Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day for a Dollar!

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day.  Never have been.  Here's what I compare it to:  Have you ever seen a movie trailer that looks spectacular, so much so that you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT to see it?  You read the articles about it, you watch the online clips, you bug your friends to go with you opening night.  The anticipation is palpable.  Then, the moment happens.  You sit back, ready to soak in the best movie you've ever seen, and...Hmph.  It falls flat.  It wasn't bad, there wasn't really anything to complain about, but it just wasn't what you'd built up in your mind. 

That's the way I feel about Valentine's Day (and romantic movies- aren't they the best/worst?!).  I'm not bitter, and it's not for a lack of a loving partner.  I have a perfectly wonderful husband who loves to take me out to dinner, puts the toilet seat down without ever being asked, and likes to do laundry.  Now THAT'S romance.  Plus, we've got an anniversary that rolls around every year that isn't being celebrated at the same time as every other googly-eyed couple in America.  I'd rather be wined and dined then.  In addition to that, reds and pinks are my least favorite colors.  Pretty sure that alone is reason enough to forgo the holiday.

But then....kiddos that you love start to get older that get excited for holidays.  Therefore, it becomes fun to do something for Valentine's Day again.  Behold, this year's Valentine's DIY Project that can be done for a DOLLAR and a half hour of your time- The Loooooooove Picture Puzzle:

My two favorite kids!
I actually pinned this project from another blogger, and I'd hate to take full credit for someone else's project, so please visit her site (and much prettier pictures) here.  She made little fabric drawstring bags to go along with this project, but if you don't sew, want to be cheap, and want to take very little time to make a thoughtful gift, stick with me.  We're going no frills here.

Supply List:
Popsicle Sticks (package of 100 from the Dollar Store!)
Inkjet or Toner Printer
Modge Podge or other craft glue
Small paintbrush
Sharp knife or craft knifeblade
Ziplock bag
Red Sharpie

Most people probably have the majority of these supplies in their house, which is why this is the dollar project- the only thing I needed was popsicle sticks!

First things first:  Find and print pictures that you'd like to make into puzzles.  Print them on regular printer paper on your home printer.  Make sure the pictures are slightly smaller than the width of your popsicle sticks.  My popsicle sticks were just over 4 inches, so I made sure my pictures were only 4 inches when I printed them out.

This is going to be fun.

Side note- I printed in B/W because my printer doesn't have color.  You can do color if you'd like.

After printing, paint the back of your picture with Modge Podge.  Arrange popsicle sticks on the picture, leaving a tiny gap between each stick.  Let them dry.

So easy, a 5 year old could do it.  Seriously.  We're not breaking the bank on
dexterity capabilities here.

When they're dry, write out a nice little message to your gift recipient on the back of the sticks.  Then, use your knife to score a line between each stick to separate them.

Anybody ever visit the Human Body exhibit that traveled around the country?
I feel like the body they sliced into hundreds of pieces and stretched out for 30 feet.

Once separated, coat each individual stick with another coat of Modge Podge.

Got smart for this round.  Glue sticks to paper towels.  Duh.

While you're waiting for that to dry, get your ziplock bag and your red Sharpie, and decorate the bag.

When everything's dry, pop the sticks into the bags, and send to your favorite Valentine.

Happy Valentine's Day, kids!

Quick, cheap, and easy!  And your littlest Valentines will love you for it!  (And then probably use the popsicle sticks to stab each other.  Ehh, that's their mom's problem;)

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