Handmade Valentine’s Day

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Honestly, I’m not crazy about Valentine’s Day. Roses and dinner at popular restaurants don’t appeal to me…especially when everyone else in town is doing the same thing. But I will take any excuse to do something creative, and the boys’ Valentine exchanges with classmates offer a perfect one. For all but a couple of years, we’ve made our own cards, often cutting out red, purple, and pink construction paper hearts and decorating them with Valentine stickers. This year, though, I wanted to do something a little different.

Lately I’ve been crazy about patterned papers, so I’ve been spending some time at Paper Source. They sell darling Valentine kits there, but they are a little pricey, especially when we’re making Valentines for nearly 30 kids. So I came up with this idea for paper pinwheels using decorative straws, origami paper, and thumb tacks from Target. They are so fun to make, and I love the way the paper patterns complement the striped straws. We’ll be adding tags to each pinwheel with a handwritten note to classmates. Here’s an easy way to make a paper pinwheel:

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1. Draw an “X” across the center of a 6 x 6 inch piece of origami paper (back side). On each line, measure 1 inch from center and mark with a pencil.

2. From corners, cut along lines, stopping at mark made 1 inch from center. (Note: You may need to cut a little closer to center for on one of the lines to allow you to punch a hole in the center.) Punch holes in the center and in the upper lefthand corner of each triangle section.

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3-4. Fold in each punched corner to meet the center, taking care to align the holes.

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5. Insert a tack through the punched holes and into a paper straw at the back. You may have to loosen the tack a bit to ensure that the pinwheel spins. Viola!

I also couldn’t resist filling our cookie jar with these tasty and easy-to-make chocolate shortbread hearts. I may slip a couple into wax paper sleeves, sew them shut with red thread and give them to teachers on Valentine’s Day. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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