Seasonal Decorating: Valentine’s Day

140204_0006I love decorating my house for the various seasons and holidays throughout the year. There is Thanksgiving and Christmas of course. Everyone decorates for those. But, I’ve always enjoyed putting up decorations all year long – spring, summer, the Fourth of July, fall (which is probably my favorite), Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, winter, and now we are at Valentine’s Day.

Having kids makes this all the more fun because they enjoy it just as much as I do. And we’ve come up with some pretty fun ideas together along way. Scroll down to see some of our Valentine’s decorations this year. You can come up with some pretty cheap and easy ideas with some simple items from the dollar store that you can reuse year after year.

Valentine's wreath on our door made from a scarf wrapped on a round frame.

Valentine’s wreath on our door made from a scarf from the .99 Cent store wrapped on a round metal  frame (it’s actually a frame for advent candles) picked up from the curb.

A mini-Christmas tree decorated with paper hearts cut from a gift bag.

A mini-Christmas tree decorated with paper hearts cut from a gift bag.

Valentine's garland made with red Christmas lights wrapped around one of my babywearing wraps.

Valentine’s garland made with red Christmas lights wrapped around one of my babywearing wraps.

Sticky hearts from the .99 Cent store in the window - It's Valentine's Day NYC!

Sticky hearts from the .99 Cent store in the window – It’s Valentine’s Day NYC!

Meet Rosie. She's our scarecrow that we got on clearance two years. She sits in the hall outside our door. We decided that we liked her so much that we keep her out all year long and dress her up for each holiday/season. The kids say hi and bye to her each day.

Meet Rosie. She’s our scarecrow that we got on clearance two years ago. She sits in the hall outside our door. We decided that we liked her so much that now we keep her up all year long and dress her up for each season and holiday (watch for more pictures of her in the future). See – even she has a bag of Valentine’s for you.

Felt hearts hanging in the plant.

Felt hearts hanging in the plant.

Rosie's Valentine.

Rosie’s Valentine.

Isn't Rosie cute. She's a good friend.

Isn’t Rosie cute. She’s a good friend.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Homemade Firecrackers

140101_0005Not really. They are more like a firecracker shaped hand-held pinata that you pull apart.

This Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa brought our kids a London tradition of Christmas Crackers like these which are basically paper rolls stuffed with prizes. So, I replicated the idea for our New Year’s Eve celebration this year. Our six year old made them all herself and the kids had a blast opening them and seeing all the stuff fly out on New Year’s Eve.

Here’s how to make your own.

The pieces of our homemade firecrackers.

The pieces of our homemade firecrackers.

1. Cut a paper towel roll into four even segments or cut a toilet paper roll in half.
2. Stuff with candies, chocolates, tiny pieces of cut up scrap paper or ribbon to serve as homemade confetti. The heavier the contents the better for the flying about the room effect.
3. Wrap the stuffed cardboard rolls with tissue paper (we used leftovers from Christmas).
4. Twist and tape the ends. Tie with ribbon (again save all those leftover Christmas ribbons).
5. Decorate with stickers, marker, glitter, etc. if desired. The grown-ups can help too. 🙂

On New Year’s Eve, put a kid on either end of your homemade firecracker and pull. Watch the stuff fly and be sure and yell “Happy New Year!” The scramble to grab the goodies ensues and then the cleanup at the end. But, it’s fun and a good family celebration. And if you don’t want to use edible treats even fun small toys that you have laying around the house will work – legos, puzzle pieces, toy coins, etc. Fill them up with whatever. It’s the surprise that is the most fun.

Pin it for next year. Copy this tiny URL: http://wp.me/pWQ7Q-ss.