Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.View Slideshow
Get your girlfriends together for some fun Valentine's Day crafting, complete with delicious treats, decorations, and plenty of holiday inspiration.
There's no better excuse than Valentine's Day to get your friends together for some crafting fun. Grab your gal pals and share the valentine-making with this simple guide to what to serve, craft, and have on hand.
Edibles at your crafts party should be easy and portable. Champagne, nuts, candies, and cookies on a self-service buffet are simple for the hostess to serve and easy for guests to nibble as they glitter and glue.
String a paper heart garland anywhere you like for a sweet touch. Trace and cut out about seven hearts from 8-1/2x11-inch pieces of construction paper or cardstock. Punch two holes about one inch apart in the center of each heart. Thread a festive ribbon, string, or yarn through the hearts as shown, then hang.
Editor's Tip: Use floral foam or a floral frog (also called a kenzan, it's a metal device with lots of sharp pins pointing upward) to keep flowers upright.
This scrumptious chocolate cake with cherry frosting makes a beautiful display as well as a tasty treat for all of your crafters-in-residence. Chocolate-dipped cherries provide the perfect garnish for this sweet dessert.
Editor's Tip: Dip extra cherries in chocolate and serve them as bite-size treats, or bundle them for tasty party favors your guests can tote home with their crafts.
Red velvet pies with cream cheese icing set a Valentine's Day mood. These individual pies are just as tasty as a large cake but easier to eat while crafting.
Keep your treats simple and delicious for this crafting party. These decadent pink coconut and triple chocolate truffles fit the sweet holiday theme and taste as good as they look.
No Valentine's Day celebration would be complete without heart-shape cookies. Serve some them already decorated, but also leave some plain to let your guests exercise their creativity. Send any leftovers home with guests as party favors. Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe, or tweak the traditional and try a fresh spin, like puffed-heart lemon cookies.
Bottles of your favorite champagne, soda, or any other beverage can nestle in ice near the snack buffet. Having the self-serve drinks close at hand allow uninterrupted time with friends.
Good organization is the glue that holds a fun party together. Try these tips for hosting your own crafts get-together:
-- Start small and keep it simple. Invite up to five enthusiastic friends. You can always expand later if you want
-- Create some examples before your guests arrive to inspire them and to make the crafting process easy.
To get the most out of crafting time, cut paper to card size and lay out supplies before guests arrive. Or set up a separate area for supplies so the crafting table doesn't get cramped. Include decorative-edge scissors to allow guests to snip their projects to perfection.
Gift tags and cards are popular Valentine's Day crafts, but all the glitter, glue, and string can make a mess. Use simple vessels to contain crafts supplies and to keep the crafting table as organized as possible.
-- Provide guests with cups to fill with crafts items that catch their eye.
-- Have some premade tags ready to decorate to get the crafting started.
Crafts and conversation will be entertainment enough at this Valentine's Day crafting party; just be sure to have enough supplies on hand. We recommend: markers, string, ribbon, yarn, felt, glue sticks, hot-glue guns and glue sticks, buttons, beads, rhinestones, markers, hole punches, plenty of colorful paper, and decorative and plain scissors as well as anything heart shaped (stencils, cutouts, etc.).
Editor's Tip: Have one person buy the craft supplies, keeping the tab at $10-$20 per person. Others can reimburse her. This will ensure a wide variety of supplies and less complication over who¿s bringing what.
Have crafters show off their adorable gift tags and cards as they go. Encourage friends to bring some of their favorite homemade or purchased Valentine's Day crafts for inspiration.
Editor's Tip: Craft for a cause. Make Valentine's Day cards for local business owners, nursing homes, shelters, and nonprofits in your area. You also can decorate donation tins or send valentines to soldiers abroad.
Using a three- to four-hue color palette will ensure a professional and impressive look for your projects. Keep reading for instructions for the projects you see here.
A simple pink card trimmed with decorative-edge scissors serves as the base for this project. Top a slightly smaller rectangle of white cardstock with strips of ribbon and colored paper. A cutout heart decorated with red glitter and adhered with hot glue adds a finishing touch.
Editor's Tip: Use sparkly or shimmery ribbon in lieu of strips of glittered paper. Your project will be less of a mess to make, give, and clean up after. Rhinestones also add a bit of bling.
Use decorative-edge scissors to cut out a white background. then glue a rectangle of blue paper cut slightly smaller on top. Apply glitter to a heart cutout and adhere with hot glue. To complete the card, wrap it with a decorative ribbon tied in a bow.
Cut a heart from felt or paper (felt provides a more dimensional look) and adhere it to a tag with hot glue. Place a brad near the top of the heart to keep it secure. Use decorative-edge scissors to cut a contrasting color of felt or paper to embellish the heart.
A graphic background makes a bold impression on this heart gift tag. Use a premade tag or cut one from a bold-pattern paper. Punch a hole in the top and attach string. Trace and cut a heart with an empty center from felt or paper. Attach it to the gift tag. Cut a smaller heart to place inside the first heart.
Rhinestones add a bit of bling to this handcrafted gift tag. Cut out a gift tag shape from striped paper, or choose a premade tag with a cute background, punch a hole in the top, and thread with ribbon. Hot-glue a small felt heart to the center of the tag. Attach rhinestones in a vertical line above and below the heart. Use a sturdy needle and thread or hot glue to attach the heart button to the middle of the felt heart.
Start with a plain white tag, then make the stripes with markers, ribbon, and paper. (Use a ruler if you'd like perfect lines.) Use a variety of widths for the stripes to punch up the fun factor, and adhere the ribbon and paper with glue. Don't forget to punch a hole for the hanging ribbon and add a sweet pink heart to give the tag gift-worthy status.
The blue felt heart accent is a standout on a pink paisley background and makes this Valentine's Day gift tag really pop. Cut a tag out of paisley-print paper, or use one that's premade, and thread a string through a punched hole.
Want more ideas? These beautiful handcrafted cards for Valentine's Day will have you swooning.