DIY: Valentine's Day decor
The middle of winter can be bleak, even indoors. The holiday decorations that once filled rooms with light and color have been packed away and stored until next year. The guests have gone home, and the tasty leftovers are long gone.
But you can dress up a room again by moving on to décor for the next holiday - Valentine's Day. Color can again fill living rooms and hallways, this time, in red, white and pink. And you can do it yourself in a little time and for little money.
There are a variety of Valentine's decorations you can make at home, even if you don't craft that often. From banners to wreathes and picture frames to vases, little pieces can make a big impact. Printable patterns and ideas are all over the Internet and most materials are easily available at nearby stores or even already at home.
Here are a few ideas for small pieces that even could double as gifts if you need a trinket for friends or a sweetheart on Feb. 14.
Yarn, at least two colors
Glue or tape
A yarn-wrapped frame can add a touch of whimsy without a lot of work or money. Simple picture frames can be found on clearance, at dollar stores or in the back of a closet at home.
Simply remove the back of the frame, choose the yarn you would like to use - such as red and white - and wrap it around the frame. Secure with glue or tape on the back as you finish with pieces.
The easiest way to wrap the yarn is to do it horizontally and in sections, but you also can wrap all the way around - just beware of corners where yarn can bunch up and have trouble staying in place.
You can use extra yarn to add a bow or other decoration to the frame. Foam hearts or wood letters also can be added. Put a family photo or Valentine's Day-themed picture inside and enjoy.
If your frame will be out on a table or somewhere else where the back could be visible, keep that in mind as you attach the yarn. It might be better to use glue here so it won't be seen as easily.
Choose a frame that is as flat as possible and not curved or ridged.
If you want all your blocks of color to be the same size, pre-cut the yarn. Remember if you're wrapping horizontally the top and bottom will take a lot more yarn than the sides.
Some extra glue or tape on the back of the very top and bottom strands can help keep them from popping off.
Wire, any color
Cardboard or wood
Glue (hot glue is best, but others will work)
Ribbon, yarn or embroidery floss
Pliers or other tool to bend the wire (optional)
A wire sign can be an easy DIY project that looks expensive.
For the backing, cover cardboard, wood or other sturdy material with colored cardstock. Using two different colors can add another dimension to the plaque. You could also use wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or other paper.
Spell a word or phrase, such as love, by curving pliable wire either with your hands or with a tool. To make the word move visible, use two or more layers of wire. You can tie yarn or ribbon in different spots to hold the layers together and add color.
Glue the wire to the plaque. Dots of hot glue are easiest and won't be as obvious when they dry.
Punch two holes in the top corners of the cardboard and tie on ribbon to hang the sign. If you use wood or stronger materials, you can drill holes or set out the sign as a freestanding decoration.
You can print out a word in the font you like and form the wire on top to match the style. It's easiest to use a cursive font since you are using one continuous piece of wire.
Votive candle holder
Clear candle holder
Paper tape (also called washi tape); ribbon or tissue paper also can be used
Add a little color and romance with a decorated candle holder. Small votive containers are inexpensive at most stores that sell candles or similar items.
Washi tape is increasingly popular and comes in many colors and patterns. It's an easy way to spice up crafts and decorations.
Simply smooth the tape onto the candle holder in any pattern, such as crisscrossed or vertical or horizontal stripes. For tissue paper or ribbon, glue on to container. Painting on a thin layer of glue is an easy way to make it smooth and sturdy.
You also can do this with bigger candle holders, vases or other containers.
Choose complementary colors and patterns of tape to add interest.
Beware of the container's shape -- not all are perfectly round, and that can keep the tape from lying flat.