Thursday, January 31, 2013

14 Days of Valentines: Valentine Love Sacks

I'm so glad you've decided to join us today for the kick-off to our 14 Days of Valentines!!!

I know today is January 31st, and technically there are 15 days until Valentine's Day. But, I thought we would get started a bit early. Plus, asking me to blog on Sunday is just not going to happen. I will be spending my time at Worship, preparing lunch for my family, a Super Bowl Party Sunday night after Worship, etc. Blogging does not fit in. So, here's to starting the 14 Days of Valentine's on January 31st! Enjoy!!!

I would like to begin with a disclaimer: If you're looking for the perfect craft or recipe to make you look like Martha Stewart in front of all your friends/family, then you're at the wrong place. You can just go ahead and click back over to Pinterest for those Martha Stewart-like crafts and eat your heart out, because that's not what we will be presenting you with for the next 2 weeks. No sir. However, if you're looking for a fun activity, a little Valentine inspiration, and a few tried and true recipes, then you've come to the right place. Let's get started!

On Monday night I gathered all the supplies needed to create Valentine Love Sacks with my children, and we had a great time. This project took about 10 minutes, tops. When you're working with small children, it's best to plan projects that are not too involved or time consuming. My kids love to craft, but they also love to play. A time-out from playing in order to craft is not always their first priority. So, choose your project and time slot wisely. Also, I've learned that it's best to gather all of your supplies and have everything ready BEFORE you even tell them you're plan. This helps to avoid the never ending question of "are you ready yet, Mom"? It also helps to avoid a loss of interest.
So, like I was saying, I gathered all of my supplies, then asked my kiddos to come to the kitchen table. I told them we would be making Valentine Love Sacks, so that we could add little notes, pictures, candies, etc. each day leading up to Valentine's Day. Like their Christmas stockings, we will open our sacks on Valentine's Day and have little surprises to make us smile.

white or brown paper lunch sacks
sticky-back Velcro (this is totally optional)
paper cutter
Conversation hearts (These were the biggest hit at my house!)
heart-shaped doilies
glue sticks and Elmer's glue
Valentine craft paper
magic markers, colored pencils, crayons

I folded down the top of the lunch sacks, then unfolded and snipped away the inside layer to make just one flap. I then attached sticky-back Velcro, so that the sacks would stay closed. Who doesn't love Velcro? This step is totally optional, I just happened to have the Velcro on-hand and thought it would be fun.

My kiddos wrote their own names and they also made all of their own decorating choices. Do these sacks look like Martha Stewart? No way. That was not the point of the craft. I wanted my kids to have fun creating something all on their own. And they did. They each created their own sacks, then Parker created his Daddy's sack and I created my own. Like I said, this took about 10 minutes, then we let the sacks dry overnight. Tuesday morning, Parker was so eager to check on his Valentine Love Sack. Yes, all of the Conversation Hearts had firmly stuck to the sack. Victory!

 I displayed them in front of our fireplace on top of the beautiful red wooden sled my husband gave me for Christmas (I love it and cannot stand the thought of putting it away with the other christmas decorations yet. Don't judge.)

As soon as Parker came home from school Tuesday, he wanted to know if he had received any notes in his Valentine Love Sack yet? Well, we had to remedy that quickly. We all began to create love notes and pictures. He was so cute, working in his room on a note, then coming to the kitchen to ask me how to spell certain words.  I also found some free printable love notes here.
I decided to leave a basket of love note supplies on the kitchen table so that the kids (or my husband!) could write little notes whenever they wanted.

After dinner last night, while I was getting ready for Bible study, I could hear my husband and kids talking about notes they were working on. I have to tell ya, I'm a bit tempted to open my Valentine Love Sack right now and just take a little peek. But, I will not. Yet.
It's going to be fun adding little notes to the sacks every day.
I hope you'll get your family together and create something fun! This craft cost me zero dollars, as I already had all the supplies, but I think it's going to pay big dividends when we open the sacks on Valentine's Day and enjoy reading our notes as a family. I can't wait!

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