Autumn's colorful bounty of foliage and produce is the first place we look when decorating for fall. Made with (or inspired by) bittersweet, cornhusks, apples, twigs, and other natural adornments and textures, these door wreaths are perfect for welcoming the season.View Slideshow
Express your affection by creating these simple handmade gifts and decorations for Valentine's Day. From heart-shape art to pretty Valentine's Day decor for your mantel, these crafts and projects will be loved on February 14 and beyond.
Paint a piece of lightweight wood your desired color. Trace a heart shape using a pencil, and stencil the outline of the love letters, or another word of your choosing. Tap thin nails on the outlines of the shape and word, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Loop a thin yarn or string from nail to nail, across, up and down, and side to side, until you achieve the desired look.
Create a one-of-a-kind mantel display with these simple cutout 3-D cards.
Before you cast off those old bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, give them new life as a Valentine's Day-worthy accent for inexpensive vases.
Use jewelry or glass glue to secure chains to glass bottles, either in a neutral color or pink or red. Try wrapping chains around bottles, outlining shapes, positioning as letters or numbers, or creating other simple designs. We also removed the pin from the back of a plastic flower and let it embellish one of the bottles. When the glue is dry, prime the bottles and paint with high-gloss paint. We chose white, but this collection would look equally stunning in glossy cobalt or yellow.
No flowers? No problem: These edible blooms offer the best of both worlds -- centerpiece and dessert.
First, prepare cupcakes (our favorite recipe appears below, or use a box mix) and bake in 24 paper liners, being careful not to overfill the bake cups. Wait to frost. Place scraps of florist's foam in the base of a 6-inch pot as a base. Stick wooden skewers into the scraps, then set a small foam ball into the pot, firmly setting it into the skewers. Attach unfrosted cupakes to the ball using cut wooden skewers. (Use two skewers per cupcake so they can't twist around.) Tuck green tissue paper between the cupakes to look like leaves and hide gaps. Fit a pastry bag with a large open star tip. Pipe a swirl on each cupcake, starting in the center and spiraling out.
Tightly wrap 1x6-inch strips of patterned paper around a pencil to curl. Glue the end of each curl into a loop. Hot-glue the paper to an 8-inch foam wreath form. Repeat until the form is covered. Lightly brush liquid adhesive over the paper curls, and sprinkle with glitter. Print a Valentine's Day sentiment on patterned paper, back it with a felt circle, and add a white stick for a paper lollipop embellishment.
After you've decorated the tabletop and the mantel, it's time to whip up a few of these pretty, heart-focused cards for family and friends.
Bright colors make this Valentine's Day mantel pop -- traditional pink hearts mix with bright orange, yellow, green, and blue patterned fabric on the banner.
Trace 16 hearts onto pink houndstooth or patterned fabric; cut out. Use a stencil to paint letters onto the hearts to spell out a sweet phrase (like "Be Mine Valentine"). Sew the hearts onto colored fabric squares with fun patterns, attach the squares to red ribbon, and hang across a mantel. Create the LOVE art by spray-painting paper letters various colors; glue onto a canvas.
Dress up your mantel, a door, or another spot in your house with this heartfelt, handmade Valentine's Day decoration.
Douse thick natural fiber rope in a mix of 1-1/2 cups warm water, 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 cup crafts glue, and 1 teaspoon salt. Shape the rope into a word and a frame, laying the design on a piece of plastic wrap. Use light-gauge wire to add stability and to form tight letter shapes. The letters should harden within 24 hours. When dry, tack the lettering on the wall, attaching decorative birds or other embellishments as desired.
Editor's Tip: Write your word on the plastic wrap using a permanent marker as a guide.
Handcrafted flower arrangements make the best kind of delivery for Valentine's Day, and it's simpler than you might think to assemble your own.
Use a pretty, shiny colander, and tuck a shallow bowl inside. Soak a piece of florist's foam in water; tuck in the bowl. Use three types of blooms in complementary colors; insert their stems into the foam, spacing out the colors and foliage for a pleasing effect.
Embroidery floss, a needle, cardstock, and your imagination are the only requirements for this easy Valentine's Day card craft.
Scout out vintage shops for old or broken faux pearl necklaces to create a pretty accent for a Valentine's Day container, filled with presents or sweet treats.
Use a fast-drying glass or jewelry glue to secure the pearls to a container of your choosing, taking care to position each pearl so the hole is minimized. Have plenty of smaller or seed pearls on hand to fill tiny gaps. Rather than cover the base of the container with pearls, we opted for a snappier disguise, wrapping it with ivory satin ribbon. As a final touch, remove the back from a clip-on earring and glue to the center of the lid.
Personalize these cute crafts projects for Valentine's Day decor for shelves and nooks.
To craft the collage, cut out repeating shapes from fabric (we used birds and hearts in various sizes) and use spray adhesive to mount on white cardstock; frame. For more advanced crafters, design a work of Valentine art. Pencil a design on a store-bought canvas, then sew over your drawing using a thick needle (we used a backstitch technique).
This sweetly handcrafted Valentine's Day decor makes a perfect accent to a mantel, over an island, on a door, or behind a holiday sweet-treat buffet.
Cut out oversize hearts from patterned cardstock. Cut parallel vertical slits near the center of each heart, and thread red or valentine-theme ribbon through the slits to make this quick but pretty garland.
Dress up a plain throw pillow and add a little love to your Valentine's Day decor with this handmade pillow. Add the word love with stencils and fabric paint. Cut out your own letters or buy a set of stencils, available at crafts stores, for a quick design.
Editor's Tip: Alternate colors for each letter or use a different word on the pillow to make the design your own.
Create an everlasting crepe-paper flower bouquet for a never-wilt show of your sentiment. Choose classic Valentine's Day colors, or a combination of hues that's your intended's favorite.
Cut a 20-inch strip of crepe paper. Cut petal shapes along the top of the strip (such as large rounded or pointed petals or fringe). Leave about 1 inch at the bottom so the strip won't tear. Adhere a chenille stem or piece of florist's wire at one end of the paper strip. Roll the crepe-paper strip around the stem or wire, fluffing and shaping the petals as you go. Secure the end with florist's tape, and arrange the bouquet in a small vase or Mason jar.
Capture heartfelt holiday memories and display them on pretty memory boards to give your Valentine's Day decor seasonal panache.
Wrap 1/2-inch-thick square or rectangular cork pieces in fabric. Choose Valentine's Day patterns, or select coordinating fabrics in pinks and reds to best suit the holiday. Lightweight fabrics, such as cotton, wrap best. Fold the corners, wrap the fabric to the back, and staple in place. Mount the panels with removable hooks and picture hangers to make it easy to change them out.
Cozy charm spills from this Valentine's Day decorating accent. The easy plaque comes together quickly with only a few supplies.
Spray-paint a heart-shape wooden plaque a neutral color. Punch various-size circles from patterned paper, and glue them to the tops of vintage or crafts-store wooden spools in various sizes. Adhere the spools to the plaque, placing the tallest at the top and working to the shortest at the bottom. Wrap short lengths of thin wooden dowels with patterned paper. Fill the spaces between spools with the embellished dowels.
Handcrafted decor makes for a perfect Valentine's Day table setting. Inscribe names of family, friends, or guests in the journals, and add a few sentiments, mementos, or memories. Complement the journals with with red and white dishes, pink napkins, a striped table runner, and sparkly glasses and flatware. The casual mix keeps the setting comfortable. Keep a journal for your own valentine thoughts, too.
Place sparkly jewelry, a colorful bloom, a pretty bonbon, glittery faux gems, pearly stones, or other tiny treasures in a clear votive holder. Top the votive with a valentine-theme paper cupcake liner, and tie in place with colored string. Arrange an assortment of votives on a tray for a festive tabletop display.
Editor's Tip: Use decorated votive holders as pretty packages for valentine gifts.
Plenty of easy decorating ideas involve accenting store-bought accessories with colors and shapes from the season. Wrap a favorite scented candle in these easy-make hearts for a quick but thoughtful Valentine's Day gift or decor.
Cut strips of pink patterned papers and adhere them to same-size strips of white cardstock. Die-cut, punch, or freehand-cut two sizes of hearts from the strips. Poke holes in some of the hearts. Run wire through the holes and wrap wire around the other hearts -- twisting and bending the wire into curls and loops -- to join the hearts. If you wish, slide beads onto the wire as you go. Continue until the wired hearts encircle the candle; join the wire ends to secure.
Use paper punches or scissors to cut hearts from colored vellum and lightweight decorative papers. Curl the cutout hearts by scraping them between your thumb and a butter knife just as you would with curling ribbon. Then layer the hearts on the cardstock base and attach each heart with a dab of clear-drying glue, either in the center or near one edge. Hang the wreath with ribbon.
Make a garland of hearts cut from fabric scraps layered and attached with iron-on adhesive. Punch small holes in the sides of the hearts and tie together with ribbon.