If I had to choose a relationship status for myself and Pinterest, it would definitely be “It’s complicated.” I love seeing the recipes and craft ideas that friends post, and somehow have managed to pin over 900 things, ideas, or tips. And yet? If I had to go back and give an honest assessment of how many I’ve followed through on and actually done? Well, it is probably in the single digits. Maybe double digits, if I am counting the various forms of cake mix blondies I consumed while pregnant. Between working, babies, and trying to ensure that we don’t live in total squalor, crafts tend to fall by the wayside.
But, on occasion, I try to put aside the feelings of inadequacy that Pinterest inevitably evokes in me, and find something crafty to do with Owen. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there were lots of fun heart-shaped activities popping up, so while Mr. Chalk was away last week (we survived, by the way!), we broke out the craft supplies and got to it.
Keeping in mind that Owen is still only two years old, I was able to quickly eliminate anything involving precision of any sort. While this heart suncatcher project did have a few steps that I needed to step in and help him with, the little guy definitely completed the bulk of the work.
Our first step was to gather up the supplies. Again, I went for simplicity, as this project required only a few items:
- Tissue paper in a variety of colors. Since it is Valentine’s Day, after all, we went with pink, red, and white.
- Clear contact paper
- Scotch or masking tape
The first step is to tear the tissue paper up into smaller pieces. Owen has had some good paper-ripping practice in his day (some good – Christmas presents!, some bad – new books!), but he did have somewhat of a tough time getting the paper into small pieces. We used one sheet of each color and found that we had way more than enough.
Once you have a bowl full of colorful scraps, I would recommend sending your toddler off to get some crackers while you tackle the next step. Contact paper is a wondrously infuriating thing, and I almost bailed on the whole project at this point. Basically, you need to cut a piece of contact paper twice as large as you actually want the final square to be, unpeel it halfway, and then secure it to the table with your masking or Scotch tape. Make sure it is sticky side up.
If you have successfully managed this part in fewer than five attempts, give yourself a pat on the back and know that you are far more gifted at these things than I am. Either way, the hardest part is behind you. You can now corral your toddler back into the room while psyching them up for “Art Project!” fun. Now comes the good part.
Take those little scraps that you (ahem, your child) so fastidiously tore up earlier and affix them to the contact paper. Don’t worry if the scraps overlap or if there are some blank spots. Just encourage them to cover as much surface area as possible, and feel free to add sound effects while they Smush! and Mash! the tissue scraps onto the sticky side of the contact paper.
Once you have either covered most of the surface with tissue paper, or are ready to move on because of another participant’s short attention span, go ahead and unpeel the rest of the contact paper and fold it over the half with the tissue paper. More smushing and mashing are involved here as well. You’ll now have a sealed off square.
Depending on the age and scissors-skills of your child, you may want to take over the final step of cutting out the hearts.
And, voila, heart suncatchers! Find a sunny window in your house and hang the hearts with tape or that blue gummy stuff that probably has an actual name. Enjoy!