After 22 years as a public school teacher, home-schooler, VBS, Sunday School, and CCD teacher, project organizer, parent, club leader and do-it-yourselfer, I have probably cut out more Valentine Hearts than I care to remember! I have assembled countless crafts for units, themes and holidays over my career. And though it was enjoyable, it took a lot of energy and organization!
I have always been a frugal Frieda and I resisted the temptation to buy pre-packaged in an effort to save money.
But after spending countless labor intensive hours collecting materials, drawing shapes or pre-cutting for younger children, counting out materials into bags, one for each kid, I realized that what I might save in money, I lost in energy and time!
Frequently, I discovered that the materials themselves that I was scrupulously buying on sale were just getting more and more expensive! And it cost money to run from store to store trying to save a few cents! Not to mention that with a family, nobody felt like doing all this extra work. I found too that I occasionally forgot something or ran out of project pieces. It always seemed to be the most crucial part!
Finally after all these years, I discovered a magic secret! An Cave of Ali Baba for teachers and group leaders! It’s called Oriental Trading. Most folks think of this as a cheap trinket or toy company, but that is far from all they carry! I found here 100s of craft projects for every season, holiday or interest. The projects everyting except paint, markers, crayons and glue. And most everyone has these on hand or can purchase them easily.
Each project features pre-cut pieces (no more staying up till 2am cutting pieces out!) Each craft packet is pre-assembled with all parts included for each student or child. No more measuring yarn, string or pipe cleaners, to certain sizes and dulling your scissors trying to cut them! No more counting sets of materials! Each project bag comes with it’s own set of directions, so no writing them out on the board or printing off copies!
The projects are attractive and challenging to children and adults of all ages! Most projects have some function; they are not just cute. Projects feature sturdy materials. Most all projects comes in sets of 12 or more! This is a perfect number for clubs, scouts, church groups, etc. For schools or classrooms, just order two or three sets.
You might think that these projects are expensive; that ‘s why I always avoided them. But I was wrong, they are incredibly inexpensive! Most sets of 12 crafts cost about $3.95 to $6.95 a set, but if you explore the sale catelog, you’ll find amazing deals like $2.95 down to only 95c for 12 sets of a craft! They are useful and attractive crafts also!
Oriental Trading specializes in sun visors, picture frames, key chains, puzzles, paddle ball games, plastic mug or plate inserts, tote bags, flip-flops, gift bags, necklaces, bracelets, rings, pins, gift bags, keepsake boxes, games, and loads more! They feature paint-your-own plastic ‘stained glass items, pre-cut craft foam projects, color-your-own projects, and decorate- your- own items.
OTC also carrries a huge line of bulk craft supplies at prices drastically lower than craft shops! You’ll find paints, clay, fimo, craft paper, stickers, foam stick-ons, faux jewels, yarn string , feathers, felt, buttons, shells, pebbles, and so much more! You can purchase all styles, shapes sizes and colors of canvas hats, totebags, purses, shoes, flip-flops, and more,more, more!
You can find crafts for all themes, seasons and holidays available pretty much year-round. They carry the biggees: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and patriotic themes. But you can find Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s, Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, Mother’s and Father’s Day items as well. You can find loads of religious items as well as other themes like: autumn and harvest, tropical fish, spring, Hawaiian Luau, Mexican fiesta, rodeo, Red Hat society, Breast Cancer awareness, and more!
Oriental Trading will put you on their mailing list free and send you hoards of coupons for free shipping on orders of $30 to $60. . I sent in an order for the school year. I got one project for each holiday or theme. I can get 2 sets of about 12 different craft projects for about $62 (my shipping is free!)
Here are several suggestions for low-cost Valentine’s Day craft projects; I’ve included the item # also.
IN-48/2170 VALENTINE BEAR POUCH NECKLACE CRAFT KIT $4.95/dz
IN-48/3604 CYO VALENTINE BEAR SHAPED CATCH GAMES $4.95/dz
IN-48/2158 COLOR-YOUR-OWN VALENTINE PUZZLES $4.95/dz
IN-48/4257 VALENTINE I LOVE READING BOOKMARK CRAFT $3.95/dz
IN-48/4890 HEART ANIMAL PHOTO CLIP CRAFT KIT $5.95/dz
IN-48/4873 WOODEN “LUV BUG” PIN CRAFT KIT $4.95/dz
IN-48/1246 VALENTINE MAGNET CRAFT KIT $3.95/dz
IN-48/4847 VALENTINE BEAR BEADED CHARM PIN CRAFT $4.95/dz
These are slightly more expensive; you could use them if you had more to spend or fewer kids. They would make nice gifts for birthday parties, ladies groups, scouts, etc.
IN-48/1243 WOODEN VALENTINE BASKET CRAFT KIT $6.95/dz
IN-48/4219 VALENTINE GORILLA CHARM BRACELET CRAFT $7.95/dz
IN-48/4248 VALENTINE GORILLA AIRPLANE FLINGER CRAFT $7.95/dz
IN-48/2941 LADYBUG VALENTINE MAILBOX CRAFT KIT $9.95/dz
You’ll find pictures for some of these crafts kits attached to this article. I wish you and all you cherish a happy Valentine’s Day