When we were at the pediatrician's office yesterday for Mia's 5 year well check (How did that come up so quickly? I swear she was born two weeks ago.), I saw some paper hearts in a clay pot at the receptionist's desk. What a cute idea, I thought. I'm not sure what the "stems" were made of. They looked a bit like those sticks for cake pops or candies, but I don't have any of those. I decided that pipe cleaners would work fine, although they don't keep their shape quite as well.
For the container, we used a can that we had already decoupaged after being inspired by this post by Button Bird Designs, using fabric remnants (which I actually bought eons ago when I thought that I was going to sew stuff -- ha!).I do have some empty pots at home, but I figured that tin cans were more durable and kid friendly, not to mention cheap, and readily available. Plus, if you're environmentally minded, it feels nice to re-purpose something that might otherwise be junked. Anyway, that's my thought process behind this craft. It was perfect for using up lots of paper scraps that I had been saving.
- tin can
- fabric (or decorative paper)
- Mod Podge
- foam paintbrush
- plate or tray to hold Mod Podge
- scissors/decorative scissors
- glue (We used regular white glue.)
- green pipe cleaners
- split peas (or other dried beans, small pebbles, marbles, etc.)
- cardstock, scrapbooking paper, or construction paper
- optional embellishments: rhinestones, buttons, pom poms, ribbons, etc.
- Cover your tin can. Cut a piece of fabric or paper to approximately fit the can. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the surface. Smooth the fabric or paper over the top. Trim excess. Apply another layer of Mod Podge over top. Allow to dry completely. (When ours was dry, Mia tied a ribbon around the can.)
- Cut out some paper hearts of various sizes. Make sure to make two of each, one for each side. Do this by making two squares (or rectangles), lay one on top of the other, fold both and then cut out your hearts. (If you are helping your child, trace 1/2 of the heart, and then let her do the cutting.) Tip: You may want to cut some with decorative scissors. We used scalloped scissors in two different sizes.
- Decide on designs, and then decorate the hearts. We used 2 or three layers per heart "stem." Mia decided on most of the papers and designs, but I helped with some of the cutting (especially with decorative scissors). She added the self-adhesive rhinestones for extra bling. Let decorated hearts dry.
- Cut some green pipe cleaners to two or three different lengths for stems. Tip: An odd number is more visually pleasing, which is why we made 5.
- Place a small amount of glue on the backsides of two matching hearts, set pipe cleaner stem down in center, and then press hearts together around it. Smooth down to ensure a tight seal. Set aside to dry completely. Repeat until all hearts are assembled.
- Pour enough dry split peas into your tin can until it is nearly full. Insert heart stems, and arrange as desired. Now you have a cute centerpiece to display or a nice gift to give away.
- Of course, you could use a clay pot instead of a tin can. You could even use a Styrofoam cup to mimic to look of a clay pot without the price tag.
- Make flower shapes in place of hearts and give to Mom or Grandma for Mother's Day.
- Decorate heart centers with buttons or pom poms.
- Embellish "stems" with ribbons for leaves. Or just twist your pipe cleaner into the shape of leaves.
- No pipe cleaners? Use plastic drinking straws instead. Or consider using craft wire.