Half the fun of drinking coffee is wrapping your hands around the cup and feeling its warmth. When I go to a coffee shop (which is admittedly rare), I always tell the barista I don’t need a cup sleeve because I’ll just pull it right back off to hold my cup. I’ve even gotten really good at gingerly holding a too-hot cup by the rim until it cools a little. But this time the barista was too quick. I know, I know, the sleeves are made from partially recycled materials nowadays, but still. I was determined to repurpose that sleeve someday because it sure didn’t get much use the three seconds it was on the cup at the coffee shop.
This week I made two Valentine’s cards, one for my husband and one for my daughter. I wanted to see if I could make the cards without going shopping and spending gas and money to buy fancy paper or cute embellishments. So I gathered what I thought could be used: paper (a larger scrap of watercolor paper in this case), school glue, red and gold craft paint, a scrap piece of fabric from a used clothing purchase, two envelopes, needle and red thread, scissors, a small piece of paper towel, and a that blasted cardboard coffee sleeve.
The first card I decided to make had a country theme with a puffy, gingham heart and a barn-red background. I cut the paper to fit the size of the envelope. Watercolor paper is hard to fold in half, so I used a scissor blade to score along the center line of the card. Actually, I scored just barely to one side of the center line so that the front of the card would be slightly bigger than the back of the card, making it easier to open.
I painted the front of the card with red craft paint. Why did I use craft paint instead of my beloved watercolors? Because craft paint dries with such a chalky, opaque appearance that it looks more like barn paint.
Next I cut a heart out of the gingham fabric, traced that heart onto the paper towel, and cut two slightly smaller hearts out of the paper towel. The paper towel will add depth to the heart, making it puffy, but not too puffy—can’t have a bulky card getting caught in the postal service’s sorting equipment!
I stacked the two layers of paper towels plus the gingham on the front of the card and started sewing. The hearts wiggled around too much, so I tacked the paper towel pieces in place with glue (just a tiny bit of glue so the paper towel would remain soft and puffy), and I taped down the edge of the fabric with removable painter’s tape. (More astute readers will recognize this fabric as one of the patches on DH’s jeans!)
My watercolor paper was fairly pliant, but I can imagine on a sturdier piece you’d have to pierce the paper first (with a thumbtack, for example) before sewing. Since the paper towel hearts were slightly smaller, I was only sewing through the gingham fabric and the watercolor paper, not too difficult.
I started the second card in the same way, painting the background with the red craft paint. I cut two hearts out of that (blasted) cup sleeve and used one for stamping with gold paint and one for an embellishment.
After stamping three hearts, I glued on a fourth heart. The corrugated cardboard might get squashed in the mail, so this card will stay at home and be for my husband.
Make this day even better. Consider:
- Plant a lingering kiss on your sweetheart’s lips. If you are single, consider sending positive thoughts towards someone you loved in the past, no matter how that relationship ended.