This past week, the kids and I have been busy peeling the papers off crayons so we can melt them into hearts for Valentine’s Day cards for my oldest’s classmates. The rest of the year, I find shreds of crayon paper all over the house, but give the green light to the two year old, and those things stay wrapped up like a tamale.
At any rate, the Valentines came out really cute, and they were super-easy and inexpensive, not to mention involved no candy. A bonus in my book…we still have Halloween candy (even good stuff) that keeps calling my name. And it’s rude to ignore that.
We separated the crayons by color family and put them in tin cans that were then melted double-boiler style on the stove. To make it easier to pour, I squeezed the top of each can to make a pour-spout, and used skewers as stir-sticks to make the color even and make sure there were no chunks.
The, I filled the cavities in a mini-heart candy mold, popped them in the freezer, and within a few minutes, they were completely cooled and I could tap them out and get the next batch in. I don’t need or want more than one of those molds, so this sped up the process, and it was just enough time to make sure the wax that had cooled could melt again. (A tip for freezing: Make sure the cavities are dry and have no condensation from the freezer, otherwise the next batch will have holes and need to be remelted. Not usually a problem, but if you see a drop of water in there, get rid of it!)
Then, I used some clipart that came with my computer to print the actual cards. I just used some four-to-a-sheet postcards that I have hanging around and popped them through the printer. The front of the card is two graphics, the big square with the floating hearts and whatever was in teh center of that, with the words, “Happy Valentine.” I blocked out the animal or whatever was there with some white shapes, found another piece of clipart that had a couple of kids hugging the Earth with a heart beneath it (coudl that have been more perfect?), and added “You Color My World” at the top. I also saved the top inch, give or take, of the card for a fold-over, so put some hearts and “From” upside down and printed them out.
On the back, I found some color blocks with hearts in the center, and just pasted it so it filled the whole side. Then, I got nervous that some kid was going to think they were candy, so I put a disclaimer, “Contents: Heart-Shaped Crayons,” at the bottom.
Then, the kids and I put different colors of the hearts in cellophane treat bags, folded them, stuck them in the folded card, and stapled. Easy-peasy.
They ended up really cute, kept us busy for a bit, and were only slightly more than the regular boxed cards. Heck, the mold was only $1 after the half-off coupon at Michael’s, and that’s reusable, I had the postcard sheets laying around, used pouches of broken crayons, and spent $1 on a bag of 100 small cellophane treat bags, and I still have 80 left. I can handle that.