Just like everywhere else, Fort Worth celebrates St. Valentine’s Day on February 14. It means a day of sharing Love with our closest family and friends, and our sweetheart. Make a decoration for your mantle that will remind everyone you care about. It’s inexpensive and easy to do.
Things you’ll need:
- Graph paper and pencil
- Wood scraps of pine or purchase at a Home Store
- Measuring tape
- Coping saw or jigsaw
- Small vise or jig for sawing, or hold really tight
- Visit to a crafts store like Michael’s to find heart if you don’t want to cut one.
- Piece of white coat hanger wire and wire cutters, form to L shape for rear brace at wood heart
- Hammer and nail for making recess for heart point
- Small tube of strong wood glue or glue gun and appropriate glue sticks for securing wood heart to base
- Sanding block
- Work gloves to protect hands while cutting wood and making notches for heart and base assembly
- Paint and brushes
- Peel and stick “BE MINE” white vinyl letters (option)
Sketch wood Valentine mantle decoration to your desired size. Use graph paper, sketch to scale. Follow Author’s Valentine sketch for example. Go to the nearest Fort Worth Lowe’s like the one on I-30 East if you don’t have scrap wood. Select, S4S pine material (surfaced four sides) is what you need. They should cut pieces for you (except for the heart). Just buy a larger piece and have them cut the base and a square for the heart. Locate a Fort Worth Michael’s crafts store and purchase a wood heart if you don’t want to cut one. Lay out all items on your workbench or crafts table. Give yourself adequate room to carefully finish cuts for heart and to make nail holes for heart base. Use strong, wood glue. Study the Author’s drawings and your sketch plans before starting. Begin by cutting the heart with a jig saw or coping saw (if Michael’s does not have a heart you can purchase). Always measure twice, cut once. Use sandpaper block to remove any splinters from heart cutout and base.
Make nail hole notch in base to receive heart bottom. Follow your sketch or the Author’s and measure carefully. The nail hole-notch should be in the exact center of the wood base, just long enough to receive tip of heart base and allow room for glue. Depth of nail holes should be about 1/32 inch.
Place spot of glue in nail-notch in base and attach heart cutout. Take care to be sure it is vertical to the base and perpendicular. Let glue set for several hours or to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Cut white coat hanger piece to form L brace for rear of wood heart. Gently mark and tap nail hole to receive coat hanger brace at base and heart. Place spot of glue and let dry completely, insert white coat hanger L piece so it is vertical and perpendicular to base and heart. Let coat hanger attachment glue dry completely.
After glue has set, paint two coats of white paint on base top, edges, and heart front, back, and edge. Let last paint coat dry overnight. Finish by painting heart red, one or two coats as necessary so white will not show. Let dry overnight. Hand paint white “BE MINE” on front of Valentine heart or use vinyl peel and stick letters, pressing firmly. Place on center of mantle for all to see!
Tips and Warnings:
- Do make layout on graph paper of Valentine heart and base and check fitting of heart to base before you glue. Heart should be vertical and perpendicular to wood base. Measure twice, cut once.
- If you pre-paint wood, be sure and leave nail-notch at base and bottom tip of heart void of paint so glue soaks in wood. Remove excess glue and touch up with paint after completely dry.
- Be careful if you decide to cut wood yourself, use some type of vise, jig, or hold firmly wearing work gloves to avoid cutting accidents.