Today, Zander and I made homemade valentines that were inspired by–OK, outright copied from–Chef Messy’s fabulous blog. They were time-consuming, but super easy to make and so much fun. Plus, the results were absolutely precious! Here’s how we did it:
1. Peel and break a random assortment of crayons. As you can tell by the look on his face, Zander was initially a little distressed by this. He told me several times, “Mama, crayons are for coloring, not for breaking.” But once he finally got into the spirit, there was no stopping him!
2. Fill a heart-shaped silicone mold with the broken pieces of crayon. I thought about helping Zander to group these by color family or some other method, but I ultimately decided to let him retain full creative control, and I’m so glad I did!
3. Place the mold onto a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the mold to a cold cookie sheet (so you don’t destroy everything in your freezer) and place the melted crayons in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden. Make sure they’re on a level surface, or you could wind up with a terrible mess.
5. Remove from freezer and pop hardened heart-shaped crayons out of the mold. Repeat as many times as necessary (we made 3 batches of hearts for Zander’s 30 valentines and had a few left over for him to draw with).
6. While the crayons were melting and cooling, we used two sizes of circular cookie cutters to draw the patterns for our cards. If you don’t have circular cookie cutters, you could use drinking glasses, jar lids, or a variety of other household items to trace your circles.
7. Next we spent a gazillion hours cutting out all of the circles.
8. Because Zander is not yet writing, I decided to create another way for him to sign his name on the back of each valentine. After seeking his input, I carved the letter Z and a heart into some rubber, then glued them to a couple of small wooden blocks to make them easy for him to hold. Zander later explained to me that “Z is for Zander, and the heart is for lovin’.”
9. We weren’t sure which type of adhesive would work the best to assemble our cards, so we tried several. We wound up using a glue stick between the two pieces of card stock and a combination of double-sided picture-hanging squares and glue dots to stick the crayons onto the paper. We wanted them to be easy for little fingers to remove, but sturdy enough to stay put until someone was ready to pull them off.
10. Zander used his new stamps to place his signature Z and a heart (or 2 or 3) on the back of each card.
11. And finally, we carefully selected a crayon for each card.
12. We now have 30 beautiful valentines to send to Zander’s friends, family, and classmates, and he is such a proud little Cupid!