As Valentine's Day approaches, your teen may be stretching her allowance or work money to the limit as she tries to get Valentine's gifts for all her loved ones. Let your teen know she doesn't need to spend a ton of money for gifts, whether for a significant other or her closest friends. With a quick trip to a crafting store and good look around the house, your teen can create handmade Valentine's Day gifts that are truly from the heart.
Jars of Love
For a simple, but totally sweet gift your teen can give to her sweetie, have her carefully insert one or more pictures of them together inside of a glass jar, pressing them against the wall with the photo facing out. Fill the inside of the jar with candy and wrap a bow around the lid. Another idea is to use stencils to decorate the jar with a personalized Valentine's message. You can cut out stencils for the letters or shapes out of contact paper and press them onto the jar. Using paint made for glass, paint over the stencils. When dry, removing the contact paper reveals the Valentine's message or design.
Sweet Paper Gifts
To make a paper mache heart gift, your teen will need a heart-shaped balloon, which you can find at most party stores. You'll need strips of newspaper to cover the balloon, using paper mache paste. Add red tissue paper and more paste on top of the newspaper. When the glue has dried completely, use a small pin to carefully pop the balloon. To add candy, you can cut a small flap in the dent, pour in the candy and pull the flap closed. Another idea is to have your teen make tissue paper roses, folding several sheets together accordion-style, then wrapping one end of a green pipe cleaner around the middle. Spreading out the tissue paper layers creates the rose look.
To make a chocolate kiss rose bouquet, have your teen glue the bottoms of two foil-wrapped chocolate kisses together, then wrap both in red cellophane paper. Insert one end of a green pipe cleaner into the cellophane wrapper for the stem, then use green floral tape to secure the stem to the candy rose buds. You can make cake pops in the shape of hearts by mixing plain cake with frosting just until moist. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. A heart-shaped cookie cutter can be used to cut out out heart shapes. After inserting lollipop sticks into the bottoms of the hearts, dip each heart into melted chocolate and cool on wax paper before serving.
Have your teen use a hole punch to make two even holes in all 52 cards of a card deck. She can then use scraps of paper, magazine cut outs and pictures of you to paste reasons why she loves someone for each card, character side up. The first card should be turned character side down, then paste a sign on it that reads "52 Reasons Why I Love You." Binder rings or ribbons can be used to connect the cards together, using the holes. To make cute Valentine's Day tote bags, ideal for close friends, purchase several plain canvas tote bags. Using canvas paint, she can paint giant red hearts on one side of each bag and the person's name on the other.
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