Basic Embroidery Gift for a Friend

Too cold to go outside?  
Then curl up with a new pattern and embroider a special gift for your friend or family!  This would make a GREAT Valentine's gift and doesn't take long to stitch.

Friendship Angel pattern by Tammy DeYoung Plum Creek Collectibles
This is my favorite little verse:

Our friendship is tried
Our friendship is true
So I'm sending this angel
to watch over you!

You can frame it or make it into a little pillow!  Get the pattern here!
The pattern also includes a punch needle version if you prefer.

It's the perfect pattern for a beginner because you only need a few colors of floss and 2 or three stitch styles.

Here is a wonderful video tutorial I found that will show you the running stitch, outline stitch, stem stitch and French knots!  You can interchange the first three however you like on this pattern.

You will also need muslin, needles, floss and an embroidery hoop, like these:

I use T-dyed muslin, but you can certainly use white or off-white if you prefer.
All the floss colors I use are listed on the pattern.  You can use whatever colors you like, though!

Your pattern will come with the image printed on paper.  You will need to transfer that image onto your muslin before stitching.

It's very simple to do.  I use a table top light box like this one (you can get them from Michaels and Hobby Lobby) but you could also tape the paper to a window and use the light that way.

Lay your pattern on the light surface, lay your muslin on top of the pattern and trace the lines lightly with a regular pencil or a disappearing pen or a wash-out tracing marker like these:

NOTE:  If you use a regular pencil, make sure it's very light and fine point so your stitches will cover the lines because pencil won't wash out.  If you are a beginner, I would start with a disappearing's much more forgiving if you make a mistake tracing or if you are unsure of your stitching technique.

Now you're ready to stitch!  

Happy stitching!

Quick and Easy Valentine Party Games!

Whether you are a teacher looking for Valentine fun for your classroom party, or a mom who's hostessing a Valentine gathering for your children, you'll need some games and activities to keep the kiddos busy!

From quiet, to active games to absolutely CRAZY fun, here are some of my favorites!

Printable Valentine Bingo

Printable Valentine Bingo Game

I love this because you just download it, print, and cut and you're ready to play!  All you need to add is some little items like beans, dried pasta, pennies, buttons or other objects for the children to use as place holders.  You could even use candy hearts!

Play Doh Party Favor Game! 

 EVERYONE loves to squish some playdough!  Use fancy labels on the cans and your activity will double as a party favor to take home!

Valentine Labels to wrap around  Play Doh cans!

Stacking Heart Game!  So easy to prepare and lots of fun!

Stacking Heart Game from Totally the Bomb

Water Bottle Shake Down!

Fun Waterbottle Game by Kid Friendly Things to Do

Balloon Badminton!  You can never go wrong with balloons kids can hit!  You can also just use paper plates with no handles.
Balloon Badmiton by I Can Teach My Child

Want something a little quieter?
How about some Valentine Coloring Cards?

Whale Valentine Coloring Cards by Tammy DeYoung

Valentine Coloring cards for Kids
Wild Animal Valentine Coloring cards for kids

TOTALLY WILD and INSANE FUN games for older kids...

 I couldn't resist these! completely crazy, wild and fun game that only the bravest teachers and parents should try...I KNOW the kids will LOVE LOVE LOVE this!  

Conversation Heart Shooters!  If you play this at your party, will you PLEASE invite me? 

Valentine Shooter Game by Playdough to Plato

Marshmallow Shooters!  My son's 6th grade class made these and had a ball.  ESPECIALLY the girls!  They were too cool to tell each other they "loved" each other, but they could show by throwing marshmallows!  One warning....the spit gets kinda gross!  LOL
Marshmallow shooters by Happiness is Homemade

or this model works, too
 Marshmallow Shooter
Marshmallow shooter by Oh Amanda!

Hope this gives you some simple, fun ideas for your Valentine's Day Party!

Happy gaming!


How to Use Paper Tags on your Valentine Treat Bags

If you are like me, Valentine's day sneaks up pretty quickly and my kids change their minds often about what type of treat they want to share with their classmates.  So, I'm always in a scramble at the last minute to be creative and stay on a budget!

Even if the school your child attends doesn't allow Valentine treats (BOO!), you can still whip up some cute goody bags for them to share with teachers, pals on their sports teams, Sunday School buddies, grandparents and family members, or even their day care centers!

How to make tags!  By O Happy Day!

I've designed some quick, printable 3" x 3" tags you can download, print, punch and tie on to any goody bag, cookie pack, snack can or treat!  Let your imagination soar!

But first, I wanted to show you some very SIMPLE, EASY ways creative people are using tags on their goody bags.

For any occassion, just fill a cello bag with toys, candy or other treats that go with your theme, then use curling ribbon to attach your tag:
Tie tag onto bag with curling ribbon -- by Kennary
Skip all the doo-dads and simply wrap homemade treats, like this candy apple, in a cello bag first before using fabric ribbon to tie on your tag:

Tie tag on with craft ribbon or raffia -- by A Yummy Life

Dress up some store bought, not sweet snacks to fill your bag then tie on your tag with bakers twine like this:

Baker's Twine makes a great tie and comes in many colors -- by This Ole Mom

I love this super cute, FAST way to attach the tag to a regular paper bag with a clothespin!  You can even print your tag on sticker paper to dress up the bag:

You can also glue the tag onto the bag!  By Orange Paper Duck

Actually, you don't even NEED a bag!  Just tie the tag directly onto your box of candy or treats like this:

Tied on tag by Crafting Chicks

Or get REALLY fancy with some big toys and a fancy ribbon bow like this:

Tie your tag to a toy with a fancy bow!-- by Sweet Party Wishes

Now that you have some ideas, all you need are your tags and treats!

Here are a few of my tags that are ready to print and available in my Etsy Store.  These tags are all 3" x 3" but you could certainly use regular Valentine cards as tags, too!

Robots are perfect for Valentines for boys.  Just tie these tags to a small package of Twizzlers...
aka robot arms!

Robot Valentine Treat Tags

Pink Poodle Paris tags are perfect Valentines for girls when you tie these tags to a box of heart candy!!

Pink Poodle Paris Friendship Valentine Tags for Girls

ALL kids love a good cosmic brownie!  Don't worry...they come individually wrapped in the box.  Just tie on the Outer Space Tag Valentines for Girls!  (Available for boys, too!)

Outer Space Treat Bag Tags!
So, now I'm hungry!!  And ready to make more tags and bags for you!

What are YOUR favorite Valentine treats?  Let me know in the comments section!

Happy Tagging!

Easy-to-Make, Unique Valentine Printables

Are you looking for some Valentines that are handmade, uniquely different than just a flat card, but easy & quick because you don't have alot of time to make them?

I have designed some printable Valentine cards using a variety of artwork that will come in handy! They are even easy enough for your children to help with!

My printable Valentines can be downloaded to your computer or phone.  Then you print them on your home printer using cardstock or photo paper for best results.  You can also take them to a local printer.

Trinket Holders are very easy to do by just attaching a plastic toy to the Valentine card with a ribbon or pipe cleaner.  Here's my favorite Wild Jungle Animal Valentine!
Jungle Animal Valentines for kids with lions and tigers!

and this circus theme has a little tiger in the bag:

Circus Tiger Valentine Treat bag with tag

Commercial Treats with Themes like pirates and zoo animals are really easy to put together.  Just buy a packaged treat like animal crackers or cookies and attach a matching tag or topper like this:

Attach Valentines to Commercial Treats like cookies and crackers for Circus and Pirate Valentines!

Treat Bag Toppers are very economical and easy to make!  Just print, cut, fold in half then staple to a snack baggie filled with treats!  Use candy, snacks or even toys!  Here are some of my favorites from my Etsy store:
Valentine Treat Bag Toppers for Boys and Girls!

Party Favor Cards 
Easy to make! You can turn a plain card into a special treat holder by punching holes in it and inserting a lollipop, pencil or straw like this!  ANY design will work!

Turn cards into treat holders by punching a hole and adding lollipops or pencils!
I hope this gives you some ideas of how to take a plain Valentine card and turning it into a really fun handmade Valentine party favor treat for boys and girls!

What are some of your handmade Valentine tips?
I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

Happy card making!

Simple-to-Make Valentine Banners, Buntings & Garlands

Chase away those winter blues with a few easy-to-make Valentine decorations for your home or classroom!  You don't need to spend alot of money or be extravagant to bring smiles to your space!  I love making garlands to hang on my mantle, over my doors, from the ceiling, or really anywhere to want to make a statement!

Here are some easy-to-make bunting ideas that don't require a ton of supplies!


I do this all the time for parties, showers and birthdays using my 2"circle punch and printed card stock.  Now I'm going to try using a heart punch instead!
 valentine heart garland
Heart garland from I Heart Naptime

Try hanging some this way....
Valentine Garland by The Little Things EV on Etsy


I have designed alot of ready-to-print and cut banners in my Etsy shop that would work great for your party!  You just print on bright white card stock or photo paper, cut with scissors, and string together!  This one is has the entire alphabet on heart-themed pennants so you can spell whatever you wish.  Try "Happy Valentine's Day"  or "I love you"!

Printable Valentine Pennant Banner

Or you can just use the plain pennants with no letters.  I like to string them together with ribbon.  Punch holes in the corners and weave them side by side, or just staple them at the top to wide ribbon.

Printable Valentine Bunting


This one sold out but she has lots of other cute garlands in her Etsy shop!

Valentine Garland from Playing Cards by Country Chic

This card banner is super cute, too!

Happiness is Homemade Valentine Garland


If you saved your kids' Valentine cards from last year, why not put them on a wreath form?  If not, be sure and save the ones they get this year!  You could also print out various Valentines and use those, or buy some inexpensive boxed Valentines from the Dollar Store!  Love the way she cut the squares into hearts!

Valentine Card Wreath from Creative Breathing


If you really want some easy "pink bling" just print and cut this Pink Glitter chalkboard banner.  Spell whatever phrase you wish with the full alphabet!

Pink Glitter Printable Chalkboard Valentines Garland


I'm not very good at making the tissue pom poms...I seem to tear them I can't wait to try these TULLE poms!! String them as garlands (click photo for tutorial)......
How to make tulle pom poms!
.....Or make some giant pom poms to hang from the ceiling.
Here's a video tutorial for really large tulle pom poms!

Here is a super simple paper Doily garland from the Dollar Store.

Paper Doily Garland from Eat, Drink and Save Money

Lets your imagination go wild!  Look around your home and I bet you can find alot of other things to make garlands with.  Let me know what you come up with!

Happy garland stringing,

I Love Valentine's Day!

It's coming! And it's my favorite!!

I know alot of people don't like Valentine's Day and I can understand.  Society places so much emphasis on RECEIVING Valentines from a sweetheart that if you don't have one, it's disappointing.
But Valentine's Day for me is more about GIVING Valentine's to my loved ones AND the incredibly fun art and crafts that go with the season!

So you will be seeing alot of posts from me about all things Valen-tiney!

PUN-ny Valentines and word-play Valentines are my favorite!  They are so corny and make me giggle (or groan)!

Vintage Valentines have REALLY fun puns.  Here's a darling one with a double word play!

When I was a kid, you didn't want to let your secret crush know they were your secret crush.  Corny pun Valentines were the perfect disguise!  If too embarrassed, you just say, "it's just a joke!

Food and kitchen items are especially fun for these corny vintage Valentines:

Here is one of my "pun-y" food Valentine Card designs, Pizza?

Pizza Valentine Cards

Food Valentines and "Perfect Pairs" are still very popular today.  Here are some vintage versions:
Vintage "perfect pair" Valentines:  Donut & Coffee, Hot Dog & Relish, Honey & Bee, Salt & Pepper

I thought I would try my hand at some "perfect pair" Valentines.  It's not my original artwork, but I had alot of fun with the bright, happy colors and graphics.

What goes together better than peanut butter and jelly?  Cookies and milk? Mac and cheese?  Hamburger and fries?  Ice cream and cake?

You're welcome!

 I'll be posting more of my Valentines this month!  There are so many to choose from!

What is your favorite kind of Valentine?  Silly?  Romantic? Funny?
Let me know in the comments below!


Getting those Memories Organized!

Does the new year inspire you to "get organized"?
What's the #1 thing you want to get a handle on this year?

Mine is to catch up with start my scrap books! I know, I know, I waited so long and now everything is digital.  It's going to be a nightmare to either make the books or get the items scanned into digital format.

I have cabinets FULL of scrapbook papers, doo-dads, empty albums...just WAITING for me to create magic with them (or give it all away!).  I don't know how far I will actually get before switching to digital, but I'm going to try!

Now, I'm a saver and very sentimental.  I have BIG PLANS for all this stuff.   I have LARGE BOXES of artwork, photos, and "special" papers I saved from my children's school days.   Honestly, I have boxes saved from MY school days!!

 I wish I would have done something like this from the very start...but I didn't.

Dandee Designs

NOTE TO ALL NEW MOMS OUT THERE....STOP and set this up now!  You'll thank me in 10 years!!

And with the digital photos I have, I LOVE the idea of doing a "family yearbook"!  My cousin does this each year and they are so fun to look at!

Skinny Mom posted this one

But before I can do anything, I'm going to have to go through the BOXES and BOXES of printed photos I have from before everything went digital.  I love the suggestions for organizing and editing.  That's what I need....a great PLAN!

Modern Parents Messy kids

Also, my kids were PROLIFIC artists all the way through high school.  Recently, I did sort through all the boxes and let go of alot of them (I was SOOO hard!)  I hope to have them made into printed books with a company like Shutterfly.  I'm not sure where this photo originated, but something like this would be great!

I DID turn some of their art into fridge magnets like these, but I would love to make some more.
Not only can we enjoy them everyday, but they don't take up as much space as the full sized drawings AND they won't get damaged!  Of course, I've already framed my favorites and they are on the family room walls.  But I love a good fridge magnet!

This tutorial for making magnets out of artwork by Amy Vowles is fantastic!

I'll let you know how my journey goes throughout the year!!
Stay tuned!

What are some of your favorite ways to organize your photos and memorabilia?  I'd love your suggestions!