Monday, February 3, 2014
Valentine's Heart Suncatchers
It's February, the groundhog has hidden himself away again, and to cheer ourselves up, it's time to decorate for Valentine's Day. (I admit it: I've been decorating since mid-January. The polar vortex necessitated a lot of indoor projects.)
I've written before of my inherent love for holiday decorating, and until this year, we owned precisely zero Valentine's Day decorations. As always, my goals in decoration creation are projects that are cheap and easy (bonus if kids can help). This one is really only elementary-kid (or older) friendly (read: fluent scissorer), but it is cheap and easy. Especially if you have crayons laying around the house. And waxed paper. Because that is all you need.
We're not really a crayon family, I find. We have ten tons of them (a benefit of being two former elementary school teachers), but my kids don't have much use for them. If you're like us and would like to use up some crayons, or just have some useless broken ones, this project is for you.
Time heals all wounds, they say, and in spite of the flying pig fiasco, I actually ventured back into the land of Martha Stewart with forgiveness in my heart. Or, I was wooed back in by a project that sure looked like it would fit my requirements of cheap and easy. And, the instructions are not bad, not bad at all. Check them out here.
But, of course, I have thoughts to add:
1. It turns out the only handheld pencil sharpener we had was too small for crayons. So I shaved my crayons with a paring knife. It was quick and easy. I saved the crayon remnants (you can only shave so far) for another project (coming soon), but I found that very small chunks melted just fine so there's no need for precision here. Bonus! Oh, and if your crayons are so old that the paper wrapping is stuck to them, you can shave it off with the knife.
2. Martha is not kidding when she says to cover your ironing board with craft paper. Don't think you can be neat enough; don't be lured into impulsive action. You too will end up having to buy a new ironing board cover. Once you set your iron down and start to slide it across your layers of crayon shavings sandwiched between pieces of waxed paper and the paper towel mat and cover you thought would do the trick, that wax will squirt out and across your ironing board like the juice of an overripe tomato. Be warned. Cover the whole thing.
3. Once the waxed paper/crayon shaving sheets had dried, I traced heart shapes on. But I ended up folding some scraps in half to cut out symmetrical hearts without tracing. Folding does detach the paper from the wax along the fold, but you can just iron them a bit more to remelt and reattach. So fold away; you can always re-iron.
4. I hung ours with thread, but if that seems like just too much effort, tape them straight to the window. They'll look pretty that way too.
5. Finally, you could make these suncatchers in any shape or color. I can picture green shamrocks or orange pumpkins. I will definitely be keeping these idea in mind for future seasons.
Here are ours with evidence of the polar vortex in the background: