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To host a party where crafts are involved, create stations -- with four to five people per station -- stocked with all the supplies that guests will need to finish their projects. We suggest the following supplies: decorative papers, doilies, rickrack, heart-shape punches, metal brads, ribbon, buttons, embroidery floss, scissors, glue, tape, spray adhesive, and fine-tip markers for writing messages.
Editor's note: Create a separate area for the treats to keep sticky fingerprints from ending up on pretty paper creations.
To get the party started, teach your guests how to make a card that will stand on its own. To make this card, fold two or three 1-1/2-inch-high accordion folds in a long piece of card stock. Glue or tape hearts to the front of the folds as shown.
Layering: That's the key to making this lovely card. Cut out different shapes from patterned paper. Arrange your shaped paper on a piece of card stock, and then punch a hole through the middle of all the layers. Fasten a metal brad through the hole to hold the layers together.
Editor's tip: Before beginning the projects, make sure to size the cards to fit the envelopes. Or buy pre-folded cards and envelopes together.
Cut a paper doily to fit inside the shape of your card stock. Apply a thin layer of spray adhesive on the back of the doily and press it down on the card stock. Then cut out a shape from patterned paper or ribbon and glue on top of both. Fasten two metal brads through the ends of the shape for a simple, elegant look.
Editor's tip: Spray adhesive should only be used in a well-ventilated area, with plenty of newspapers underneath the doily to catch extra spray.
Making this elegant card is easier than it looks. Just punch holes in the center of four or five small hearts. Thread short lengths of rickrack through the holes, then knot to secure the rickrack. Use a metal brad to attach the cards.
For sentiments in the cards, inspire guests by offering lyrics from classic and soon-to-be classic pop songs -- from Rodgers and Hart, the Beatles, Johnny Mercer, Shania Twain, or anyone else you can think of. One of our favorite examples is this Shania Twain lyric: "Right beside you is where I belong/From this moment on."
Invest in a 1- or 2-inch heart-shape punch from a scrapbooking or crafts store. A precut stack of hearts encourages guests to dive right in.
Editor's tip: To give the cards a designer look, use just four colors and no more than five or six materials.
To make these pretty flowers, simply cut out three equal size paper hearts, and then fold them in half lengthwise. Attach the pointed ends together with a silver or brass brad. Create the stems using florist's wire.
The front of this creative card hints at the surprise inside: a miniature clothesline hung with a load of patterned hearts. The tiny clothespins, available at crafts stores, are too delicate to mail, so deliver this one by hand. To learn how to make this card step by step, continue to the next five slides.
Score and fold a 7-x-10-1/2-inch piece of card stock in half using a scoring tool and a ruler. Fold against the ruler and run a bone folder up and down the back of the paper to flatten the fold. (If you don't have a scoring tool or a bone folder, use a butter knife.) Score and fold a 5/16-inch-wide flap on both sides of the inside of the card.
Attach string to the inside of the card by sandwiching an end in the right flap. Close the flap with 1-1/4-inch double-stick tape. Punch a small hole on the fold of the left flap and thread the string through. Close the flap with double-stick tape.
Secure string at the back of the card with a heart-shape sticker.
Punch hearts from decorative papers and clip them onto the string with miniature clothespins.
Editor's tip: Most paper and scrapbook supply stores allow customers to use the store's punches on paper purchased at the shop.
The inside of this completed card reveals the clothesline holding patterned hearts, a perfect way to drop a line to someone you love.
Keep in mind that hosting a card-making party is a great time for your children to make valentine greetings for their classmates. Plus you'll be able to spend quality time with your kids.