Valentine’s Day…Galentine’s Day

So, I have a challenge in this house. I’m a girly girl. My favorite color is pink. I have two boys. I don’t get to do a lot of decorating with pink, or dressing my kids with pink. Fortunately, I do also really like blue and aqua. But, occasionally, my inner girl screams to have an outlet. And Valentine’s Day happened to come just in time for one of those moments.

Something else that’s been screaming for an outlet is my inner craving to create. The last couple years have been really limiting to my love of decorating & crafting (well…I’m actually not a HUGE crafter, but I am a bit of a DIY, and something about motherhood and the introduction of Pinterest has certainly spurred on a gazillion ideas of things I want to try). Moving into a rental just as baby number two was coming, with a barely-walking 1-year old meant that there hasn’t been much time or energy for painting or redecorating (what we can within a renter’s boundaries). For a season, I baked and decorated cakes as a little side business, and that definitely filled a creative itch, but that also grew very difficult with two babies, and several other factors have led to that being put on hold…one factor being dietary changes in our household.

And something ELSE that has been screaming for an outlet is a need to reach out to friends, minister to other women, do something random and fun to bless others, and serve more in church and in relationships. I’m not a super-mom… I don’t know how some women manage to keep up with all of the things they do. But I found that super challenging…nearly impossible. I may write more thoughts about that another time. But suffice it to say, the last couple years have been very homeward bound and baby-focused. That’s great, and what God has had in store for this season. But now that we are getting into new stages of development with the boys, it’s easier to take a little time to play and craft, and GIVE.

All that to say, I learned to sew just before Christmas. And now I have a million things I want to do with my simple sewing machine! And when I came across these little felt coffee sleeves, I KNEW I wanted to make these and give them as Valentines. And I immediately knew I wanted to give them to some hard-working mommas and single working women (and of course the grandmas and aunts in our lives)!

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I started wondering how I could surprise some mommas with a hot drink in hand, but I realized so many of my friends drink different hot drinks, and I would have a hard time knowing what to take that all would enjoy. I did a tiny Facebook poll just to see if I got enough repeats, and of course everyone said something different! Though one momma said exactly what I was thinking…”I would accept any hot drink if someone showed up on my doorstep with it!”

I also realized it would be impossible for me to get several hot drinks and deliver them STILL hot, especially with two boys in tow. So it finally dawned on me to give them a drink they could ADD hot water to for an easy treat whenever they wanted it. So I got a fun drink mix from Trader Joe’s, and a few people got drinking chocolate that I had on hand. I didn’t get any pictures of the actual sewing process of the coffee sleeves, but I will detail it a little below!

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First I took a coffee sleeve from Starbucks and pulled it apart and used it as a stencil on felt. I cut several different colors for variety. Then I cut various hearts and some triangles for little “buntings” . I used a few different shades of pink thread to hand stitch the hearts and buntings onto the felt sleeves. Then I went to the sewing machine and matched up the ends of the sleeves, and did a simple zig-zag stitch to attach them. The tutorial I was using as my inspiration said that back stitching would end up looking too messy, so, while it wouldn’t make them super durable, skipping that step would be a cleaner look. Since I’m no pro, I followed those instructions. The result was these cute little re-usable coffee sleeves!

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To remedy the dilemma of how to deliver a hot drink, I put a single serving amount of drink mix in a little clear favor bag and tied it with a little curling ribbon, both of which I had on hand. I put the bags in coffee cups (something we have had on hand ever since we had leftover coffee cups from our wedding…we found them to be incredibly useful to have on hand, so we reordered a big box when we finally ran out!), and wrote the drink name and instructions on the cup itself, discretely hidden by the felt sleeve!

You can see the variety of hearts and buntings!

You can see the variety of hearts and buntings!

The last step was delivery…which, unfortunately, due to weather and kid issues, mostly ended up happening over the course of the week AFTER Valentine’s Day. I also mailed a few sleeves with a Starbucks gift card. And of course, after I mailed them, I kept thinking of more sweet friends that I SHOULD have included, or would have included if I had endless cash for gift cards. 🙂  So, if you’re one of those friends, don’t worry! You’re next on my list of surprise mail!

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Of course, with my love of pink…I couldn’t help but make one for myself. 🙂 I have also decided after working with felt, and seeing so many fun projects on Pinterest….felt may be my new favorite craft medium. I have SO MANY IDEAS!

Hope you had a blessed Valentines Day with your loves, your families, or your friends!