Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Valentines for 2010

- If you got a surprise ball from me and you haven't opened it up yet, do NOT read this post!

I held a Valentine exchange last night that was really fun. I can't wait to post all about it, but first I thought I would tell you about the Valentines that I made this year while you all still have time to make them before Valentine's Day.

I think I've blogged before about how I love the idea of Surprise balls so that's what I decided to make this year (which was a little ambitious because they can take a LONG time to make and I had to make twelve of them). All the directions that I've seen say to buy the crepe paper that comes in sheets and cut that into thin strips, but I needed to make 13 of these, and that would cost a fortune and take forever. Instead, I bought regular, cheapo rolls of crepe paper that you can buy to decorate for parties and my awesome dad helped me cut them in half using an electric carving knife. I think we killed his blade (sorry dad!) but it did the job. If you skip this step the crepe paper will be too wide so it won't lay flat as you roll the ball.
Then you just collect all sorts of little treasures to wrap up. This is what I put in the valentine surprise balls that I made for my friends: a candy necklace, some confetti (I warned them that opening them would be messy), a little heart-shaped notebook, heart-shaped paper clips, a small bottle of red nail polish, a little heart garland that I made about a yard long and folded up, some Reese's peanut butter hearts (which I wrapped in plastic before I added to the ball), some heart stickers, a heart-shaped balloon, a plastic heart ring, a confetti poppers (which, of course, you should not add if you want to mail one of these), and some Valentine's Day themed brads. I think collecting stuff to put in them was the hardest part. I wanted it to be fun, but I didn't want it to be junk so I tried to come up with some sort of useful things too.
We have a tradition of sending Creed's friend in Columbus, Audrey, a valentine too so I made one with kid-friendly items too. If you're looking for ideas, this is what we put in Audrey's: a heart-shaped notebook, four tiny double-sided stamps, a heart-shaped balloon, a plastic heart ring, a lovebug that grows when you put it in water, and Valentine's Day necklace and bracelet, some Japanese Erasers that you can take apart and put back together (I think it's funny that these are SOOOO popular with kids right now), a candy necklace, and two different kinds of heart stickers.

I started with the largest, oddest-shaped item for the middle and just went to town wrapping away. If you pull the crepe paper a little as you wind it, it stretches and covers pretty smoothly. Every once in a while I added a new item or switched colors of crepe paper. Then on the outside, I tied a piece of tulle around it to keep it wound tightly and added a tiny flag that said "Open Me". Pretty amazing that so much can fit into such a small ball, isn't it?
Then to make my valentines look a little fancier, I put them in clear plastic 4" x 4" x 4" boxes and tied them shut with bakers twine and a vintage red button.
I loved seeing them all lined up when they were done, but they were a lot of work, and I don't think I'll be attempting them again any time soon.
I hope everyone had a lot of fun unwrapping them!


kirsten said...

that is over the top! pretty amazing.

i was going to print some valentines from ME - not my kids- for once this year, but alas! time is not on my side this week.

lish said...

Um, so I must have missed your warning that opening this was messy, and decided to walk around my house while opening it.

Two piles of confetti later...I had all my treasures.

But it was worth it - what a surprise!

Thanks for the fun party!

Amy @ OurScoop said...

You KILL me!!! How can I get added to your group of friends? I'm dying to come to one of your fun and creative parties! ;) lol

I love all your fun creative! Thanks for always sharing!


Faith and Chad & the boys said...

Steph, the party was so fun, you are amazing and your ball was so fun to open with the boys...giggled together as each piece popped out.

...and all this amazingness with a baby due in two weeks...oh my!

taniawillis said...

one of a kind

can i be you when i grow up? LOL.

please, don't ever stop blogging. i think i might shrivel up and die without seeing your creative hand at work. these are AMAZINGLY awesome!

Calvin Family said...

Wow! You really are amazing!

mermaid said...

I love it!
What a cute, cute idea!!