Confection of Crafts: Valentine’s Day Fun for the Whole Family

February is quite possibly the sweetest month of the year. Check out these ideas for gifts and greetings to make and share with someone you love.

Lacy Licorice Candy Heart
Items needed:
Ruler, scissors, hole punch and tape
Red or pink construction paper
Clear contact paper
String licorice
Small Valentine candy


Place construction paper over the sticky side of the contact paper, and press firmly, making sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Measure and cut two 5-inch hearts from the paper. Place the two hearts together, contact paper facing out, and punch holes every ½ inch along the outer rim of the heart, 1/4 inch from the edge. To lace the hearts together, start at the top and pull the string licorice through one hole, leaving 2 inches free at the opposite end of the string to tie up later. (If the licorice runs out, start a new piece by tying the loose end with a new string then continue lacing.) Once you’ve laced to about 2 inches from the top, stop and fill the heart pouch with candy. Finish lacing around the heart until you reach the starting point. Tie the two free ends of the licorice in a bow and snip off excess string with scissors.


Crush-on-You Cookies
Items needed:
Bowl, measuring cups and spoons, various colored hard candies, mallet, gallon-size plastic zip bag
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cups honey


Preheat over to 375 degrees. Combine first seven ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a stiff dough. Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a 10-inch snake, ¼-inch thick. Place dough snake onto a foil-covered cookie sheet, and form it into the outline of a heart, pinching the ends together at the heart’s base. Repeat these steps with all remaining dough. Place hard candies into a plastic zip bag, seal tightly and crush with a mallet. Sprinkle crushed candy into the center of each heart cookie, heaping it up in the middle. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool completely then gently peel them from the foil.


Candy Necklace
Items needed:
Ruler and scissors
Clear plastic wrap
Red and white peppermint candies
Red ribbon


Unwrap candies and set aside. Cut a piece of plastic wrap measuring 4 inches by 32 inches. Working from the middle of the plastic toward the outer edge, place unwrapped candies 1-inch apart until they form a row that measures about 18 inches. Fold plastic around the candies, gently rolling it to create a long strand. Cut ribbon into 3-inch strips and tie between candies. Tie the ends of the plastic wrap together and cut off excess plastic to create a necklace.


Pop-Up Greeting
Items needed:
Pencil, ruler and glue gun (on a low setting)
Construction paper and cardboard
Heart-shaped stencil
Markers, stickers, glitter, jewels and other embellishments


Fold a piece of construction paper in half and then in half again to create a rectangular card. Cut a 5-inch-by-½-inch strip from a piece of cardboard then fold back and forth accordion style to create a “spring” for the pop-up card. Glue one end of the strip to the inside of your card. Use a stencil to trace around and cut out a heart, then glue it to the other end of the paper spring. Write a greeting on the front and inside the card and embellish with stickers, glitter or jewels. Fold the spring down and place it, along with the attached heart, flat against the inside of the card. Close the card and slip it into an envelope. When your recipient opens the card, the design will pop out.

Hearty Reads
Here are some sweet stories for snuggling up with your children:
• “The Biggest Valentine Ever,” by Steven Kroll
• “Cam Jensen and the Valentine Baby Mystery,” by David Adler
• “The Day it Rained Hearts,” by Felicia Bond
• “Henry & Mudge and Mrs. Hopper’s House,” by Cynthia Rylant
• “Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine,” by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
• “Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink,” by Diane deGroat
• “Too Many Valentines,” by Margaret McNamara