Monday, January 1, 2007

Eight great Valentine’s Day photo craft ideas


By Marcelle Costanza

I walked into our local Kmart the day after Christmas to stock up on wrapping paper for the following holiday season and was somewhat shocked to see shelves already lined with Valentine's Day merchandise! A little too early for my taste, but I suppose in this busy world the sooner people can plan and prepare the better.

If you're like me, you like to make a few personalized items for your honey, or your kids, or for the kids to give to their Valentine or to their teacher, and so on. This article contains eight great ideas that will jumpstart your creativity.

Remember the Valentine cards we made as kids? Red card stock and paper doilies glued on to the front. Well, thanks to the personal computer and the availability of so many wonderful and unusual inkjet papers those cards have grown up. But you don't have to stop at cards.

Idea #1: Personalize a coffee mug

How about a personalized coffee mug with a photo of your honey? Fill it with some chocolate Kisses and you have a perfect token of your affection. Waterslip decals make this project easy and fun to do, as you can see in Figure A.


Waterslip decals let you put photos and clipart onto a china mug. Fill it with chocolate candy and you have the perfect gift for your sweetheart. (click for larger image)

If you're not familiar with waterslip decals, this will be a fun discovery. You can buy special inkjet "paper" that's really a film. When you cut out the film and apply water, the "paper" becomes a decal you can slip onto anything you'd like. We've all used decals, but now you can make your own.

By the way, there are a ton of neat hobby applications that come from printing your own decals. If you're a model railroader, you can create your own signs for buildings and rolling stock. If you build plastic models, you can create your own insignia and flashy designs. Your imagination is the only limit!

Idea #2: Make a charming charm bag

Print a photo or clipart on inkjet shrink sheets and make a heart shaped charm. There are also inkjet fabric sheets you can print on and then turn it into a small gift bag, as shown in Figure B, using just a hot glue gun or fabric glue purchased at your local craft store. No sewing needed.


No sewing is needed to make this cute little fabric bag. Fabric glue on the seams and on a piece of red satin ribbon is all it takes. (click for larger image)

While we're on the topic of charms, you can also make a photo charm for your loved one to hang on a keychain.

Idea #3: Create custom gift boxes

Why not try your hand at constructing a gift box that is also a greeting card? This fancy little box, shown in Figure C, can hold some chocolate truffles or a small gift.