Ahh, hello and welcome, February! And good riddance and no thanks, January! You brought me flu, oral surgery, and lots and lots of cruel allergies. February, in you I see the promise of cuteness and colorfulness and fun and lots o' new projects. Wheee!
So how's about celebrating with a little super cuteness-inspired Valentine's Day card How-To?
I drew up and made this cute little birdie cards. I call them Tweet-Heart cards. Because they're birds, and Tweet-Heart sounds like 'sweetheart,' and it is something which one could give to one's sweetheart or Valentine. Get it?*
So let's see what it'll take for you to make your own tweetie for your sweetie.
Here's what you'll need (almost everything is pictured):
- cardstock (for the template and cards)
- scissors or an x-acto (I mostly used the standard scissors, using the small one for details and tighter cuts)
- a bone folder and straight edge (you can use the blunt end of a sewing needle or blunt side of a butter knife or scissors blade to score it should you not have a bone folder -- but if you do, be very careful of the pointed and sharp ends!)
- some sort of non-wrinkling adhesive suitable for cardstock (I used what was sitting around - rubber cement)
- a pencil (an eraser is also handy for stray marks)
- a paper doily
- a colorful drawing utensil (I used craft paint and a tiny brush, but you could use crayons, markers, pens, etc.)
And most importantly, you'll need to download, print, and cut out the template pieces before you start, which you can find right here.
Having printed and cut out your template pattern pieces for the card, trace the shape of the bird body onto the cardstock of your choice. I do this in pencil, which means that I can erase away any stray marks or hints of tracing after I cut it out.
Using a scissors or x-acto knife, carefully cut out the birdie body along the traced line. I find I work better with scissors myself, especially on a piece like this that has so many straight snips. I have no control over my curves when using craft knives!
Using a bone folder, score a straight line between each wing and the body, and fold each wing inward.
If you don't have a bone folder, there are other ways to go about this, or you can fold it without scoring at all, but I highly recommend this incredibly useful and durable tool. I use it all the time!
So once you've scored and folded both sides, it should look like this. Now we're ready to make its sweetie-tweetie, widdle-biddy birdie heart.
Using the cut heart shape pattern piece from the template, trace the outline of the heart onto your cardstock of choice, and cut it out.
If you're a nervous Nelly type, or just smarter than I am about the sequence of things when it comes to spacing and lettering, it's best to go ahead and write your message on the heart now before everything is all glued together.
I waited to do this at the end, because I'm weird like that. But I imagine most folks would feel more at ease to make sure the lettering looks all right and is free of spelling errors BEFORE they permanently glue it to something they've traced, cut, folded, and whatevered.
So go ahead and write your message now, before this next part!
Next comes the doily bit, which is completely optional. I like it because it adds a smidge of pattern and texture to things.
Place the heart along a bit of doily lace that you like. I liked to center mine under a symmetrical spot in the doily pattern. Hold it in place, and cut about 1/8 in. all the way around the heart to create a lacy edge. You don't want too thick of a lacy edge, or it will get crushed in the folds of the wings.
I just eyeball this myself, but if you're a stickler for measurements and whatnot, you could use the template heart piece to create a second, slightly larger doily pattern piece to use.
Now, because my doily is small and round, I couldn't get an all-lacy doily border from it. So, to get an all lacy doily border to surround my message heart, I cut two doily hearts, one with lacy doily all up top, and one with lacy all down below...
...and then I trimmed them like so, and pieced them together with adhesive. Then I centered and glued my cardstock heart on top of my new conjoined lacy doily pieces heart...
... and it looks like this! Now it's time to glue the heart onto the birdie.
I like to place it on there and test out its positioning before gluing it down, as I like to make sure that I can't see the heart poking out from the wings when they're folded shut.
When I have it where I want it, I make four little pencil dashes along the perimeter of the heart to give me a guide as to where I want it when I'm ready to glue. I can easily (but gingerly) erase them if they show too much afterward.
Then I do any extra trimming of the lacy border (I had to shave off a smidge to keep it out of the wing creases), spread some glue on the back, and use my little pencil hatch marks to guide it to the perfect spot.
Ta-daa! Now this little bird needs a face. Let's make a face!
I cut two little, tiny triangles from the cardstock of my choice. Personally, I just eyeball them, snipping little bits off the sheet, with one being bigger and longer than the other. There's an approximation of them on the template though, if you're not into eyeballing.
Then I glue them onto the bird, one on top of the other just above the center of the heart.
And to make the face and legs? Just draw on whatever eyes and legs you like using whatever drawing utensil you like. I used a tiny paint brush and some craft paint, and opted for traditional Alician 'U' shaped eyes, rosy cheeks, and, yes, a widdle, biddy bird bum.
If you're me, this is when you would last of all, paint or write your little message on the heart.
But you're smarter than I, right? So you already did that loooong ago before gluing all those heart and bird pieces together, right? Yes! Of course you did.
And here's our little finished birdie before he spreads his wings of love!
You can use a tiny dot of double sided tape or something similar to help keep his little heart shaped wings closed should you like.
And then he spreads his wings to give you a hug and some words of love - how sickeningly sweet!
And if you feel like mailing these cuties out to your Valentines, you can vamp up their envelopes by folding and creasing a whole doily in half, then nest it along the inner envelope crease, and secure the top half of the doily to the envelope flap. Securing just the top is just easier to do, plus it allows the doily lining to move and flex with the envelope.
It adds an extra bit of Valentine-iness to it, dontcha think?
Oh, and as for these envelopes, I actually re-made them in a smaller size from a stack of larger, too-big old Christmas card envelopes that I had.
If you want to know how to make your own envelope, there's a tutorial on it over here.
And, well, that's pretty much it! Hope you liked the how-to, and that it was clear and thorough enough. I always get so aggravated when I come across a cool tutorial, and get halfway through to find it breezed over something crucial that needs more clarification... so, I hope that's not the case here. Suuuurrre it is...
Anyway, I'd like to write up more of this type of thing, so I'm eager to see what other folks make of it! Hopefully they make good, cute things.
In the mean time, you can take a gander at the other various little birds I made, like Mr. Orangey bird, above.
Or my favorite of the bunch, Ms. La-La-Lemon bird. There's something about yellow and red on Valentine's Day that I just love. It's so cheerful!
And of course, there has to be a Miss traditional Red-n-Pink Robin. She's pretty cute, too.
And while I prefer the blushing birds with their closed, U-shaped eyes, I rather like this Miss Perky Purple Martin.
And lastly, here's Pinkney, all snug as a bug and ready to bare his heart to his sweet tweet.
Awww! So. Adorable!
Ok, I must stop looking at these pictures now. They're giving me a toothache, which is a very mean January kind of thing for them to do anyway, and this is February. I'll have none of that, you hear!
* Speaking of bad puns, you have no idea how bummed I am that I didn't get around to posting this yesterday just so I could call it a "How-To's-Day" post. Because it was a Tuesday. And I love horrible puns.
Ho-hum. Maybe some other Tuesday, then.