Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Love Bug" Valentines

      Ladybug Valentines are actually a relatively contemporary theme. Although these little critters have certainly been popular since I was a child. I have never seen a vintage Valentine including a lady bug but I suppose the possibility of such a thing may exist. 
      I have also included butterflies, crickets, snails and flies here among the collected ideas for Valentine bugs on this post. Young children are fascinated with tiny creatures and what little boy would be to embarrassed to receive a bug or two from a friend or classmate?

Ladybug Love Bug Valentine
Four detailed photos of my little Ladybug Love Bug Valentine up close.
To make the little Ladybug Love Bug Valentine you will need:
  • a variety of bright red scrap papers
  • black construction paper
  • red construction paper (alternative to wrapping paper)
  • google eyes
  • black ribbon
  • a heart shaped punch
  • white glue 
  • scissors
  • pattern
 Step-by-step Instructions: 
  1. Print and cut out my simple love bug pattern below.
  2. Trace around the body pattern and then cut out as many of these as would like, using black construction paper.
  3. For the wings, I used red wrapping paper scraps. Teachers may prefer to use red construction paper because the surface is easier to write upon.
  4. You will need to cut two 'half heart' shaped wings for each love bug. One of these is pasted completely down to the body; the second is only pasted along the inside bottom edge of the wing so that a secret 'buggy' message or a small piece of candy may be neatly tucked inside. (see example above)
  5. Glue on black hearts for the love bug spots; these may be punched or cut out by hand. 
  6. Glue on googly eyes, heart shaped cheeks, and a black bow for the finished looking love bug.
Little "Love Bug" Lady Bug Valentine Pattern by Grimm

Love Bug Candy Pouch
Three detailed photos of my Love Bug Candy Pouch. The red doily heart may be purchased from a local craft or grocery store.
To make the Love Bug Candy Pouch you will need the following supplies:
  • store bought, red doily hearts
  • black chenille stems
  • tiny red pom poms
  • black ink marker
  • heart hole punch (optional)
  • pink and black construction paper
  • scissors
  • white glue
  • shredded, shiny Easter grass
  • masking tape
 Step-by-step Instructions: 
  1. You will need to trace around the red doily on to the pink construction paper with a soft lead pencil. Then cut this shape out and paste it to the back side of the red lacy valentine.
  2. Repeat the same step with the black construction paper only include a half circular shape at the top of the heart in order to suggest a 'head.' (see example of cut bug parts below)
  3. Glue around the back side of the bug's red doily wings up to the top of the heart shape only. Remember to leave the top part of the heart shapes free from glue so that a pouch for candy may be left open!
  4. Punch or cut tiny hearts from both the black and pink papers. You will only need two tiny heart shapes from the pink, as these will be used for your critter's little buggy eyes. The black hearts may be pasted randomly over the lady bug's red doily wings to mimic the spots on a real ladybug.
  5. Write the word "Love Bug" on the pink paper and paste this to the center of the pouch's wings.
  6. Now paste on the love bug's pink, heart shaped eyes and add the iris with a black pen. (see photo example above)
  7. Cut two short antennas from the black chenille stem and glue on a tiny red pom pom to each end. Set this aside to dry.
  8. After the antenna have dried, tape these to the back of your love bug's head and then glue a second circular shape cut from black construction paper to paste on top of the taped antenna. this will cover the chenille stems and strengthen the lady bug's head.
  9. Stuff these lady bug pouches with shiny, red Easter grass and Valentine candy treats. Your students will love to make and take this little ladybugs home to either decorate with or give as a gift to a beloved family member.
The heart pieces needed to assemble the Ladybug Candy Pouch are pictured above.
You will need to cut the pink and black shapes from construction paper. The red doily
heart may be purchased from any hobby or drug store; these are common Valentine
craft supplies in the United States.
      After crafting a few ladybug pouches, I found I had too many left over red doilies so I came up with a second idea for using up my craft supplies. The doily candy pouch below is a bit more sophisticated don't you think? Perhaps it would be a better suited Valentine for my husband or for my older daughters? In our home, everyone exchanges Valentines with loved ones. It is not merely a day for romantic love interests. This red and black Valentine container will be a perfect valentine for any friend, family member or student once it is stuffed with a selection of dark chocolate covered caramels, yum.

Hanging Red Doily Candy Pouch
To make this second idea for a Hanging Red Doily Candy Pouch you will need to collect the following materials:
  • black construction paper
  • hole punch
  • red doily
  • small, sharp scissors
  • red ribbon
  • white glue
  • red, shiny Easter grass
  • red cellophane or tissue 
  • stapler (optional)
Step-by-step Instructions:
  1. Select a soft led pencil or a white drawing pencil to draw around the red doily, transferring a replica copy of the heart's size and lacy edge to a black piece of construction paper.
  2. Cut this black heart out and set it aside for assembly.
  3. Using sharp, small scissors, snip from the doily the parts of the embossed design that you do not want to include in your finished pouch design. I chose to emphasize the floral patterns.
  4. Snip out the smaller, center heart to create a 'window' for the heart pouch as well.
  5. Gently apply glue with the tip of your finger onto the back side of the red lace doily and then paste it on top of the black construction paper heart. 
  6. Trace around the center of the doily heart a second time so that you will be able to cut from the black heart the exact same heart shaped hole that is in the doily design.
  7. On the back side of your doily frame, paste a square of cellophane or tissue paper to cover the small 'window' of the pouch.
  8. Now repeat the above seven steps if you would like the candy pouch to be the same on either of it's sides. If not, lay the finished frame shaped heart on an additional sheet of black or red construction paper to trace a replica shape for the back side of the pouch.
  9. Squeeze out a thin layer of of glue around one of the hearts and adhere it to the second heart shaped frame to create a pouch. Remember to leave the upper half of the two hearts free from glue so that a basket like pouch remains. You could staple the two hearts together if you feel that your glue will not be strong enough to hold the pouch together. This would depend upon what you intend to stuff the Valentine with.
  10. Polk a hole or use a hole punch on either side of the heat pouch in order to string your red ribbon into the Valentine for hanging after the glue has been allowed to dry sufficiently. (see picture above)
This photo depicts the order of preparing the heart shapes in order to assemble my Hanging, Red Doily Candy Pouch.

More "Love Bug" Themed Valentines Especially for Kids:

"Love bugs make perfect Valentine's Day party favors! You'll need craft supplies such as pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, feathers, construction paper, foam, felt, a low-temperature hot glue gun with glue, and candy from HERSHEY'S. Use these materials and your imagination to create charming love bugs for your guests, or invite kids to make their own!HERSHEY'S makes life extraordinary! Check out more great ideas at http://www.hersheys.com/celebrate"

Visit My Ladybug Themed Pinboard for The Development of Early Learning Centers

More "Love Bug" Valentine Card Ideas: 
"Love" These Little Buggy Treats:
Vintage Bug Valentines:

"To my Valentine" butterfly bug card.
"Stick Around Valentine, Catch On" fly paper Valentine card.

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