I love Valentines Day. I blame my nana of course, she had me believing for many years she was born on the 14th but it was actually the 13th. Which might as well be Valentines Day, it’s close enough. So we celebrated like crazy that month of love. I would make paper hearts to decorate the whole house; there were always bags of chocolates and those little pastel hearts with cute words, plus a really pretty cake with red and white frosting. We all had a lot of fun in February.
I also have a really special aunt that is one of the kindest and toughest human beings I know and her birthday is actually on Valentine’s Day. Now every year I make sure to include her favorite gift of a historical romance novel along with some sweet treat and a beautiful plant from my garden or local nursery down the street. I have had two really beautiful women, one is now in heaven and the other is here with me that were born during the month of hearts and love, that is reason enough to keep me celebrating Valentine’s Day.
I think it is one of the reasons I love hearts so much. I have many happy memories of that special heart day. Thought I share with all of you some of the projects we worked on for Valentine’s Day this year.
Mini cakes- This is so easy. This is a kid’s project but adults will love eating these miniature treats. I used boxed cake but if you would like to make a basic cake from scratch here is the recipe:
31/2 cups of flour
3 cups of sugar
½ tsp. Baking powder
1 cup butter-softened
½ cup shortening
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
½ tsp. Salt
1 cup milk
Just pour your cake mix into a muffin tin. Make sure to spray the pan then lightly sprinkle flour over it so your little cakes won’t stick to pan. Once done cooking let cool and then cut cupcakes in half, these will be your mini cakes to decorate.
Get all your little decorations out and the frosting and start having some fun.
To keep it simple I bought store brand frosting but again, you can make your own frosting with powdered sugar and a teaspoon of milk plus Vanilla extract for flavor.
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons of milk
Have a cake party, invite the family over and make tiny cakes. This is also great for kids birthday parties. Find or make your own little pink paper boxes to put your tiny cakes in for your guest to take home later. This reminds me of Easy bake ovens and their tiny cake sets that cost more then the giant boxes on grocery shelves.
Little chocolate hearts-
Okay I had a nailed it moment, which was a huge mistake. I love laughing at failed craft projects because I myself have failed at so many things. Practice makes perfect they say, so if something I make looks good in one of my photographs, imagine all the mistakes that came before because they are there, I am just not sharing. Some of my posts are long enough, and who wants to see those mistakes. So here is one, my attempt at melting chocolate.
I have melted chocolate before, have even taken a class in melting chocolates the correct way, but I guess I forgot all that and this is how my chocolate turned out…like cottage cheese, YUCK! I wonder if chickens eat chocolate, better not, might make them sick. Turns out all it took was a few drops of water in my glass measuring cup to create this mess. I thought the cup was dry…Oh well better luck next time.
So I took a long break from making the chocolate but was able to get some milk chocolate done before my frustration set in. Although very messy, I actually got that melted chocolate in the mold. Food is just not my strong area. So glad my husband is Italian and loves to cook. I am afraid it would be boiled hot dogs and Mac and cheese forever in our home if it were left up to me.
If you make little chocolate hearts with molds then patience is the biggest ingredient for this project. Patience when melting your bag of chocolate chips or Wilton melts. Start slow if using a microwave. I don’t have a double boiler. Heat for 5-8 seconds at a time and stir between each time. Patience is also needed when freezing them before you pop them out of their molds. My chocolates aren’t wedding ready but the belly doesn’t know what looks good so they are at least edible. Anyway, it’s the thought that counts. Little side note, I had some perfect little chocolates that came out of the mold and set them aside for a pretty photo and those were the chocolates my husband saw and ate. It is hard keeping things in our home for long…too many temptations.
Use food coloring for different colors with your white chocolate, which I am sure I did not need to tell you. See, that’s why we need editors, cut out all the unnecessary stuff we write about.
Once all your little chocolates are done, wrap them up in pretty little bags or in tiny baskets with a Valentine card attached. It makes for a unique gift when someone receives chocolates in different shapes. My molds were purchased at Walmart and Ikea but you can find candy molds online and at most hobby stores too.
A basket of hearts-
Glue gun and sticks
Needle and thread
Plastic pellets (optional)
I was inspired to do a little craft like this when I came across a craft project in one of my books I purchased when visiting Prescott Arizona. There are so many cute projects in this book. I loved reading about the author’s story on how she made friends when she moved by having craft parties and meet ups. It’s an older book but the craft projects inside are timeless. It was one of those bargain books hidden between all those other treasures of stories and adventures just waiting for me to pull it out and look through. Of course I had to take that little treasure home to add to all my books from over the years.
One of the projects in this book was little paper hearts to stuff with treats.
I thought it would be nice to do bean bag hearts with a pocket on the back to put treats in. Before I had a chance to finish my project I came across these little felt hearts by Bedtimes and broomsticks, which are adorable. I always love to hear about moms out there creating with their little ones. She is one of the fun moms, so you know her home is filled with art supplies and tons of felt. Which is one of my favorite fabrics to work with.
I used scrap fabrics from old clothes for most of my hearts.
Then stuffed them with little plastic pellets. You can use plain rice for a beanbag effect if you don’t have plastic pellets on hand. I stitched the hearts but used tacky glue to add little pockets to the back of the hearts.
Then I filled the pockets with little treats, a note, and old-fashioned Valentine stickers. When I am out shopping at crazy places and second shops I come across items that are so cute I can’t resist buying them. Like that little pewter pig in the photo. I got a whole box of teeny tiny little pewter farm animals on one of my shopping trips.
The red and white baskets are made from rope which you can buy anywhere from your local hardware store to craft store.
Just glue the center into a circle and start gluing little sections at a time to form the base of the basket. When you get the width you want start gluing the rope at an angle till you get the shape you want then glue off end. I cut mine to shorten it but it looked terrible doing that because it frayed. So just tuck the end in and glue in place for your basket. If your rope is extra long, then you will have to cut it eventually. In that case just glue the end of the rope so it doesn’t come apart.
Happy crafting everyone and have a great Heart Day.
The little red teddy bear is from one of my patterns. It is a little more complicated so I always suggest practicing on old linen first before you get the hang of sewing a little stuffed toy and please remember nothing is ever perfect. Just have fun and always include any little ones you may have in your life. We have to keep art and creativity out there in the world and what better way then to start teaching the next generations.