I'm Leah--wife, mother, editor, writer, photographer, and rickrack apologist. There's craftiness in my DNA, but between the kids and my work and the house and the television and my blogs (http://www.agirlandaboy and http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workingonmotherhood, among others), I have to keep my projects quick and easy if I hope to finish them before my boys (born December 2008 and July 2012) graduate from college. You're a working mom and you're busy too, but if you still want to get your craft on, join me here for some fun projects!
Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and I still have no idea whether my son will need to take a big batch of cards to class or if the kids are all going to make them at school during craft time. Either way, I want to make sure he has something to give to his teachers (saints, all of them), and since I’ve grown into the type of person who would rather spend hours creating an original card design instead of minutes letting my son pick out a box of pre-mades at the store, here I am with an idea for quick and easy needle-punch Valentines that you can actually make quicker than you can drive to the store and choose between Toy Story and Cars.
What you’ll need:
Start out by tracing or drawing your design onto the back side of where you want your punch design to show. (If you’re using a folded card in a horizontal orientation, make sure your design goes on upside down so it will be right side up when you look at the front of the card.) I used a cookie cutter to make the big heart, a vegetable cutter for the medium heart (the same one I used for the potato-stamped Valentine’s Day towels), and I free-handed the small hearts after measuring out and drawing the vertical lines with a ruler.
With your design in place, all you need to do now is poke the needle into the paper according to the effect you want to achieve. Punch outlines, punch randomly all over your shape, punch in a pattern, whatever floats your boat. Because you’re punching from the back side of the paper to the front, you’re creating a cool raised texture that you’re just not going to find on a mass-produced card. Everyone will be impressed and invite you to their swanky parties.
I used blank white cards because I had some left over from my son’s birthday invitations, but this technique would look sweet and perhaps a bit more festive on colored paper if you have it. Thicker paper–think cardstock more than printer paper–will hold up best and look more polished as a finished product. Also note that while I held the paper carefully in my left hand while I punched with the right, you can also lay the card on a pincushion if you’re worried about poking your fingers (or your kids are worried about poking theirs). Blood is not festive, I’ll tell you what.
My sons are a bit young to work with a sharp needle*, so I did all the punch work myself, which means I hereby award this craft extra points because it can be done sitting in front of the t.v. If your kids are old enough to handle a needle, though, you’ll probably want to turn the t.v. off and, you know, bond with them or something. You might even learn a thing or two about their Valentine crushes.
*Since I wanted my son to help make these but I wasn’t about to let a four-year-old wield a needle, I had him do some watercolor detailing on the cards post-punching. I think they turned out pretty great (in real life the color is a bit more even across the fronts of the cards), and he’s going to be so proud to give these to his teachers next week. Nothing says love like handmade anything.
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