Basil is known as “the love herb,” so why not incorporate it into your Valentine’s Day crafts? Your unique approach to a Valentine’s project will be appreciated by those familiar with basil’s long association in folklore with love and courtship. Those unfamiliar with basil as a love herb will ask, “Why basil?” and you can tell them.
In some cultures it is said that if a man accepts a sprig of basil from a woman, he will fall in love with her. In other cultures a pot of basil is used to ensure fidelity. Basil has been used in love spells and eaten as an aphrodisiac. Some people even put it on the window sill to indicate a desire to find a suitor.
In ancient Greece, basil’s reputation was so elevated that only the king was considered fit to grow it, and even that esteemed being was expected to cultivate it with a golden sicle. But hey, you don’t have to tell the kids all of the details. Just call it the love plant and get on with the project.
Here are some fun Valentine Day crafts that can be done at home or in a classroom. The basil planting craft is especially nice because it produces a useful plant that can be used in the kitchen for months to come.
Potted Love Herbs for Valentine’s Day
A bag of basil seeds
A bag of soil
A small terra cotta pot for each participant
One package of terra cotta markers
You can buy small clay pots and terra cotta markers from a craft or gardening store. Unlike tempura paint, the markers will create permanent art that will not chip and fall off or wash away when the pot becomes wet.
Decorate the pot with Valentine’s Day themes. Fill pot to an inch of the top with soil, place a basil seed or two in the center and add a bit more soil to cover the seed. Then water thoroughly. If you want to have actual basil plants to give away for Valentine’s Day gifts, embark on this project early.
Unique Valentine’s Day Card
Here’s an idea for crafting a unique Valentine’s Day card.
You will need:
Light card stock
A basil sprig
A utility knife
Press a fresh basil sprig inside a book until it is flat.
Fold the card stock in half. To get an even fold, lightly run the utility knife down the inside fold line. You may need to do this a few times. Be careful not to press hard and cut the card stock.
Place some glue on the outside of the card and gently press the basil sprig onto the glue.
Add some of the basil folklore, above, to the card.
Each of these crafts using basil, the love herb, is a little more unique than the typical heart and flowers projects kids are accustomed to for Valentine’s Day.