We love getting our kids involved in Valentine’s Day, and we adore the clay heart card from the queen of crafts, Marcia Sissing of blog Mini Matisse Diaries, and mom of three. You don’t need a lot of tools (or patience), and the end result is just stunning.
“My love for Valentine’s Day goes way back to my childhood at boarding school. It was big there, too, and we even had a disco to commemorate the occasion. Everyone would be excited to receive flowers and a special card in the mail. This is where I have to come clean and admit that my ego got the better of me. I refused to be that one person who didn’t receive a card, so I asked my mom to please post me a card (or cards!). She would disguise her handwriting and sign it from a secret admirer.
“It’s not that I was indulgently spoilt on Valentine’s Day that made me so fond of it, but it’s just the whole idea of someone going to great lengths and thought to show their love. I am a sucker for a love story. I know it has become commercialised and that people should really be showing their love all year long but, when you look at how the day came about, how can you not love it?
“Legend has it that many years ago, when Emperor Claudius II reigned, there was a priest named Valentine. Emperor Claudius decided that single soldiers made better soldiers than ones who had wives and children, so he banned marriage for young men. Valentine, realising that this was a great injustice, defied the emperor and performed marriages in secret for young couples. Once the priest’s actions were discovered he was captured and ordered to be put to death. So, to honour Valentine they made him a saint and hence started the celebration of Valentine’s day.
“Others, however, argue that it is the beginning of the mating season for birds that in fact started the tradition of a day for romance. In 1375, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem entitled ‘Parliament of Foules’, documenting Valentine’s Day: “For this was seynt valentyne’s day/ whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”
“Whatever the true origin of Valentine’s Day may be, I just love it! I specifically look for something red or pink to wear; we have Valentine’s breakfast, lunch or dinner with the kids; we exchange cards – basically I make a big deal out of it!
What you will need for a modelling clay heart card:
- Thick card (paper is too thin and won’t hold the weight of the modelling clay)
- Modelling clay in assorted colours (also known as Plasticine)
- Heart template (this is just a heart-shaped piece of paper or card or even cookie cutter that you can trace around)
- Permanent marker (in your choice of colour, I used black)
- Scissors (optional, you can either cut the modelling clay into small pieces or just break it into small pieces with your fingers)
How to make a modelling clay heart card:
- Fold your card in half to make it a card, or leave it flat and use it the same way you would a postcard, and just write on the back.
- Wherever you would like the front of the card to be, trace a heart shape using the heart template and a permanent marker.
- Begin to fill the inside of the heart with modelling clay/plasticine.
- Break or cut small pieces of modelling clay/plasticine and then smoosh it down into the card using your fingers. Try to use smaller pieces rather than a larger piece, as larger pieces make the card heavy and it won’t be able to stand if you would like it to stand.
- Keep adding the different colours to the inside of the heart, pressing and smooshing the modelling clay/Plasticine. I got the girls to fill the whole of the inside of the heart but you can use your own artistic discretion.
- This takes a lot of fine motor skills so for my girls this became a labour of love project. I would leave it out and they could keep adding as they wanted to. They didn’t complete the whole heart in one sitting.
- Use as many or as little colours as you like.
- HAVE FUN!
- The results are stunning and perfectly “imperfect”.
Wishing you the most wonderful Valentine’s Day, may it remind you of how truly special and loved you are! Even if you buy yourself flowers or send yourself a card (I’m hardly in a position to judge), never forget that you are truly amazing just the way you are!