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Valentine Keepsake: Simple Memory Garland

Last Friday I sent out a quick social media poll on how I should celebrate V-Day with my littles. The winning pick leads me to believe you all appreciate a good, simple project over fancy bells and whistles (my peeps)… With that in mind, I think you’re all going to want to jump right into Alli’s Valentine’s Day project with your own kiddos – like, immediately.

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you are anything like me, this is one of those holidays that tends to play second fiddle. As much as I love Valentine’s Day, I don’t go nearly as decoration crazy as I do for Christmas, Easter, or even Halloween (my personal favorite). So I was determined to make this year different. We decided to make a new Valentine’s decoration every year, to add to our collection. And what better way to start than a keepsake garland?

I had this idea while working on our Christmas card this year. While brainstorming everything my two-year-old loves, I realized those little memories would make the perfect Valentine’s Day memento.

The best part about this project? It’s simple. Little hands can do this entirely on their own or, if they need it, with a little scissor help from Mommy.



All you will need is your paper of choice, scissors, any kind of twine (I chose baker’s twine, because really, you can use this stuff for ANYTHING), and mini-clothespins.

The first step is to cut out one heart shape for each child. Isaiah is the only one if our house so far, so we just started with one. However, I chose to cut several hearts of the same paper for us to use throughout the years. I had a vision for a look of uniformity, but feel free to use different paper every year and mix it up however you like.

As soon as the hearts are cut, it’s time for your little one to get creative. Now, this is where the crafter in me cringed a little bit. I could think of a million ways to make this year’s heart look “pretty”: scalloped edges, a chalkboard look, pretty fonts. But this is about Isaiah, not me. It’s HIS heart, so I let him decorate it how HE wanted.


Then after a few crayon scribbles… (Me: Are you sure you’re done, Isaiah? Isaiah: yesh, Mommy. I dunn.) …it was time for me to add the details. We added his name, the year, and a few things that he loves. And next year, we will add a new one.


Then all that is left is to string your twine, and clothespin your hearts.


My heart just melts at the idea of Isaiah creating his own heart every year. It’s hard for me to believe that someday he’ll be writing his own, choosing his own paper, and even arguing with me about not wanting to make one. (Me: I know you’re 18, but do this for Mommy. Please?)

Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part. But I can’t wait to see a garland full of hearts one day, that I can put up for Valentine’s Days long after my babies are gone to college.

Because isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about? Cherishing those we love, whether they are with us or not.

Wishing you and yours a LOVELY Valentine’s Day…

Question of the Day

In this digital age, what method do you use to document life? Do you go high tech or keep it old school via traditional scrapbooks and journals?



P.S. Looking for more creative ideas?  Check out The Make & Play Vault!

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Alli is wife to Michael, mommy to Isaiah and friend to their furry one, Hershey girl. Her passion lies in being a Mom and finding ways to bring creativity to life with her family. You can visit her blog (You have your blog, we have Aars) for ideas, activities, inspiration and more.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

gina February 12, 2013 at 9:42 am

Awww- what a sweet idea!! Love this!

I keep a family blog and have done very well updating it a few times a week – it captures what is going on in our lives along with photos – and all the family has the site so they can see what we are up to as well! Then once a year I print them thru Blog2Print so I have a hard copy.


mpmk February 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I’m so impressed that you updated your blog a few times a week – that is my goal but I’m just not there yet!


Tara February 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

LOVE this idea! I think I’m going to try this with my two year old.


mpmk February 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Yay – if you’re on instagram, send me a pic @modrentmessykid


Alli February 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I love that you love it too! Isaiah is two and it was just perfect for his age. Hope you enjoy it!


Hilary February 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm

We have family spread all over the country so most of our documenting is digital (also with only a one year old he doesn’t do a lot of creating yet) but we try to use the major holidays to create something real to send out to relatives and to keep in our memory box. Last year my 3 month old’s first craft was footprint hearts for valentines day.


mpmk February 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I love that you take the time to actually send handmade goodies to everyone. What a great way to keep your long-distance relatives up on your little one’s new skills.


Judie February 13, 2013 at 3:28 am

What a gorgeous idea. It looks so simple and pretty. Sometimes it is easy to take over and do it “right” but Isaiah’s heart looks exactly right for him.

Every month I do a card. One side has photos and one side just a bit about what we’ve got up to and what has changed during the month. I send it out to relatives who live elsewhere but I keep a copy for us. It is wonderful looking back through our book and also reminds me to take photos all the time.


mpmk February 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm

That card idea is brilliant – all the grandparents would flip and it sounds like an easy, low key thing to commit to.


Jessica February 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Documenting life is difficult for me. It’s hard to live life and record it at the same time if that makes sense! I would love to scrapbook, but I get paralyzed by needing to do it perfectly that I never start at all. How can I do something perfect the first time when I’ve never done it before? Lol :)

The one way I am trying to document life is by making a point of updating facebook more often so I have a bit of a history of what went on day to day.

I also have this great book that I’ve started this year with my daughter. It’s actually a question a day book and you write in the answers for 3 years. So once we’ve finished this year, we’ll start over and can compare her answers :) She’s only 3 so some of her answers are really precious!


mpmk February 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

I have the same hangups with starting a scrapbook!


Shaunna @ Fantastic Fun and Learning February 14, 2013 at 6:02 am

This is such a sweet idea. I keep a box of old art work and memorabilia from each major holiday, and we pull it out to decorate each year. I love looking back at how the kids of grown and changed from one year to the next. This will be lovely addition.


Alli February 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Glad you like it, Shaunna! Isaiah had such a fun time making his first heart. I can tell it’s going to be a GREAT tradition for us. 😉


lemondedis February 19, 2013 at 2:04 am

merci pour le partage !… je cherche des freebies sur le web, mais je recherche aussi des créations “faciles” : mon but est de permettre aux enfants, ou aux gens qui n’ont pas beaucoup d’argent, ou qui débutent le bricolage, de créer des choses simples, ne demandant pas d’outils “exceptionnels” ni trop de matériel… j’aime beaucoup cette idée et lorsque je trouve des choses qui me plaisent, je partage mes “bonnes adresses” : la vôtre y sera !… http://pinterest.com/lemondedis/ (j’ai déjà plus de 12000 liens vers des téléchargements gratuits et quelques autres milliers vers des projets de création !)


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