whole project in under 2 hours.

I already had paper, paint, glue, brushes, etc.  I purchased the frame, the hearts, and the letters.  Using my 40% off one item and a fortunate 15% off my entire purchase coupons from my Michaels App, I spend under $8.  Those mobile coupons save so much money!  And, Joann's Fabric will let you use your Michaels coupons too, which is really nice. 

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