When it came to deciding what to give her friends on Valentine's day, she agreed that candies/sweets don't seem ideal. She knows a couple of her friends have food allergies - food coloring, nuts, gluten etc. - and it will not be fair to give candy only to those who can consume it without health risks... "How about a piece of organic fruit?" she wondered.
Anyway, meanwhile, she got busy making small salt dough hearts. They will become the pendants for the simple necklace she wanted to make for her friends.
How best to package this and deliver on the special day? That's when I came across Matchbox Treat Boxes and showed it to Ana who loved the idea!
I had some Duct-tape ($1 a roll at Dollar Store) and Washi tape (0.75c on sale at Office Depot) in the colors that the little girl loves - teal and neon green! Thirty little matchboxes cost just 3$. I took out the matches and saved them for later.
Then, commenting frequently that she felt like a "factory worker" in a good way, the 8 year old proceeded to:
- use the duct tape and washi tape to wrap up and decorate the matchboxes;
- measure and cut the ribbons for the necklace;
- attach each salt dough heart pendant to measured and pre-cut ribbon to make the necklace;
- and put the heart necklace in the matchbox jewel box.
Being a huge quotations fan, and remembering Roald Dahl quotes from last year, she decided to type up some quotes for this year's cards as well.
Ever since we read The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien about 2 years ago, and then watched the 2 installments of the movie over the last 2 winters, Ana is crazy about this story. So, naturally, she pulled The Hobbit book from our home library and proceeded to pick out some of her favorite quotes, with some censoring and nudging from me. (I can't help myself sometimes!)
I let her use my laptop. I even got the Hobbiton font (free for non-commercial purposes) as she requested; then made a scroll shaped text box for her to type her quotes in. It was easy to print 4 to a page of 8.5 x 11 card stock.
She would have preferred aged paper rolled up to make a more authentic-looking scroll, but, making over 2 dozen of them seemed like a lot of work, a lot of time-consuming work, and she wasn't sure if her friends would even keep the scroll. If it was going to be tossed away anyway, then a printed scroll should be fine.
Then, again with assembly line precision, she stamped "Laugh" and "Be Happy" at the back of the card. Plus the usual "Thank you for being my friend" and "Happy Valentine's Day" stamps. Then, used a piece of double-sided tape to attach the matchbox jewel box with the heart necklace to the card. All that was left to do was to hand-write, "From: Ana" and she was done.
A set of unique and thoughtful Valentine's Jewel Box with Heart Pendant Necklace was ready to be given away, leaving her with the satisfaction and joy that comes from making something by hand.