We recently took a crafty detour to whip up some DIY Valentine ideas for an upcoming visit to View from the Bay. As we brainstormed various projects to share on the show, we wanted to be sure they used recycled materials or were otherwise kind to Mama Earth. And, of course, they needed to be zero-stress, super fun (for kids and adults), and totally affordable. Here’s a sneak peak at what you’ll see on the show (on February 5th), plus a little more detail in case you’re inspired to spread some Valentine love. Let us know if you do!
These sweet kraft envelopes (made out of grocery bags) are decorated using a nifty printing process you might remember from elementary school. The printing blocks are made from styrofoam. It’s a way to make something beautiful out of those troubling meat and veggie trays from the grocery store, since they can be hard to recycle. Like a potato print, the process imparts a naïve, spontaneous quality that we love—without the cruelty to potatoes! Plus, you get a little more printing area and, because the styrofoam is so much easier to carve, you can create more detailed designs. For detailed instructions and templates, click here.
Have any long-neglected, half-empty bottles of nail polish lingering in your bathroom drawer or cabinet? Well, those colors are right on for Valentine’s Day! And their dazzling, lacquer finish turns simple shapes into jewel-like embellishments on little scraps of leftover card stock. Experiment with different methods to apply the polish (dotting, dripping, pouring, pushing) and keep your work small for best results. Please be kind to your brain cells: do this in a well-ventilated area and plan to make just a few, for your most precious Valentines.
Here’s a novel e-Valentine idea. It starts with a low-key scavenger hunt where you’re looking for words and/or letters to spell out your particular message of love. Use your camera to snap signs and portions of signs. Look for the most interesting letterforms and a variety of media (neon, plastic, painted, wood, metal, stamped, etc.). You can go on a more leisurely “sign safari” and just snap away; come home and see what you can put together with your findings. Or come up with a few very specific phrases and go in search of your exact prey. Assemble your phrase in one jpg file using photo editing software and attach it to an email. Send us a copy, while you’re at it. We’d love to see what you’ve found!
When looking for signs and words, here are a couple things to keep in mind. It’s OK if the angle is a little tilted, or maybe you get some reflection off a shop-front window. That’s all part of the variety that makes this interesting. You just want to be sure the letters and words are readable. For example, signs where the letters are all bunched together don’t work so well, unless you can use the whole word.
And, hey! If you just don’t have time to do your own scavenger hunt, or you don’t have the software to put the photos together, we’ve assembled over 20 loveable messages; feel free to pick through our treasure trove and find just the right message for your Valentine. Click here to go to our entire collection of free, downloadable valensigns.
Happy February 14th, from february 13 creative!