Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Toddler Valentine's Card Craft

It's not that often that I get crafty. I like to make things and I have crafty skills. My problem usually lies with two key factors: time and tools.

When I decide I want to make something crafty instead of buying the item, I usually decide last minute. Then I realize I would have to go out and get the tools needed. At that point I usually just decide buying the already made item is easier and end my craft-capades there.

This time I actually crafted (though still last minute) and I even remembered to take photos for a blog posts. Woo Hoo! What I did not do is buy the tools. Nope, in typical Pirate fashion I pillaged the house to find items I could use to make a cute Valentine's Day card from The First Mate to his Grandparents.

Here is what you'll need (or some similar items that you found lying around the house)

Sweetened Condensed Milk
Strawberry Gelatin
Toilet Paper Roll
Paper Bags
Paper Plates
A Small Child
Glue Stick or Tape
Writing Utensil

So I wanted to make non-toxic paint rather than buy some. You are more than welcome to use the premade stuff, but I'm lazy and I know my kid eats everything. I saw on Pinterest to use sweetened condensed milk and food coloring to make paint. I had the sweetened condensed milk, but I used all of the red food coloring on the icing for The First Mate's Mickey Mouse birthday cake. That's how the strawberry gelatin came into play.

I dug through the paper goods cabinet (my parent's aren't very green) and found paper plates and bags. In the junk drawer I found a red pencil and the oldest glue stick ever, more on that later.

Here is how to make the paint:

Mix together the gelatin and condensed milk until you achieve the desired color. The texture did end up gritty. I think dissolving the gelatin in water first would be smart. The condensed milk is so thick, adding a little water should still allow it to dry.

Use a box cutter if needed to score the crease

Then fold a toilet paper roll down the center of one side of the tube to create a heart. Place your child somewhere that can be cleaned easily and let them stamp away. I overestimated The First Mate's artistic ability at 16 months, so things were not quite as I envisioned. He also liked to eat his handiwork. That's when plan B was born. I think it ended up much better in the end.

See why I made edible paint?

I decided to paint The First Mate's feet and use them as stamps. I had a moment of clarity and moved this project to the bathroom and got the bathtub ready to go. I highly recommend you do the same. Or the hose, that sounds like an awesome idea!

Spread some paint on a plate and dip in your child's foot. I also rubbed the paint on by hand to make sure every surface was covered. Press a clean paper plate onto one foot. Then press the other foot on to make a heart shape, like this:

Be sure to make enough for all the cards you want to make. It did take a few attempts to get ones that I liked. My son thought this was the best thing ever too. He loved getting messy and was laughing the whole time. Let all your artwork dry completely before assembling the cards.

To make the cards cut your paper bags with three cuts. First make a cut just above the fold of the bag bottom. Then another cut just below the dip in the top of the bag. Lastly, cut just along the right side to create an open card.

Now cut out some hearts from the first portion of the project. I made these hearts after learning The First Mate's weren't up to par. You will need two hearts per card.

Using a glue stick, stick them to the front of the card like so. If your glue stick is ancient, like the one I found, it may do this:


Then you get can use tape instead. Tape works just fine. 

Next write in the wording. It will read "I {Love} U with my {Heart} and" on the outside. 

For the inside cut out the footprints into a heart and attach on the right side of the card interior. On the inside left write "Sole". I also wrote my son's name and the year in the bottom right corner.

Here is the finished project:

Sole, as in the soles of feet, get it? 

I made a card for each set of grandparents. I don't think I could have handled making more, I hate messes. Overall I think it turned out pretty good and I didn't have to buy a thing.


  1. So cute and clever! And, Baby J looks like he had the time of his life. Good job!

  2. Something this messy was definitely out of my character, but it turned out well. Thanks.


I'd love to hear what you've got to say. Please leave a comment and I'll do my best to reply to them all.