Every year for Valentine’s Day, I try to come up with something different to use for the packaging for some homemade gifts and treats, as well as to decorate with. This year, it was cameos and the color pink that took center stage. I have always been a fan of cameos and have torn out many a magazine article on decorating with this age old adornment in the hopes of recreating some of them.
It was no different when I saw this article in the April 2019 issue of the Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I had to file this one for later use and the time finally came to try my hand at them. I’m not going to lie, it took me at least six months to gather the supplies and actually make them and then another few months to find a use for them aside from using them in our center farm table vignette at our Holiday sales. But that’s okay, life is busy and so often we shelve these projects that we want to attempt. Just remember to take them down off the shelf when time allows and proceed forward, even if the end result is not seen for a few months… or even years!
I ordered the Anyana silicone cameo molds that Martha had recommended and used for her article. They came quickly and were very easy to use. I had Sculpey clay in my stash of craft materials and for this project, I only used the white and gold colors. The only other materials you need to make the cameos are a small sharp knife, an oven and a glass baking dish.
In case you might want to try your hand at these beautiful tiny little works of art, you can follow these directions:
Follow the directions on the pack of the Sculpey or other brand of polymer clay to soften it. Fill the molds with the clay by pressing it down into the mold tightly, making sure to fill all crevices and let it extend a bit over the edges. Using a long thin flat knife, scrape off excess clay over the top of the molds to create a level surface.
Once the clay has been pressed down firmly into the mold, carefully flex the mold and take the clay out.
Place the molded shapes into a glass baking dish and bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let cool completely. If you want to mold the cameos, like the ones that are affixed around the eggs in the photo above, you mold them onto the egg and then bake them with the egg. My intent was to use them flat though.
My first use of them was to adhere them to the front of Kraft paper cards that I had purchased in the dollar section of Target. I had purchased them earlier last year for I knew that I could use them in some way. They were too good to pass up at $3.00 for a package of 25. To snazz up the cards, I dry brushed pink and white paint across the front of each card, to achieve a worn looking background which I thought would go well with the cameo.
Each one looks a little different due to the variations of how the paint is applied. Once the cards are dry, you can adhere the clay cameos with either a glue gun or adhesive dots. Pen your Valentine’s Greeting inside and you have a handmade little token of love!
As I had mentioned, I like to bake or make handmade goodies for Valentine’s Day and I have shared some of my favorite recipes over the years. One of them is my chocolate covered pretzels covered in toffee bits. You can click here to see them but please keep in mind that my early blog posts were totally created by an inexperienced photographer with little regard to lighting, etc when she was taking the photos so please excuse. I just want you to be able to access some of the ideas.
I thought the cameos would also look adorable on the wrapped loaves of chocolate chip banana bread that was my moms recipe and one that all of my now grown, young adult children love. I found this eco-friendly natural toned parchment paper at the grocery store that I used this year to wrap the loaves in and then tied them with a thin twine. I tied one of the frames from the cameo molds with the twine and then tucked in some pink berries.
You can also use the cameos on top of a simple wooden box holding a treasure for your Valentine. Tie it with a pretty ribbon… I am partial to pink for Valentines Day… and then top it with a cameo.
Doilies have always been a favorite of mine at Valentines Day and will always continue to be so. I think they are a throwback that will continuously stand the test of time! Here I layered pink and white ones and topped them with another Target dollar section find, the white ribbon-like place cards that I found a couple of years ago. (Never walk past that section in that store without taking a peak for you may find a plethora of items like this for various uses.) On top of the ribbon, I placed a cameo and I think this would make for an adorable table setting idea at Valentines Day.
It could even be used just for serving a yummy Valentines Day treat or dessert!
The premise of this post is to hopefully inspire you to take out that project that keeps popping up in the back of your mind that you continuously push down for lack of time, and make the time. Attack the project at night instead of scrolling mindlessly through instagram (which I am guilty of too.) Maybe early in the morning is your time, or when you are standing around the kitchen chatting with your family. In fact, the kitchen is where I made these molds while all of my family was gathered and catching up from the day. The packaged molds were sitting on the counter as was the clay for I had begun to gather what I needed. As we were talking after we cleaned up from dinner, I just dove in. Sometimes you just need to dive in and not put off that project waiting for the PERFECT time, for that perfect time often does not appear. Your family might think that you are crazy, like mine does, for why would anyone ever want to make those “tiny little things” as they questioned me that night.
When these tiny little symbols of love are combined with other little gifts that the receiver might enjoy, it fills your own heart with love and a deep satisfaction that you accomplished something that you had been meaning to try. They also make for the perfect adornment for your care packages if you have grown children who no longer reside with you but appreciate the reaching out at these holidays.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ― Charles M. Schulz
May you all partake in little signs of love today that do not have to be things or objects but acts and gestures… for they often speak the loudest!
~ Meg ~