Many of us think of Valentine’s Day in terms of the romantic kind of love, which is, of course, totally wonderful. However, I say expand it to make it a time of something special for everyone!
Here are two project ideas—one is a simple gift that can be displayed all year long and the other is one that helps to express your care for your community. And both are easy, inexpensive and will certainly make your heart beat faster!
DIY Project #1: Reclaimed Wood Mini-Heart Art
1. Cut wood as a canvas
Use what you have on hand, if possible. Do you have scrap wood or parts of something that can be enlisted for this sweet project? I had a weathered door frame that was perfect, so I cut it into small pieces. After you trim your wood, use sandpaper to smooth the edges.
2. Trace your heart
You likely learned how to make hearts during your art class in elementary school. Fold a piece of paper in half, draw a half a heart on it, cut and unfold. Place it and trace it on your homemade wooden canvas with a pencil or pen.
3. Paint on its pulse
We all think of red hearts as representing Valentine’s Day. However, what if you took the shape of a heart—which is universal, timeless and boundary-free—and had some fun with it? Think outside the box and paint your hearts in blues, yellows or even greens (in addition to red that is)! Use your small detail brush to give it several coats or blend a couple of colors as you go to add extra depth.
When dry, return to your mini-heart art and give it some personality. Maybe your blue heart becomes the backdrop for making it look like Mother Earth. Add lines to make it a peace sign, a symbol that everyone loves.
4. Consider collaging
Tying into the repurposing/reusing theme of this project, consider cutting out images from old cards or magazines to add more whimsy to the design. I traced around a pretty flower on a card so it fit perfectly on top of the purple heart, then glued it in place. How about trimming parts of a map or clipping out the word, “love” from a magazine?
5. It’s easy to embellish
Do you have any old jewelry you aren’t wearing that could be taken a part and used to add bling to your heart? What about a key or silk flowers? A plastic toy animal? These are great options that will make your art piece really endearing. Use your glue gun or quick-drying epoxy glue to secure these items in place.
6. Add hooks then hang it
Pick up small picture hooks at your local hardware store then nail them to the back of your mini heart. Be careful if you glued something to the front. Flip it over and hang it up—or wrap it up to give it away. It will bring miles of smiles to others as well as your face, too!
DIY Project #2: Front Door Hearts Show Community Love
We all want to live in communities that are full of great people and are overflowing with love. Here’s a creative, easy way to do that, which can also be good for your own heart.
1. Post your heart
Using what you already have on-hand like cardboard, craft or wrapping paper, cut out a big heart and place it on your front door or in a window. If you are so inspired, you could cut one out of wood & paint it up or use Christmas lights to wrap around a hanger bent in the shape of a heart. Put it on your house or in your front yard between now and Valentine’s Day to show that your community is full of loving people.
2. Promote to your community
Encourage your neighbors to do the same. I promoted this idea to my community on the local Facebook page as well as on the neighborhood list serve. There were so many positive responses that I shared it with family members outside of Greater Washington, who are now encouraging their respective communities to do so, too! See how easy it is to take an idea, give it some legs and let it run (or dance or cheer)!
3. Share pics and addresses
Encourage those who choose to participate to post pics of their hearts on their homes. Ask them for their address too, if they are comfortable sharing. Ideally, you will have a collection of people getting involved so you can share the details so folks know where to go so look. You could create a neighborhood map to show who is participating!
4. Get out your heart pumping by walking
On Sunday, February 14 and the days following, get out and walk around your community to see how many hearts you see on doors, in windows and in yards. When you see others out and walking be sure to say, “Hello!” This will be good for your own heart to get out and get some fresh air and exercise. Take photos and post them on social media, too, so others may see how your neighbors have embraced this community-friendly project.
5. Let us see, too!
Share your photos with us, too, so we may see the fun and creative ways that you and/or your neighbors participated in this “show the love” project.
Artist, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach