Happy belated Valentine’s! Hope yours was lovely. Did you go all out? We didn’t, which is usually the case, but we always try to do a little something special for each other. Jamie brought me flowers + doughnuts (yesss, a rare treat) and I made a nice dinner (I’ll be posting that recipe later). I also managed to craft a thoughtful, little somethin’-somethin’ that, in true cheapskate fashion, didn’t cost a dime. While reflecting on our wedding day, I came up with this:
It’s the wording from our ceremony reading, “Love” by Roy Croft, typed into the shape of a heart. I whipped this up easily enough in Word — the font, font size, and spacing took some finagling but I got it done in a few minutes’ time. I suppose it’s not perfectly heart-shaped (someone took a small bite out of the right side) but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be perfect!
Initially I wanted to make a card for Jamie using said heart-shaped wording but then thought my handiwork could be put to better, longer-lasting use in the form of DIY art. So here’s what I did:
I started with a shadowbox I already had on hand (this one was $9 on clearance at Michael’s). It’s a creamy yellow shade — like buttah — which just so happens to be one of our wedding colors so it was a happy coincidence.
I removed the backing and popped out the styrofoam “cushion” inside the shadowbox. Using wrapping paper reminiscent of our wedding colors and theme, I cut a square about two inches larger on each side and wrapped up the styrofoam like a present. (This could be cool wrapped in fabric, too.)
I was careful to keep the paper nice + straight while wrapping so the pattern wouldn’t be crooked afterwards.
Step one done. Next, I grabbed my heart-shaped wording print-out. Again, this was from our ceremony reading but you could use this same idea on just about anything — vows, song lyrics, whatever is important to you.
Ideally it should be printed on nice, heavy card stock but if you’re like me and don’t have any on hand, you can print on plain ol’ printer paper and adhere to something heavier. I was in a pinch so I used a manila folder and a Scotch wrinkle-free glue stick (the king of glue sticks, as far as I’m concerned) but any adhesive you like will do — just avoid any that may cause wrinkling.
Now for the hard part: cut out the wording into a heart shape, leaving about an inch of space between the edge and the wording. A template could be used but I did my best to freehand it. Oh, and the edges don’t have to be perfect — we’ll take care of that in the next step.
Trim the edge of the heart cut-out with twine! This will mask any imperfections around the edges. I applied the twine using hot glue, working in small sections at a time. I recommend working over wax paper — that way if any hot glue runs over the edge of the heart and onto the work surface, you can peel it right off. If you’re not into twine, try ribbon, yarn, ball fringe, buttons — heck, just about anything would work here.
When the twine’s all done, it’ll look a little something like this. Almost done!
The final step: apply adhesive foam squares to the back of the heart cut-out to give it some dimension inside the shadowbox. Peel ‘em, stick the heart to the wrapped styrofoam square, and done. Feel free to go crazy with any other embellishments you like. I preferred the simple look of the wording on its own, so I went with that.
And there you have it — a meaningful piece of art that can be enjoyed year-round. Much better than a little ol’ card, I say. And not too shabby for quick, easy, and free, yeah? It’s not exactly a Valentine’s-specific project either — it’ll do for any occasion (or no occasion at all) and can be personalized however you like.
Did you create or receive any special Valentine’s Day gifts this year? Share away.