19 January 2011

Valentine's Garland

If you haven't noticed, I'm into free or cheap inexpensive craft ideas. If I wasn't, I'd be spending wayyy too much money on doing crafty things. This particular idea cost me nothing. And lots of other creative people probably thought of this before me, but when I was trying to pack up the last of the Christmas stuff last night (I'm a little behind, I know) I had an idea to use up the tons of leftover candy canes we had laying around.

pile o' candy canes

If two candy canes are side by side, they naturally form a heart (or one backwards "r" and one forwards "r," but that's really not what I was going for with Valentine's day coming up). So I decided to make a garland for the mantle with candy cane hearts! Like I said before, novel idea to me, but I imagine it's probably been done before. So I got out the hot glue gun I got for Christmas (yay!) and assembled hearts.

  heart assembling - quick and easy, just 2 dots of glue

I suppose this is my attempt at being artsy after I finished assembling 
the canes - note: in case this wasn't obvious, leave the wrappers on. 
Nobody wants to deal with a sticky mess o' candy canes!

Next came the hanging...er...assembling and putting up the garland. I would love to say this part was super easy and took no time at all, but I don't think I'm very good at knots. So it wasn't super quick and easy, but it wasn't terrible either. I just used thread because I didn't want to see a big string. Using cute ribbon might be easier to tie and deal with, but I didn't have any cute valentiney ribbon on hand. I basically just looped the thread around the inside point and tied a knot so they wouldn't all slide down to the center. I ended up having the garland come back up to the mantle in the center because those candy cane hearts were surprisingly heavy and I was a little worried about my thread. I used clear packing tape to hold the tape up, so fancy, I know. Here's the finished product!

Please forgive my bare mantel, still transitioning after Christmas
(read - I don't really remember what I had on the mantle 
before Christmas, so I'm having trouble redecorating it)

Really, the possibilities are endless with the candy cane heart thing. One year I made cupcakes with mini candy cane hearts on top (definitely can't take credit for that idea, it was in Real Simple - I can't get enough of that magazine!). They were really cute, you unwrap them and melt them in the oven for a few minutes so they stick together and are a tad flatter. Bonus - go buy your mini candy canes after Christmas and get them for 75% off. If you happen to try that, use parchment paper or wax paper otherwise your pan is going to be in bad shape afterward! 

Later this week - highlights from last weekend's outing. 


I'd love to hear from you!