Valentines with Heart

Here at the Skeen house we like to make our valentines from scratch. Okay, so we like the idea of making them from scratch. The execution isn't always pleasant, but the end result is always satisfaction. This year I found my valentine inspiration on Pinterest, of course. I found this adorable friendship bracelet valentine and thought it would be the perfect project for Janie Kathryn's class and my students as well... all 127 of them.

Obstacle #1: Bracelets
There was no way that we (me and the little one) were going to make 16 bracelets for her class. So, there was like double... no triple... or quintuple no way I was making 127 more for my 2nd-5th graders! I once again turned to my handy dandy search bar and after several trillion searches I found a fair trade company, based in Denver, that sells wholesale quantities of bracelets made by craftspeople in Peru. The best part: all profits benefit schools in Peru. I take 150, please!

Obstacle #2: Valentine Cards
After splurging on the bracelets (even for a good cause), it wasn't in the budget to buy 150 valentines or the supplies to make them. So, I had to get resourceful. An idea came to me while working on Valentine's Day bulletin boards at school. I was using my school's die cutter to cut hearts and tossing the frames into the recycling, when I realized how useful those pieces of paper with heart-shaped holes might be!
The teacher workroom proved to be a valuable resource indeed. I rummaged through the recycling bin and found all sorts of scraps that I could use. A few pieces of pastel copy paper, some die cut scraps added to a collection of half used sheets of heart stickers I had at home... I was ready to get crafting!

The Finished Product:
After all the effort, I have to admit I was a little concerned that it wouldn't be as appreciated as I hoped it would be. I went around, from room to room, leaving my valentines in 127 festively decorated valentine bags. The next day I was delighted to see so many students with bracelets tied around their wrists. I received many heartfelt thank-yous and engaged in several conversations about fair trade and Peruvian crafts. It was a good feeling and a happy Valentine's Day!

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