Frugal Card Making (Valentine's Day gift idea)

I should have posted this forever ago, especially since it's been well over a month since Valentine's Day, but I'm just now starting to learn the wonders of Picasa and blogging directly from there to here without fixing the picture in Photoshop first.

Since I have more time on my hands being home all day with baby, I decided to make goodie bags for our family and friends for Valentine's Day.

What I already had on hand for this project: milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate melts, heart-shaped candy molds, sugar cookie mix (or recipe & ingredients if I ran out - props for having food storage!), a heart-shaped cookie cutter, pink-striped cellophane bags, and all the paper I used in the above card.

The pink card is left over from the 120 cards we had to get printed for our marriage ceremony (temple sealing) invites even though we only needed 30. I wasn't ever going to need the cards with the ceremony information and they were pink so I decided to use them - but I needed to cover the original printing. That's where the floral paper scraps came in hand! I then layered the printed vellum over the cardstock and assembled it as you see above, punching two holes to string raffia though. Raffia is something I always try to keep on hand to dress up gifts. The 3x5 vellum sheets are leftover from a project I did 2 years ago.

It took me a while to figure out how to print on the vellum. The original size is double the width of the finished paper - I printed two columns of "Happy Valentine's Day" and then cut it in half for two cards. Word to the wise when printing vellum on a standard inkjet printer: just print one at a time. I printed 5 copies of it and it smeared the ink - so I quickly learned to just print one at a time and wait a few minutes in between each printing. The extra bit of time it took was well worth a clean print to me.

I then layered the papers as shown, used good ole' Elmer's glue to glue the floral paper to the pink card (it's not a scrapbook after all, so it doesn't need to be acid free!) and then I punched two holes in the center to thread the raffia through to make a bow. Voila`! A card using what I already had. I then wrote a short Valentine's day message on the back of the pink card so that it still looked pretty on front.

ETD 30 April 2011 to include Chocolate Candy Mold Making Directions.

To make the candy chocolates. I placed an open kitchen towel (so one layer) in the bottom of an electric skillet and placed a round metal cake pan on the towel. Turn the skillet on low and place the chocolate melts in round cake pan and wait for them to melt. The towel will help keep the chocolate from burning on the bottom of the cake pan. When the chocolate is liquid, you can use a small synthetic paint brushes (like the ones that come with a child's watercolor set) to paint the inside of the candy mold, making sure to fill in each of the crevices, corners and edges. Allow it to cool and then using a small spoon you can fill the mold the rest of the way. It is best to cool it in the refrigerator, but if you need it in a hurry you can speed cool it in the freezer for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be sure to have it on a flat, level surface or the chocolate won't be straight on the back! I will also forwarn you that the chocolate is more brittle when you speed set it in the freezer.

To remove the chocolates from the mold, simply place a clean towel on the table or the counter and lay the chocolate mold on the towel with the exposed chocolate side on the bottom and the bottom of the mold (what is the tops of the chocolates) facing up. Gently tap the chocolates out of each mold.

Here are some chocolates I did a year later after I originally wrote this post:

And another Valentine goody bag I made (I still had some materials from the year before on hand).

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