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Friday, January 22, 2010

Gearing Up for the Big Love Day

I have been thinking a lot about valentine's day this year. I love valentine's day even though it is a bit of a consumer game. Mr. P and I have taken a strong stance on not getting 'things' for v-day for one another buuuuuut as being a preschool teacher goes, I have to do some fun 'things' with the little people. Enter V-day projects. So many of these are from Skip to My Lou (how could you ever guess) but there are more from other places too.
Mr. P and I will be having a fun time doing something super fun for v-day which is a secret because it's HIS year to plan v-day! I can't wait. So enjoy the mat.

From Skip to My Lou posted Feb 9, 2007 --

It is really cold around here and they say snow is on the way. We thought our front door needed this.
To make this doormat you need a carpet sample , ours were free from our local store. Since we repeat this craft all year round he knows us! He didn't have the rectangle size (or texture free) we like so these square ones had to do. It is best to try to get the regular pile-not Berber, shag or textured carpet.
We made our own stamps by cutting shapes out of foam sheets and rubber cementing them to a bock of wood.
Each stamp needs two layers of foam, so be sure to cut two for each stamp you make. Once you have the foam shape glued to the wood, put something heavy and flat on top of your stamp while the glue dries. This keeps the foam from curling.
We paint (we use acrylic) the paint on the stamps with a foam brush. This is easier than dipping and keeps the area around the stamp clean---which is very important. Use a lot of paint.
This is probably the only time that rocking and jiggling your stamp is okay. You are trying to work the paint into the carpet. I suggest asking for one extra carpet sample and give a few practice runs to get the feel of the amount of paint, pressure and jiggling you need to do. Kids love to use both hands and press really hard (an important reason you want to keep the surrounding wood of the stamp paint free). An adult probably needs to give the stamp a final press --depending on the age of the child.
If your print comes off light, simply take your foam brush and work a bit more paint in those areas.
Once you are finished the stamps can be rinsed off with water. Allow them to dry completely before storing.
If you don't want to make your own stamps you can always use the large foam die-cut sponges found at craft stores.  Make sure to dampen your sponge and then dip into paint.  You will find an especially nice selection of these sponges around Halloween.
I have asked for 25 carpet samples at one time (give the carpet store some notice so they can collect them for you) so we could do this for the craft at a holiday party at school with 1st and 5th graders. It actually worked out beautifully. I was able to die-cut the shapes out of foam so I had plenty without me having to cut them all . I had parents each with their own stamp and color of paint and walk around the room allowing the children (who stayed at their desks) to stamp their carpets. The parents would paint the stamp each time. We set the carpets out in the hallway to dry. We did this at the very beginning of the party so they had time to dry before heading home (on the buses -oh my I am sure I was popular with those drivers that day!).

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