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Happy Hearts

By Meagan Ruffing

It's February and that means lots of Valentine's Day candy, school parties, and crafts. With do-it-yourself inspired websites like Pinterest, you can be sure to find a craft no matter what age your child is. Instead of making projects that will likely be thrown away, make a t-shirt that will stick around for a while.

Heart-Inspired T-Shirt

You will need

Pencils with a brand-new eraser top

Piece of scrap cardboard

Scissors

Plain white t-shirt

T-shirt paint (red, pink, white)

Paper plate

Instructions

Draw a heart (or trace one from a stencil) on a piece of scrap cardboard and cut it out. Place the cardboard heart on top of the t-shirt. Put a glob of red paint on the paper plate and dip the tip of the pencil eraser into it. Pressing firmly, use the paint-covered eraser tip to make dots all around the heart. Repeat process using another color paint. Use more or less paint to make darker or lighter shades of color. Do not lift up the cardboard heart until you are done. Once your kids are sure they like the way their dots look, lift up the cardboard heart. Let dry. To clean the t-shirt, turn it inside out and wash--alone, at least for the first laundering--on delicate.

Faux Stained-Glass

Sun Catcher

You will need

Pencil

Thin cardboard or paper stock

Scissors

Clear adhesive shelf tacky paper

Red, pink, and white tissue paper

String

Instructions

Draw (or trace using a stencil) a heart shape onto the cardboard or paper stock. Draw or trace a smaller heart on the inside of the first heart, leaving about one to two inches between the two hearts. Cut out the inside heart. Lay out a piece of tacky paper, shiny side down. Place the border, which serves as a kind of heart outline, on the tacky paper so that it adheres completely. Cut or tear various-sized pieces of all three colors of tissue paper. Place the pieces on the tacky paper, in the "hole" in the heart. Place a piece of tacky paper, sticky side down, on top of the tissue paper-covered heart. This will create a layering effect that looks like faux stained glass. Using the cardboard heart as a guide, cut the tacky paper so it matches the shape of the cardboard heart. Punch a hole in the top of the finished sun catcher, and use a festive string to hang it in your child's window.

Meagan Ruffing's kids loved making these crafts, and the family time spent together was much needed, too. For more crafts and parenting tips, visit meaganruffing.com.



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