February 2016: Holiday History & Craft

February 2016 Holiday History & Craft - Yarn HeartsValentines Day is always February 14th, so in preparation for the “unofficial” holiday, it’s time to cut paper heart chains, make cards, or try our new craft…Yarn Heart Ornaments. We hope you enjoy this explanation of the holiday’s history and the craft!

History

In Ancient Rome lived a Christian man named Valentine; he was buried on February 14th. There are many legends about him, and we’re not exactly sure which might be true and which are made-up. According to one story, Valentine performed Christian marriage services in secret since the Roman emperors persecuted the Christians. Well, Valentine was captured and thrown in jail for his faith; he was executed on February 14th, and his friends buried him. Later, a feast day was made by the Catholic Church to remember Valentine (who they had decided to call St. Valentine).

Perhaps inspired by Valentine’s role in officiating weddings or perhaps for some other reason, St. Valentine’s Feast Day started to be associated with romantic love during the Middle Ages. (That’s the era of the “knights in shining armor.”) Knights and gentlemen started writing poems to their favorite lady and sometimes brought her flowers on St. Valentine’s Day.

723px-John_Callcott_Horsley_-_The_Morning_of_St_Valentine_-_Google_Art_Project

In this historic painting, a lady is reading a special letter or poem on the morning of St. Valentine’s Day (1865)

Time went on and eventually people started making heart-shaped cards to send their greetings. Now, there are lots of cards, flowers, poems, and candy, and the holiday is a special time to say “I Love You” to our family! (Valentine’s Day is not an official holiday in America).

Craft

Warning: This craft can be extremely messy…you’ve now been warned.

February 2016 Holiday History & Craft - Yarn HeartsWhat You’ll Need:

Waxpaper

Regular Paper

Pencil

Washable Marker (Felt Pen)

Tape (optional)

Scissors

Yarn (I used red, white, pink, and purple. You’ll only need one color for each heart)

Glue

Water

Disposable Styrofoam Bowl

February 2016 Holiday History & Craft - Yarn HeartsBegin by drawing a heart on the paper with the pencil. Don’t make it too big or too small. If you want, you can draw the inner pattern you want to make. Trace with a felt pen.

 

 

February 2016 Holiday History & Craft - Yarn HeartsCover your paper with waxpaper and tape in place, if you want. Do not tape the papers together; the tape would only be securing the waxpaper to the table with the regular paper underneath.

Squeeze a generous portion of glue into the bowl. Add a little water – you don’t want it thin, just watered down a little. (You know what I mean…) You could mix it with a spoon or popsicle stick, but I just used my fingers.

Cut a length of yarn…and now things get a little messy. You need to coat the yarn in the glue mixture. After trying several methods, I decided the easiest was just to drop the yarn in the bowl and mix it around until well coated. Don’t tangle the yarn, though!

February 2016 Holiday History & Craft - Yarn HeartsPull the wet yarn out and straighten it. Begin laying the yarn on the wax paper, tracing the outline on the paper beneath. Make the outside heart outline first, then fill in the inside. You can use many different patterns, just make sure the yarn touches and “seals” at multiple points. (I made four hearts during craft afternoon and used a different pattern each time.)

When you’re finished with the design, use your fingers to gentle dab some extra glue on the connected parts of the yarn.

Let it dry for a l…o…n…g time. Don’t be impatient.

February 2016 Holiday History & Craft - Yarn HeartsWhen the yarn is completely dry and hardened, very carefully peel the wax paper away. (If this is too difficult, just cut around the heart and leave it on the paper.) Handle the ornament carefully.

You could attach lightweight thread or string to hang the ornament in a window. I chose to attach mine to a bulletin board with a pushpin.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, living history enthusiast, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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