Mandatory Valentines day cards kind of drive me crazy. But then on the other hand it is a sweet way for your kids to show they care about their classmates. This year, my 3 year old and I took on a zero-waste challenge together and made Valentines “card” hearts from the red and white wrapping and tissue paper left from Christmas.
It worked great and was a fun mommy-daughter adventure! It also was a way to use up wrapping and tissue paper other people gave us when wrapping our gifts. We don’t use paper wrapping paper if possible because of the waste, to read the post on that, click here.
They turned out great!
Here is how to make your own:
1. Start with a good mix of about 75% white and 25% red. There was also some Frozen themed paper not pictured that had a red background and worked great. You can make colors besides pink, the main color if the tissue/wrapping paper will be the color of your hearts.
2. Rip up into smaller pieces and cover with water. Allow to soak for a few minutes to several hours. The water will turn to color of the paper too.
3. Put the soaked paper and water into the blender and blend on high until it is a pulp. This is where you will really see what color your hearts will be.
Now you have a big bowl of paper pulp that is quite wet.
4. Pick up the pulp one handful/spoonful at a time and squeeze out a little of the water. Shape the pulp into heart shapes, about 1/4 and inch thick. Use a spoon to smooth out the pulp. We had a heart shaped cookie cutter to use as a guide, but you could also draw hearts on a paper and have your kids put the pulp inside the lines. As a side note, you could also do different shapes to make birthday or Christmas cards!
We used a large envelope underneath our first batch, which worked fine. For the second batch, I took the screen off of a window and used that so they would dry faster. Both ways worked, the screen just dried faster.
5. When they are all shaped, allow to dry COMPLETELY! They will be fragile and break easily until they are dry, after which they are really solid. Drying can take 3-4 days. I suppose you could do them on a cookie sheet and dry them in a warm oven (200 degrees) and it would go faster, but we had the time and didn’t want to use the electricity to run the oven unless we had to.
And, these Valentines should be compostable after they are enjoyed for a while.
This was a great project to do together while the 1 year old napped 🙂
We had fun turning waste into something beautiful!