Valentine Love for Kindergarten


Last year it was enough for us to purchase the pre-made Valentine's Day cards (Kung Fu Panda, I believe) and spend nearly an hour getting our preschool son to sign his name to each one.

This year, there was no way we were not making Valentines. What a perfect excuse to create something else!

Because I love the process as much as the final product (and because I believe it is so important to realize we are all human and that those amazing crafts don't pop out pefect the first time, every time!), I've included the whole lot below.

I started by dreaming I could use my Cricut to cut hearts out of fabric (glitter felt squares puchased in the children's section of the craft store). Unfortunately, I don't have the deep that didn't work. I did get enough of an outline (from the blade) to create a template.

my Cricut

I cut out the template (using regular scissors) and used it to cut out 20 other hearts. I then used the computer to type up 20 "Happy Valentine's Day" cards (using Microsoft Word and the ruler guidelines to ensure the card would fit on the heart).

I cut out the individual cards and let my son write his name on each one. We did an assembly line: after he wrote his name, I used my lovely sewing machine to sew the sides and bottom of the card to the front of each heart. (I left the top open to make a pocket.)

This process went fairly well until the bobbin started acting up...I had one heart that my machine kept gobbling up. Eventually, I had to use my seam ripper to pull the whole card off and just start again. (I only had enough fabric for the 20 hearts so I was luckily able to salvage that!)

Using the seam ripper to get the last few threads off of the fabric heart I just had to salvage. The paper was already removed.

Side note: (partially because I think it's funny and partially because I want to encourage ANYONE to craft and create regardless of your space) My sewing machine is on the floor.

I have a tiny desk in the basement but got tired of bumping into the wall. I now just sit on the floor and use my foot on the foot pedal to sew...sometimes creating some interesting body positions. Who said yoga could only be done on a sticky mat?? Hey, it works. While I dream of having some of the studios like the ones in "Where Women Create", I'm going to work with what I have and make it enjoyable.

We had found some organic lollipops (or Wall-E-Pops as my daughter calls them) at TJ Maxx. (Discount!) After winning the battle with my sewing machine, my son returned to put the lollipops in the pockets we had created.

The final product(s):

We also created a valentine for his teacher.

I must admit, I started with the best of intentions for this Valentine but not the clearest of pictures of how I was going to do it. I wanted to use paper and fabric. The result? Another lesson in letting go of perfectionism and embracing a handmade look.

I used the cricut again to cut a heart out of paper. I then used it as a template to trace the same size heart and another heart about 1/4 of an inch around that heart onto muslin (for seam allowance). The thought was that I would sew the seam around the muslin heart to create a more finished look, then sew the muslin heart to the paper heart.

I've never sewn a seam around a curved item before so I totally guessed along the way. I ended up cutting notches all the way around the muslin heart so the seam portion could fold over onto the heart (without gathering). I tried pinning the seam over...then gave up on that. I just moved very slowly, letting the fabric heart feed into the sewing machine and frequently lifting the presser foot to turn the fabric.

The result was a VERY handmade-looking heart.

We then decided that our son needed to find a way to make this personal (besides just signing his name). So we again used the cricut (love that thing!) to make an envelope into which he could tuck a personal note. I used the Big Bite to put some eyelets on the envelope so we could tie it closed. And back to the sewing machine...

Another Side Note: I have a lot of tools and machines. I've built up my collection over time. If you are thinking of purchasing any of these, please know that I've not paid full price for any of them! With a little research, you can save yourself a lot of money....which, of course, can be used for more tools and machines. :)

I decided to just sew the envelope onto the muslin heart (easier than trying to glue). I just used a straight stitch along the sides and bottom. My son wrote his personal note while I did this.

Finally, I used a zig zag stitch on the sewing machine to attach the muslin heart/envelope piece to the paper heart backing. Because I'd done such an....interesting....job on sewing the seam on the muslin heart, the hearts were no longer the same size. So when they were sewn together, I did get some gathering of the fabric.

Again, perfectionism monsters defeated. (Or at least jailed up. They were still yelling at me. Nasty buggers.)

The final project?

I sent my son off to school a few hours ago with his Valentines. He is so excited about passing them out and seeing what everyone else brings.

And THAT is what makes it all worth it.

Lisa WilsonComment