Updated: 02/09/2016 3:49 PM | Print Story |  Email

Valentine's Day Crafts

If you've got an old mousepad, it's easy to use it to make some cute and crafty Valentine's Day cards! Plus, those fancy chocolate roses are a snap too. Pioneer Press Lifestyle Columnist Donna Erickson shares her techniques.

It's easy to turn foam pads like mousepads or shoe insoles into stamps. Simply cut out the heart shapes and glue them to wooden blocks or scrap wood. You can use a sponge as an ink pad. And that's not the only way to make a homemade stamp. A golf tee can be used to make a lot of tiny hearts. Or when push comes to shove, carve up a potato and use that instead. 

You can read more of Donna's notes on these projects on her website - click here for a link! Follow Donna’s Day on Facebook and read her weekly column in St. Paul Pioneer Press.

CHOCOLATE ROSES 

Makes 10-12 edible chocolate rose garnishes
 
Ingredients:
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
 
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time for about one and a half to two minutes until completely melted.  If you don’t have a microwave, use a double boiler.  
 
Add the corn syrup to the melted chocolate.  Stir.  The lovely smooth mixture will turn into a clay consistency.  
 
Put a sheet of waxed paper on a cutting board or kitchen counter and scoop the chocolate mixture onto it.  Spread it out evenly with your fingers until it is about ½- inch thick.
 
Cover loosely with waxed paper and let it rest for at least 2 hours.  The clay will become pliable. 
 
To make a rose:
 
-Roll ten smooth balls of chocolate clay a bit smaller than the size of a marble and line them up an inch apart on waxed paper. Cover the little balls with a sheet of waxed paper.  Press down hard on the paper with your thumb to spread out the clay.  Aim for the size of a half-dollar.
     
-To create petals for a rose, remove one clay disk and curl it into a tepee shape, narrow at the top and wider at the bottom. Wrap the next disk around the opening of the tepee as if you were making it a little door.  The third disk goes at the back of the tepee. The fourth along the side. Layer as many of these clay disks as you’d like.  Bend back the edges of the disks ever so slightly.  Don’t worry if little slits appear because they will make the petals look more natural.  
 
-Set finished rose on a cupcake or other dessert.   
 
Note: Use up the clay the same day while it is pliable. Candy melts (available at craft stores) and/or butterscotch chips may be substituted for the chocolate chips.