Monday, February 3, 2014

Candy Free Valentines

For the last few years, the boys' elementary school has had a "no candy" policy regarding Valentine's Day in their classrooms - no heart shaped lollipops, no conversation hearts, and gasp, no chocolate hearts!
The purpose of this post is not to debate why candy is not allowed, it's just a tale of how I scrambled together at the last minute {procrastinators unite... tomorrow} to come up with a candy-free alternative, let's save the debates for another time.

Two years ago the boys were REALLY into Star Wars, so we made a Star Wars Lego Valentine using the free printable found here and glow in the dark bracelets that we found at the dollar store. They were a hit and super adorable!

So I kind of set the bar high the previous year, and in my usual fashion, I totally planned ahead waited until the night before the school Valentine's celebrations to figure out what the boys would hand out. We decided to hit up the dollar store and look for some inspiration, coupled with some ideas that I had already gathered on Pinterest.

We picked up some rulers - 3 for $1, and packs of adhesive mustaches 6 for $1- SCORE!!

I knew exactly what my plan was for the rulers - thank you Relocated Living! Isadora already had this figured out and she was kind enough to share her genius with the rest of us. Follow this link to her post where she shares a free download for us "last minute roses" that will make us look like Martha {Martha shops at the dollar store, right??}.

Jack picked out a few different colored pieces of card stock from my stash, we printed Isabella's free download on the card stock, cut them apart using my paper cutter, made slits for the rulers to slide into, had Jack sign his name, inserted the rulers and in the words of Amy Duncan, "Ba Bam!"

The mustaches were a bit more time consuming, and probably not something that I should have attempted at the 11th hour, but what's a mom to do when her kid is all about the mustache? It also doesn't hurt that I usually do my best work when I'm under the gun and I have no other choice.

There were some cute ideas on Pinterest that had the wording I liked, but I decided that I needed to reinvent the wheel, since I had all of this spare time on my hands...

I figured that since we were going super trendy with the mustache, we might as well milk another trend that will surely be gone soon enough - my beloved CHEVRON. Thanks be to the free download gods for this chevron download, it comes in quite a few color options, I went for red - it is Valentine's Day after all.
Now please bear with me, my memory is not what it used to be, and it's been almost a year since I made this.
Photoshop would probably a great tool, but I prefer to go the FREE route, so PicMonkey is my go to for editing photos and making printables. I'm not going to walk you through all of the boring "how to's", mostly because I can't quite remember, and partly because I'm lazy and don't feel like typing out the whole process {and there's a huge pile of laundry waiting for me to finish this post}, plus I did the work so that you don't have to - my pain, is your gain!
Long story short, here's my first free printable for you!!! Now I am new to this, just learning the ropes, so you can either right click and save the pic below or save it from Flickr by clicking here. Flickr will allow you to download it in it's original size, which will give you the best resolution for printing.

Next - just PRINT the Valentines on white card stock, CUT them to size {I love to use my paper cutter in the pic below for nice straight edges}, have your child SIGN the back of the card, STUFF the card and a mustache in clear bag {I just happened to have these little bags in my stash, but you can pick them up in the candy making section of most craft stores}, then SEAL the bags with a Valentine sticker or some cute washi tape, but if you're like me last year, you'll just use some clear tape because it's almost midnight and your sister is up late at your house helping you stuff little bags with furry mustaches...

The good news is that we moved over the summer to a new school district, so I don't have to worry about coming up with any new ideas this year - we can just recycle these old ideas - think my kids will go along with that??