>Two EASY DIY Paper Crafting Projects for Valentine’s Day…

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ONE: Paper Heart Mini “Basket”
This Valentine-themed project has stuck with me since elementary school (I think it was the second grade). Something about it just made such an impression on my seven year-old mind, way back then. My teacher patiently showed us how to make these, step-by-step, and it was a little tricky at first…but once I “got it” – I was hooked. It was like magic to me, that I could weave a “basket” out of paper! Perhaps that’s where my love of paper began…

Now it’s my “go-to” project around Valentine’s Day or when I need a little container/envelope for goodies. I can use almost any type paper I have around the house and all it requires is a pair of scissors. I think they’re adorable (and impressive….especially when you receive one made by a kid)!  It looks like it’s complicated and time consuming, but once you get the hang of the weaving part, it’s actually very easy.  Last year I made about 20 of these in one sitting to hold “squishees” pencil toppers for the neighborhood kids.  I use cardstock for durability, but you can use just about any type of paper, magazine pages, felt, even fabric!


Scroll down further for another super easy how-to (fold an envelope out of a paper heart) and to see Mason’s handmade Valentine’s production for his first grade class card exchange.
Start with 2 sheets of 8.5″ X 11″ cardstock. You really only need 1 sheet to make a basket, but I wanted two different papers for contrast.  So this will yield two baskets.

Fold the sheets in half.

Draw this shape (this is to make 2 baskets).  The arched side should be at the open end, the flat side (bottom) is at the folded end of the paper.  Cut out the shapes.

Use the cut-outs to trace the shape onto the contrasting sheet of folded paper so that the shapes are similar in size.
Here are your two pieces for one basket.  Remember, the flat edge should be the fold, the arched end should be the open side of the paper.  You can do two baskets out of 2 sheets of 8.5″ X 11″ paper.

Starting directly in the middle/half from the fold, cut strips into the shapes, but do not cut all the way through, stop about 1 inch from the arched top.

Cut a total of 3 even strips on each shape.  They should look like this…
Here’s where it gets a little tricky and hard to explain…alternate slipping the folded end of the strip in and out of each contrasting strip, you’ll start to weave the pieces together…

The pieces should be turned so that they make a heart shape.  So you start one strip at a time and insert between the folds of the alternating color strip.  It’s all about alternating…you just gotta play around with it until you figure out how to correctly weave it.  Hmmm, this is where a video tutorial would come in handy…but I think you can figure it out…
Keep weaving…once you get the hang of one strip…you’ll get that “a-ha” moment and the rest will be a cinch…
Patience, Grasshopper…
Almost there…
Done!
If you wove correctly, it should open up like this…a little heart basket to hold goodies!
Add some ribbon and embellishments and you’ve got a little “purse”….this would be cute for birthday party goodie bags too.  To make the weave more intricate, cut double the number of strips by cutting the width thinner…it means a good deal more weaving, but the “squares” will appear smaller.  Make sure that the number of strips is even for both sides. 

I took two pages from a magazine…
…And made a paper heart mini basket…perfect size for a love note and a few pieces of chocolate.
TWO: Paper Heart Envelope
This is so easy, it needs no explanation…just follow the pictures…

Mason’s Cards:
As a stationery designer, I could certainly provide many options for my kids’ cards. I usually go a little overboard on their birthday party invitations, I can’t help it…but that’s to be expected, right?  For their classroom card exchange, I could probably just design and make them all myself and call it a day…they’d be pretty fantastic, but they’d be “me”…doilies and vintage illustrations, fancy handmade papers and embellishments, possibly a pop-up heart or something “blingy”….not something a six year-old boy wants to hand out in class. I prefer to let my kids express themselves in their own way…I’m happy to provide the tools and resources, but they take the creative reins.  


So this is what Mason wanted to do…he made these for his classmates using things we had around the house in the craft cabinet. Note: Isaac (4) started this project with us, but got bored after cutting out one heart, so it looks like he’ll be handing out store bought (probably Iron Man) cards in preschool.  


I always have lots of paper, as you can imagine….so it wasn’t hard to find the sheets of pink Mason requested. I cut them into 4.25″ X 5.5″ pieces, folded them in half…Mason cut out the heart shapes.
He wrote “From Mason” on the back of all the hearts (writing “love,” or “xoxo” is not his thing).  Some were written “in cursive”…
On the other side of each heart, he glued googly eyes and drew a mouth.  No two were alike.
He made 30 hearts.
Then he put the hearts into glassine bags, along with a pencil, an eraser and a fun clip (they’re not allowed to hand out treats at school).  I helped him add a stamped tag and foam heart sticker.
He wrote a note for his teacher on the heart shaped paper that I folded into an envelope and put a bunch of goodies in a heart basket for his teacher.  He even asked to make an extra Valentine for his teacher’s son.  What a sweetie!

…And here’s how my niece’s Valentines turned out.  She drew herself as a superhero girl and I printed a simple card to hand out to her kindergarten class today.  The concept and wording was my sister’s idea.  


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This entry was posted in DIY, easy how-to, Holidays, Just Because, Paper, Paper Crafting, random projects. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to >Two EASY DIY Paper Crafting Projects for Valentine’s Day…

  1. Joann W says:

    >Wow…these are amazing! I want a valentine now. :)

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