Valentine Heart Envelopes
A Simple Craft in Watercolor and Weaving
These beloved woven Valentine’s envelopes are a staple in most Waldorf kindergarten classrooms in February, and are a wonderfully simple and affordable craft project to do at home with your little ones! Both making and using them was a special Valentine’s tradition for my own children - they filled their envelopes with the cards they received from friends at school for safekeeping. I always loved finding a homemade craft to accompany the holidays and shift the focus onto spending meaningful time together, rather than on physical presents. Plus, what could be better than creating something from scratch for friends and loved ones! Share your creations with us in the comments or on Instagram @sarahssilks
Step One: Watercolor
Begin by dampening your watercolor paper with a wet sponge. You can also do this by soaking the paper in a shallow tray of water for 10 to 15 minutes, but the tactile experience of wringing out a sponge and slowly wetting their paper is an easy and fun way to get little ones interested in the project, and they might enjoy taking their time with the task while you set up the rest of your materials.
While the paper is soaking, set out sponges (for wiping up) and paintbrushes and paint on a water-safe surface. Your kitchen table or tiled floor works great! You can lay down an outdoor table cloth or a plastic shower curtain for easy clean-up.
When fully damp but not dripping wet, lay the watercolor paper flat onto your working surface. Dip your paintbrush into a paint color of choice, and begin painting! You can start with just one color, or experiment with fluid blends of different hues. Take your time watching the colors bleed into one another and form new tones. We preferred the look of painting the entire paper with color so there were no white spots, but your little one might want to experiment with patterns and designs: dots, lines, swirls, hearts… Let your paper dry in place. Once dry to the touch, you are ready to begin weaving!
Step Two: Cutting
Fold your dry painted paper exactly as you folded the template.
Stack the template on top of your painted paper, and use the template as a cutting guide to cut out your heart pieces.
Remove the template. You should have two folded, cut pieces of painted watercolor paper. Leave them folded for the next step.
Step Three: Weaving
The weaving part may be a bit tricky at first, but once you get the first row done it will be a snap!
Alternate weaving the “loops” through and around each other in each row. You will end up with a heart that opens up at the top. If you are pressed for time and don’t want the mess of watercolor painting, you can just cut out two different colors of paper and weave them together.
Use your hole punch to make a hole for the handle, loop in your string or yarn, and you have a beautiful handwoven, hand-painted envelope! Your little one can use it as mine did, to hold Valentine’s cards they receive from their friends, or you can tuck treats or little notes inside and give it as a gift to your special Valentine.