Happy first day back to real life in 2016, y’all! Let me just say that our back-to-back vacation and holidays spoiled my family and I WAY too much. Getting going this morning was tough for most of us…the exception being the 2 teens who were told that they could play video games this morning (never allowed on a school day!) as long as they were done by 7:30. So they were up at 6. What they don’t realize is that now they’ve shown me what they’re capable of. I won’t be buying their whole groggily stumbling out of their room at 8:15 gig anymore. 😉
Today was my first day to put my plans into action for getting up earlier and working in the morning before the little kids are up. On the surface I was successful…I was up by 6:30. Buuuuuut….I did have to lie down with my 4-year-old for about 45 minutes during his nap time. Tomorrow should get a little bit easier. I can’t go to bed earlier if I’m not tired. So it will take a few days of forcing myself to get up early before going to bed early really becomes doable.
The Christmas decorations have (mostly) come down, which means Valentine’s decor can go up soon. Last month I made my own version of these cute blocks that I found on Pinterest. As I was finishing them up, I had this great idea to flip them over and decorate the other side for Valentine’s Day so I could use them all the way through February. I took a few photos so this could be a mini-tutorial of sorts.
To make these, start with 4 wooden blocks (these are from a 4″x4″ that had been cut into cubes, so their actual size is about 3.5″ on all sides) and sand them down well, especially the edges and corners.
Then give them a couple coats of white craft paint. I put the little “x” marks there to remember which sides I wanted to be the fronts of the blocks.
For a lightly distressed look, sand down the edges and corners again. I have several bottles of this Distress Stain, so I put a little on a felt pad and lightly rubbed it on the edges/corners to darken them up a bit. You could also just leave the edges as-is.
(These were actually pre-distressed by my boys, who upon finding my bin of wood blocks in the garage decided they would make great props for reward and immunity challenges in their neighborhood kids edition of Survivor, which they play regularly in the back yard in nice weather. Leaving wooden blocks strewn about the lawn really helps them age, crack, and discolor quickly. Now you know.)
Next, cut 4 pieces of scrapbook paper slightly smaller than the cube face. I used my Silhouette (and one of the designs that came pre-loaded) but you could just as easily use decorative-edged scissors or even a large punch to make these. They don’t all have to be squares. You could mix up your shapes if you like. It’s all good! I painted a layer of Mod Podge onto the surface of the block, stuck down the square, and then painted a layer of Mod Podge over it.
Here are all 4 of my cubes showing their Christmas side…
Next you’ll need letters. I used NOEL for the Christmas blocks just like my example from Pinterest, and LOVE for the Valentine’s Day side. Again I used my Silhouette to cut these out of vinyl, but there are so many alphabet sticker options out there that I’m sure you could find some that work.
To finish it up, cut 2 strips of fabric for the tie and bow. To tie the blocks together, cut a piece that is 2.5″ wide and about 42″-44″ long. Wrap it around the outer edges of your 4 blocks and tie a knot at the top center. Leave the 2 long ends for now. For the bow, cut another strip that is the same width but 48″ long and starting at one edge, wrap the fabric around an 8″ wide piece of cardboard or similar. You’ll end up with 2 loops and 2 ends on each side. Carefully slide the fabric off the cardboard, center your bundle of loops on top of the knot on top of your blocks, and tie the loose ends from the first piece of fabric around the center of the bundle of loops, making a tight knot. Then just pull out and twist to fluff the two loops on each side, and you’ll have a floppy fabric bow.
Now if you really wanted to keep it simple you’d use red on both sides of your blocks, since red works for both Christmas and Valentine’s. Then you only need one bow. But I only had pink Valentine’s paper, so I’m switching my bow out. I found that if I tie that first knot snugly but not super tight/stretched, then I can easily slide one tie/bow off the blocks and slide the other one on. This would also be handy if you wanted to do 2 holidays that don’t have colors that coordinate at all.
So there you have it…one craft, 2 seasons. What a deal!
I’m making up a few more things to add to my Valentine’s Day decor this year. I’ll post some photos once everything is decorated. It might be a little while. 😉
So how about y’all? Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day right after your Christmas decor comes down, or do you wait until February? Why or why not? Leave me a comment and let me know!