Saturday, 10 February 2018

Candy Heart Key Chains

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so the girls and I have been busy getting our craft on!

With dietary restrictions at school (no candy or nuts allowed) and several classmates with food allergies we decided to come up with a non-edible gift for the girls to give out on the big day. In the past we've made heart shaped bath bombs and packets of wildflower seeds, or "seeds of love" as we labelled them, and they've been popular with the kids. This year the girls wanted to make something inspired by the classic conversation heart candies. While the candies themselves don't taste all that great, they are rather cute and perfect for Valentine's Day.

We've been working with Sculpey Clay quite a bit lately and it's a medium the girls really enjoy playing with. It's also the perfect medium for making faux conversation heart candies! We thought about making badges or hair clips (similar to the ones we made for Pride and Fourth of July last year) but decided to mix things up a little and go with key chains. Kids at our school seem to love hanging decorative key chains from their backpacks so I'm hoping these will be a hit with Ava and Lola's classmates. They can hang them on their backpacks or use them to hold keys. Maybe even the key to someone's heart! It's Valentine's Day - I couldn't help but add something cheesy to the backing card!



Don't they look cute?

They're pretty easy to make, so today I'm sharing a DIY so you can make these fun conversation heart key chains yourself.

Here's what you'll need (with links to buy):
Sculpey clay in assorted colors (we mixed up our own colors)
Small heart cookie cutter
Straw (preferably a narrow straw)
Key chains with jump rings


Start buy rolling out your Sculpey clay to a thickness of about 4mm, making sure it's fairly even.


Place the cookie cutter on the clay and press down firmly, moving it a little from side to side to release the heart shape.


Using the letter punches, stamp your message across the center of the heart. We used words like Cool, Yay, LOL, Sweet, Love and BFF, as well as a few short messages such as U Rock, Me & U and U R Cool. Before stamping on the heart it's a good idea to practice on a spare piece of clay. You need to press a little firmly, but not too hard otherwise you'll end up with an imprint from the edges of the punch.


Once the message is done use the straw to punch the hole for the key chain. Punch the hole fairly close to the edge, no more than say 4mm in. We ended up with quite a few that the girls punched further in and the jump rings that connect the key chain wouldn't fit. I solved this by buying a pack of larger jump rings to use with these hearts, but it's easiest just not to make this mistake in the first place. Ha! We used a reusable metal straw as we didn't have any narrow plastic straws on hand, but it was a pain to clean out afterwards, so a disposable straw is definitely best.


Place the hearts on an over tray lined with baking paper and bake at 275F (130C) for 10 - 15 minutes. If you have a toddler in your house, you just might end up with some other creations on the baking tray like we did! Can you guess what any of them are supposed to be?


Once the hearts have baked and cooled down it's time to add the key chain attachment. I find it handy to have two pairs of needle nose pliers on hand for this, but if you're craftier than me you might be fine with just one pair.


Use the pliers to open up a jump ring and hook it through the hole in the heart. Add the key chain.


Using the pliers, squeeze the ends of the jump ring together until they line up and close together.

Voila! You've got a conversation heart key chain!


I designed a simple backing card - with a cheesy Valentine's Day message of course! You can find a printable PDF here. To attach the key chains to the backing card I used Scotch Adhesive Dots which hold nice and strong.


The girls are really happy with how their Valentine's gifts for the classmates turned out and so am I. Aren't they fun? I really think they look great hanging from a backpack. 


Oh, and they look absolutely perfect on the latest Can't Clutch This clutch bag from Studio DIY! I have a subscription to Can't Clutch This and receive a different, but always fun, clutch purse each month. We had already started working on our Valentine's gifts when I found out that this month's purse was going to match perfectly. The girls were super excited when the clutch arrived and even more excited when they saw it together with the key chains they had made.


Do your kids make Valentine's Day gifts for their classmates? I'd love to hear what they made this year.

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