Our dining room table is a big, happy mess right now:
But it's all for the good. Yesterday, I made some simple, easy valentines for friends and their dogs. Go ahead; you can steal these ideas. I promise not to mind!
For my people friends, I made Valentine Garlands. First, punch out a bunch of hearts from slightly stiff paper and string them on a skinny, satin ribbon:
Simple loops knotted at each end of the ribbon allow the recipient to hang the garland almost anywhere:
The hardest part, for me, was tucking the finished garlands into the envelopes!
For a special touch, make your own Valentine Envelopes. It's not hard, I promise.
First, unfold a regular, #10 business-sized envelope:
Choose an easy-to-fold paper with a pretty pattern or color. Using the unfolded business envelope, trace around it onto the nice paper, then cut the shape. Fold in the flaps on all four sides. A ruler helps fold the flaps in evenly:
If you have it, a bone folder makes a nice, sharp crease. But a fingernail works fine, too:
Use a glue stick or rubber cement to stick the side flaps to the bottom one:
And tuck your garland--and maybe a love note?--inside:
To seal the envelope shut, you can use glue, of course. But for extra style, try a heart-shaped sticker, or sealing wax, or these big, fat notary seals, available in any office-supply store. I like how the seals echo the oversize polka-dot thing I've got going on:
Some of my finished envelope valentines are at the bottom of the photo, below:
The valentines at the top of the photo, above, have ribbons because they're going to be tied on to bags of dog treats.
Home-Made Dog Cookies are a terrific way to say "Happy Valentine's Day" to anybody with a furry pal. The ingredients couldn't be simpler: whole-wheat flour, rolled oats, peanut butter, hot water, and a little egg wash for an attractive shine.
These "Happy Day Doggie Treats" are on my blogger friend Erika's site, The Boulevard Market. They are uber-simple to make and look almost good enough to eat:
I tucked the home-made treats into cellophane bags and added a few store-bought dog cookies in Valentine's Day colors and shapes:
Last touch: tying on a ribbon with a little card attached:
On the card, I listed the ingredients in the home-made treats. Some dogs are allergic to foods, just like people, so it's always nice when you give home-cooked things to tell the recipient what's inside:
The pugs and I ran around the neighborhood yesterday, delivering the valentines and treat bags to our friends.
Now, on to sugar cookies for the humans.
Just don't forget: Clean up as you go!