Easy Toddler Valentine Craft
I’m Stephanie from Twodaloo, and I’m thrilled to be sharing this fun, toddler-friendly Valentine’s craft today at B-Inspired Mama!
Although I usually stick with process-based art activities for my two-year-old twins, there are times when we are creating a gift (like today) or working within a theme where I would like the final product to reflect a basic shape. For occasions like this, I often turn to resist art as a solution- it allows my little ones to be creative, explore, and experiment with the materials and yields a unique and beautiful result! *For more resist art inspiration, check out 13 Tape Resist Art Projects at Hands on As We Grow, one of my favorite sources for toddler art ideas.
For this Suncatcher Valentine Craft, you will need:
- An embroidery hoop (we used plastic and wooden, both worked well)
- A piece of clear vinyl large enough to overlap your embroidery hoop by an inch or two on all sides (see photo below)
- Contact paper
- Paint in your color(s) of choice, glitter glue, embellishments, etc. *We used acrylic craft paint because that’s what I had on hand, but you could use nontoxic finger paint if you are concerned about paint being accidentally ingested.*
Step One: Prepare Your Canvas
- Separate the two pieces of your embroidery hoop. Lay the outer ring of your hoop (the piece with the screw) flat on a table and loosen the screw almost the entire way. Place the vinyl sheet on top, making sure to overlap equally on each side. Then, lay your inner ring on top of the vinyl.
- Press the inner ring into the outer ring, sandwiching the vinyl in place. Tighten the screw a bit and then carefully pull the sides of the vinyl to stretch it as tight as possible across the hoop. When you are satisfied, tighten the screw the rest of the way.
- Trim the excess vinyl from the edge of the hoop, flip it over, and your canvas is complete!
Step 2: Add Your Shape
Cut your chosen shape out of your Contact paper and apply it to the vinyl. Be sure to press the edges down until you don’t see any bubbles to reduce paint leaching underneath.
Step 3: Add Your Toddlers
No explanation needed.
Step 4: Paint Over the Contact Paper Shape
I gave my twins paper plates full of pink, red, and white paint, as well as a few squirts of glitter glue. They painted with foam brushes (they have just become interested in painting with objects other than their fingers), cars, and occasionally their fingertips. It was fun to watch them swirl all the different colors together on the clear vinyl. They were very engrossed in this activity!
After they were done painting, the twins’ hoops looked like this:
I made one too, just for grins. Here is my “ombre” version:
Steps 5 and 6: Peel Off Your Shape, Dry, and Glitter the Other Side if Desired
I don’t have pictures of these steps, but they are pretty self-explanatory. Let your paint dry for a few minutes and then carefully peel off the Contact paper. You don’t want to wait until the paint is completely dry because it may be difficult to peel, but you don’t want it to be too wet to minimize smudging. The cool thing about using clear vinyl as your canvas is that you can paint the other side of the art and it will show through the cutout shape. Since my tots were all about the glitter glue, I let them paint the back sides of their hearts with it once the first application of paint had dried.
Step 6: Dry Completely and Enjoy Your Results!
Here are the finished products…aren’t they lovely?
My ombre heart with silver glitter (actually quite boring compared with the twins’ masterpieces).
My daughter’s pretty heart with silver glitter.
My son’s whimsical creation with red glitter glue.
And there you have it! A fun toddler Valentine craft with a keepsake-worthy result. We are giving our hearts to grandparents for Valentine’s Day. Although, my daughter may not be able to part with hers…every time she sees it hanging in the window, she says,”Habbit, Mama, peez? Canna habbit?”
How can I say no to that?
Stephanie is a speech-language pathologist specializing in early language and autism who is currently staying home with her two-year-old twins. She blogs about early childhood activities, creative projects, and parenting adventures (and mishaps) at Twodaloo. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and G+.
This is really an awesome Valentine craft for any age, but it’s so cool that even the little toddlers can easily help. I bet Grandma and Grandpa will love that their little hands made these special Valentines! Thanks, Stephanie – you always have such great ideas!
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