Sweet Valentine - Make fun & unique cards from repurposed candy wrappers | Kathy Johnson | Skillshare

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Sweet Valentine - Make fun & unique cards from repurposed candy wrappers

teacher avatar Kathy Johnson, Artist/Teacher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What you'll need

    • 3. Painting your backgrounds

    • 4. Cutting out the hearts

    • 5. Preparing the wrappers

    • 6. Wrapping hearts with foil

    • 7. Putting it all together

    • 8. Final thoughts

    • 9. Bonus Video: How to make a French knot

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About This Class


Don’t throw those holiday candy wrappers away! Let me show you how to repurpose them into a Sweet Valentine for that special someone.

We’ll start by using a fun and easy technique to paint a background on small pieces of watercolor paper. Then you’ll cut out various sizes of heart shapes from the PDF I’ve provided in the resources section. Just print it out on card stock and you’ll have all the same shapes I’ll be using plus some extras. I’ll explain the best way to prepare the foil wrappers and demonstrate 4 different ways you can use them to cover the heart shapes. To complete your Sweet Valentine, glue the finished works to 4 inch x 5 inch (folded size) blank cards. 

There is an option to embellish one of the cards with some embroidery. The cards are beautiful and complete even if you choose not to add embroidery but don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the French knot, and you’d like to learn, I’ve included a Bonus Video - How to Make a French Knot, that will show you how.

The hardest part will be deciding which Sweet Valentine to give to that special someone and which one to keep for yourself.

You’ll enjoy this class if you like:

  • Valentine’s Day
  • creating handmade cards and sending snail mail
  • to try new techniques
  • making art from repurposed items
  • the idea of cutting back on the amount of waste you produce – even in this very small way.
  • crafts and creating DYI projects
  • stitching on paper

Meet Your Teacher

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Kathy Johnson



I'm Kathy, an artist, and teacher living my best creative life in coastal southeastern Connecticut. I have a passion for plants and gardening, paper, rusty metal, creating a second life for all kinds of items by repurposing them into my art, and crunchy peanut butter (only the natural kind will do!). 

As a teacher, it gives me great joy to share ideas and information that may help guide you to follow your own artistic voice and make amazing art that inspires you. I hope you will always allow yourself the gift of time for creative play.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of your class projects so please take a photo of what you've made and share it in the projects section of this class. I love seeing what you do and it could be just the spark of inspir... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Kathy Johnson, a collage and eco print artist from southeastern Connecticut. This is my second skill share class, and I also teach in person workshops in different locations in and near my home throughout the year. Ah, lot of my work focuses on repurposing everyday items that most would throw away or put in the recycle bin examples of items that I like to use our coffee filters, teabags, random bits of paper and then candy foil wrappers like these. This is what we're gonna be using in this class. I'll show you a simple and fun technique to make a watercolor background and how to use those foil wrappers with cut out heart shape so that you can make your own sweet valentine . There's a pdf in the resource is section for you to print out. That includes all the shapes that will be using. No previous experience is needed for this class, just for your curiosity, for trying something new. There's a small amount of optional embroidery on one of the cards. If you're not familiar with making French knots, I've included a bonus video that will teach you how this class is perfect for anyone looking to make a unique valentine. And also, if you're interested in making art from repurposed materials by the end of this class, you'll have learned how to paint a simple watercolor background and four different ways that you can use foil for wrapping a variety of heart shapes cut from paper. The class project is to make one or both of these cards. If you don't have the same color rappers I'm showing feel free to use whatever colors you can get, and then you can adjust the watercolor background to compliment those colors. So come join me in the next video, and I'll show you what supplies you'll need for this class. 2. What you'll need: the supplies you'll need for the watercolor background are 4 to 6 pieces of watercolor paper cut to three by four inches. Some watercolors thes pan watercolors by praying are good. Or you can use any water colors that you have a brush, two cups for water and some plastic wrap. Other supplies you'll need are two envelopes and two cards. This is a folded card size of four inches by five inches. Some foil candy wrappers. I have two silver to read, one light pink and one dark purple and one light purple. If you don't have these colors, you can use whatever foil wrappers you have in. Just adjust the watercolor backgrounds to go with that, and then you'll also need a cotton swab so that you can burnish the foil wrappers. You'll need one piece of regular weight copy paper to print out the supply list and the templates for the cards. One piece of card Stocker index that you can print out the heart shapes because these are the ones that you're going to be cutting out for the cards. A glue stick. I really like the U H U brand, but any brand glue stick will be fine. A small pair of scissors, a large pair of scissors, an Exacto blade and a small cutting map, some optional supplies. If you would like to follow along and do the stitching on this card that I'll be doing these stitches here and the French knots, what you'll need is a number five embroidery needle and some six strand embroidery floss. You can use whatever color you like, and I'm gonna be using pink. For this. You'll need a pin so that you can poke holes in the paper and a piece of corrugated cardboard to protect your table. 3. Painting your backgrounds: to make the watercolor backgrounds. We're going to start with our cut watercolor paper to buy three. And I like to have a least two per color that I'm going to do because they do come out a little bit differently. In that way, you get to choose the one that you like the best. So I have my watercolors. I have brush this. Ah, little cup of water. I'm going to keep this clean. This is gonna be used just to with the paper. And then I have a bigger one here and that I can use to clean the paint out of the brush. And then I have the plastic wrap, and I like to have these cut ahead of time. It makes a little bit easier to just grab them. Then it doesn't have to be that large. Just enough to cover the cover the paper. So I already have three cut over here. So now I have my four. So I'm gonna with the paper I'm going to do to read one's first. I'm gonna wet both pieces of paper, so you cover the entire sheet with water and then I'm going to take some of the red paint. Now you want it pretty, pretty watery, and you can and just lay the paint over the whole piece of paper. Not you don't have to worry too much about how it's going on there and then take the first piece of plastic wrap and just laid on top. And then you're just going to start squishing it a little bit and move the plastic wrap around and you can see how you get these nice little crinkles in there. And that's what you're looking for. Clear that I've got my next one and I want to do that one quickly while it's still wet. And if it gets a little bit dark like that, you can just add a little bit more more water. And then again, just take another piece of plastic wrap with that on the top and then just squish it around and then you want to just leave. You can put these stuck a little bit, so but you can just go ahead and re squish that. Get a nice little pattern on there, and then you can put those aside because they need to dry for the next one. I'm going to use a purple paint, and I'm actually going to make one of them with two different colors mixed on there. So first, I'm just gonna with paper and the 1st 1 I'll just do the one color did before, plus swish it around to get some nice patterns on their Then the next one, I'm going to do the same thing. First, I'm going to start out with that color. It's a little bit dark, so I'm just gonna add more water there. And then I'm going Teoh brush and dip it into another color and just kind of dab that other color around. So, like a little bit of a pinkish purple. And you'll see that when you put the plastic wrap on there, how that mixes. So put the plastic wrap on that As you're squishing it around, you can see how the colors mix a little bit. Just another little different effect. If you want to try that, and then you just need to let them sit and dry. I'd say at least 1/2 an hour, you know, if they need to sit there for longer than that before you can get back to them. that's fine, but at least 1/2 an hour before you pull the plastic wrap off. So it's been a little over 1/2 an hour that I've had these trying. So now I can take the plastic wrap often and see what I've got to red ones here pattern and then all the other red one so you can see how they reach a little bit different. But I like both of these. So let's see. The purple ones here is the one that is just just the purple paint. That one looks pretty good. And here's the one worry two colors and I really like that one. So I think that's the one I'm gonna use for the purple card. Now you need to let these sit until they're completely dry. There's still a little bit damp, so let them dry completely, and we will get to some of the other parts of working on the cards 4. Cutting out the hearts: For the next step, use a piece of card stock to print out the heart shaped. PdF in the resource is section cut out all the shapes on the bottom. These are the ones that are for the two cards and all the ones here at the top. These air just extras in case you feel like playing around with some additional shapes to make more cards. So I have this section here that I cut out for the red card, and I'm going to use my Exacto blade to cut out the large shape in the middle Here. You could use scissors for this, but I think it's a little bit easier if you're comfortable enough using an Exacto blade. You could do that for the inside sections. Of course, it's always good to have a really sharp blade. Makes it much easier. Okay, and then I can go ahead and use my large scissors to cut the outside shape. And then I suggested having small scissors also because I think it's gonna be a little bit easier to cut out these other smaller hearts using the smaller scissors, especially these little ones here. So go ahead and finish cutting out all the hearts and also the ones for the purple card, and then meet me back will be ready to prepare the foil wrappers to cover these shapes. 5. Preparing the wrappers: I've been saving foil candy wrappers for quite a while, and I have a nice collection of them now. I think the easiest for everybody to find would probably be from the Hershey's kiss, because every holiday they do have different colors like here. This was probably Valentine's Day, and these colors here were from Easter, and I have some pretty ones. Thes air, relatively new ones from dove candy there turquoise. And I think these were from a Trader Joe's mint candy. And these over here I have a friend who lives in Switzerland, and she collected and save these from there different colors than than I would normally see here and also slightly larger. Then I have. This was from an all the candy, and it's smaller and it has logos on it. But I can work around on the edges and get some of the small hearts on there because I really like the color and design on there. And I was just out this morning and I saw the new Hershey's Kiss. This one here and it's got a pretty I think it's It looks like a brown background with a light pink and dark pink on it. So since the first you kiss is probably going to be the easiest thing for everybody to find . I made sure that the cars that we're gonna be doing, every all the cutouts, you'll be able to cover them with the Hershey's kiss size. And then I just wanted to show you how you can get them prepared to use. So this is the new kiss, and it can be a little tricky to under. You just have to do it a little bit slowly and really be careful cause well, and that's a good thing. If you have a whole bag in your chair one while, then you just put it aside and get another one and start. So I'm just peeling it apart very carefully. I'm doing the little cold as I go candy aside, and a lot of times you get this little round circle on the Hershey's kisses that will end up showing. So what I do is I use a crinkle it right there in the middle a little bit, and then it will just pretty much look like the rest of the rapper. So then you can start just stretching very carefully. to get some of the major wrinkles out, and then when you stretch it enough, you can't do much more without getting it ready to tear. Then you can put it down and you can start furnishing it with your finger. Just go from the center out to the edges. You can see how it gets a lot flatter, and and then you can turn it over to do the same thing on the other side. You can also use a cotton swab to burnish it just a little bit more and get a few more the wrinkles out and it works quite nicely, but the one thing you do have to be careful of if you burnish for too long or pressed too hard, the color will start to come off. As you can see, I was burnishing a red wrapper with this cotton swab in there some red color on there. So if you're going to follow along with the two cars that I'm gonna be making the red one and the purple one, then what you will need is to read foil wrappers, two of the silver and then a light purple and a dark purple and these. I will have to get all burnished out before I can use them. So go ahead and get your rappers burnished out. And then I will see you in the next video when we will start wrapping the different heart shapes. 6. Wrapping hearts with foil: So for wrapping the foil around the heart shapes. There's five different techniques that I use, and we'll just start off with the basic rep So going to start with the medium heart and the silver foil. Take my glue stick and glue on the heart covering, hold whole thing and then making sure you're putting it on the dull side, destroying the side show. So I'm putting it. If you put it down close to the corner like this and there's not as much cutting that you have to do, it makes a little bit easier so that when you have that pressed on there, then you're gonna trim around and leave about an eighth of an inch globally around. See that? You can use that for another heart on the bottom. We just want to trim straight across top. We're going to just cut in all these little snips here. Just make it easier to wrap the foil around. Okay, then we last when we want to just make little snips around the top on the curve. Okay, then we need some more glue. You want to get glue on on the edges of the heart as well as the foil that's on the outside . And then you just start and just folded around all the way around just pushing into all this and just there. Okay? And then you have your first wrapped heart. So now we'll take the little heart and we're gonna wrap that one week. The think So again, take some glue with that on the paper heart. Put this in the the corner again so that I don't have that much gloat. Much cutting to do. Rather could cut leaving like an eighth of an inch, maybe a little bit less than that. For this, For the small heart again, trump straight across on the bottom into the center, cutting off the excess and just sniff around the top. That's work glue on around the edges and then again, just fold it in all the way around there. So now you have your your second heart. And for this red card were doing were stacking them. So that's the second technique is the stacking. So we'll take this pink heart. We're just gonna put it on top, glue it on top of the silver one, so put a little glue on the back of the pink heart and then center that on the silver heart and just press down And then you have your stacked hearts came in The 2nd 1 we're gonna do is the deep boss look, So we're going to be putting a little depression in there to give it that D bossed look. So we're gonna take this cut out the red oil, but glue on the cut out, Just gluing it on to back there of the red press that down trim your age is just a little bit the corners I would just cut straight across like that. Makes it a little bit in this cut turf straight across on that one. Okay, then back to the glue glue around the edges. Now, I forgot to trim the corner so we would just add that little cuts around the edge to make it easier and then just pull that in, turn it over. You can just press it down a little bit. Kind of fix the in just there. You can't really see the heart yet, So what you do is just take your finger and rub it around the shape until you can start to see it. And then the best way to finish this off is to use the cotton swab. You really get in there close to the edge so that you can see it a little bit better. Burnish that down. And there you have the divorced look when the next one is going to be your cutout shape a silver shape here. So take this cut out and our silver foil putting glue on the cut out again on the silver when you want to make sure that you're putting it on the dull side not the silver side or rather, the shiny side. Because that's what you want to see Just that down on here, okay. And from your corners, You know, we're a little bit short on this side, but I think there's just enough to wrap around. It'll be OK and take her glue stick again. Turn Children, just press your edges fixing any little spots. Okay, then we need to cut out this middle. So we're gonna poke a little hole and then cut leaving about an eighth of an inch before you. We around on the inside, Okay. On the top, where I like to cut that flush right across to the point there makes it a little bit easier to fold in and on the bottom of the heart. Just give a little snip there. So put some glue on the there. Now you have your cut out. So the last one we're going to do is the M boss look, And that's where we stacked two hearts. And it looks like you've gotten a little in boss mint there. So take the medium heart and a little heart. Glue them on top of each other before we add, before we have the the foil to it. So put that on there and center it. Anyone add ATM or glue on the little heart and all the way around on the the one that's bigger around the outside edge pressed it onto the purple foil. Okay. When you place it down here, you can kind of use your finger a little bit just to get that shaped to show up. And then again, you could burnish it with the cotton swab. It really makes that shape stand out. Looks fix this little inch here. That's sticking out. Okay. And there you have your little in boss heart, so you should have just four hearts left. You'll need one more little heart on the red to finish the red card, and then we have three little hearts for this car's he only two on the light for ball and one more on the dark purple. And then when you have those all wrapped, meet me back here and we'll put it all together and finish the cards. 7. Putting it all together: So now that we have our watercolor backgrounds done and we have all of our heart shapes covered with the foil, we can go ahead and start putting the cards together. So I just printed out This is the template for the purple card. And this is basically just to give you an idea and a little help on the placement of the the shape. So the 1st 1 I'm going to start with is the silver, the silver shape, and I'm just gonna put some glue on the back, and then I can just kind of line it up over here, similar to how it is on the template. Press that down. Now I can take my purple stacked heart and put some glue on the back of that center that in that shape, press down and then we just have the three hearts start with the one on the top, the light, the late purple placing. So it lines up with the top of the silver shape there, us down. Put the one actually think I'll do the one on the bottom. Put some glue on that. Keeping it lined up there. And the bottom of your heart with the bottom of the silver shape. Press that down and then the last one is the dark purple heart for the middle. Exclude that one in place. Now all those are in position so we can take the car and we're gonna glue this to the cardinals. Put some glue on the back here, and then just center it my card, press down, maybe turn it over and furnish it just a little bit to help it stick. And that's the first Finnish card for the red card. I have the red watercolor background. I have three heart shapes covered with the foil. And if you are going to add the stitching, what you would want to do now is take your template because we can use that to put the holes in for people Guide for stitching. But it will also help with position of the final pieces that we're gonna put down. So I'm lining that up, and I'm just gonna poke the hole in the bottom, which is where the French knots go down here and then open the top. It's in these there, and I don't know if you can see, but the holes are there and that will help us guide for the stitching. So I'm gonna take the first chief and put some glue on it. I'm gonna position that here on the watercolor background and I'm using the holes that helped me line this up, pressing that down. And I've got the silver one that's gonna go inside. There's glue on this one. Stay there. And in the last little red heart some glue there and center that on there. Then I would turn that over and burned. Now, if you didn't want to do this, ditching it would be just fine like this. You could now just put this on your your card if you wanted to. But if you wanted to do the stitching, I'll show you how you can do that. So I'm going to start by putting the French knots here in the bottom of the card. If you're not familiar with this stitch and would like to learn how to make it, please watch my bonus video with the end of this class. It gives a lot more detail than what I'm going to show you right here. So I will start by bringing the needle up through the hole in the card, leaving a little bit of a tail on the back cause we're gonna glue that down. I would like to have a piece of cardboard underneath so that I don't ruin the surface of my table. So I'm wrapping the threat around twice, putting it through the same hole. Just pulling that through that makes the first French not then over to the second hole. Just come up through there again, working it around twice, putting it back through the same hole. There you have your second French knowledge. So I'm going to just trim this off here and then move up to the top ones. Put that start through there, and this is called the running stitch again. We're gonna leave a little tail, cause we're gonna clue that and just keep moving from hole to hole, putting the ready in lines like this. Okay, last one. Then again, I'm going to trim this off just a little bit. Then I can take my glue stick and do these loose threads down you. Then we're ready to glue this onto our card, so I'm just gonna add a little bit more glued to the cardboard. And then I can just center that on the card, pressing down, turn it over to a little bit, and there you have the finished red card. 8. Final thoughts: thank you so much for joining me in my sweet Valentine class. I hope you had fun repurpose ing foil wrappers into unique and special Valentine's Day cards. Maybe next time you have a kiss or other foil wrapped candy, you'll see that rapper as a fun art supply waiting to be put to good use. If you find other colors of foil wrappers that you might not associate with Valentine's Day , why not go bold and try some non traditional colors like I did with ease? I think they're really fun and would be especially appreciated by someone who isn't much of a pink, red or purple person. Don't forget to share your sweet valentine in the project section. And if you're on instagram, you can share their too. And please tag me a Kathy Johnson art. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make. Thank you so much for joining me and have a happy Valentine's Day 9. Bonus Video: How to make a French knot: I love embroidery in one of my absolute favorite stitches is the French not, And you can see how I have quite a few one here. This is a piece of rusted fabric that I made. And then I have another one here that I'm working on where we use a few more French knots. And if you're interested in, uh, the rusted fabric on how to do that, I do have another skill share class that shows you all the different techniques you can use to do that. But for the class that we're doing today will be working with paper. So I would just wanted to show you that I do a lot of French knots when I'm working in my sketchbook. I'm doing little collages, even like just one. Here just is a little accent or I have another one here where have done a whole line of, um, to make French knots. On paper, I'm using a number five embroidery needles, and I have it threaded with six strands, embroidery flaws. I have a pen. Here's that I could just poke a few holes in the paper, and then I would take the needle and just push it through those holes again just to make it a little bit bigger. That way, it would be easier to pull the needle in the thread all the way through it. So for the 1st 1 you just come up underneath through the whole Hold that fruit and you're gonna leave a little bit of a tail in the back. Then you hold your string. Talk with your left hand as you wrap the needle around twice. Put it right back in exactly the same hole. Pull a little bit with your left hand to make a little bit of a not, but not too tight because you want to be able to pull the needle back through it. It's too tight you won't be able to pull it through. And there's your first French. Not so again, you can come up from the bottom. Pull the three top with your left hand, wrapped the needle around twice. Go back in the same poll a little bit with the left little crew. And there's another one, right, so one more time from underneath, pulling with the left hand. Grab the needle around the threat twice back in the hole and pull that through. So to finish this, I would just trim this off on the back here and then take my glue stick. And I would just glue these down, cause I mean, you don't want to, not it, because then you'll have something that's a little you know, it'll be a little bit too bulky, so I hope this helped and that you'll be able to master the French not and use it in some of your paper and your favorite projects.