We crafted, packaged, and mailed our own creations, and in turn received the greetings below! Thanks again Hilltown Families!
Once again, we’ve thrown our crafty hats into the ring of the Hilltown Families Hand-made Valentine Swap!
This annual tradition charges local families in the hidden hamlets of western Massachusetts (the Hilltowns) with creating original Valentines and sending them to other families and individuals.
I’ve actually participated in the HFHVS several times, including before I had children, and each year we receive a wide array of greetings from people of all ages in exchange for our own offerings.
This year, our Valentines took on two forms: magic wands and heart flowers, which followed the same basic pattern. First, I bought sheets of heart-shaped labels from Avery (I used template 94603, but there were a few available sizes) and craft sticks, ribbon, foam hearts, and heart stickers from Amazon. We rounded-out the supply list with our own stash of sequins, beads, markers, glue, and paints.
From there, two labels stuck together over a craft stick created the base for any creation, and we were off to the races — making not just enough for each Hilltown family on our list, but also for family members, friends, and holiday decor around the homestead.
Many thanks to Hilltown Families founder, publisher, and editor Sienna Wildfield for spearheading one of my favorite activities of the year — one that creates connections that felt a little more important this year than they already had. ❤️
Behold, the spoils of the Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap!
I signed up for this annual community tradition for the second time this year, and for the first time as a mom. This time around, the whole process was even more fun, and the entire family got involved.
Created by Hilltown Families, the handmade valentine swap charges participants with creating and mailing handmade valentines to ten assigned addresses, receiving handmade valentines from other families in return.
After signing up, we received a list of addresses of families across Western Mass., and set to work getting our craft on. We started with art supplies in ‘Valentine colors,’ including red finger paint, and several sheets of card stock …
…some of the paint made it onto the paper, along with crayon scribbles and stickers.
Those were set aside to dry, and after bedtime, I added some scrapbook embellishments.
I also threw a few stickers into each of the envelopes — Ben’s job was to create equal piles of stickers for each child — before addressing them and sending them off.
In a few days, we started receiving handmade valentines from other families in return. Some people save them to open all at once on Valentine’s Day, others open them as they come in and display them like Christmas cards. We chose the latter this year, opening them together before bedtime and decorating the mantel. They’re all so creative… we received a heart ornament made out of pipe cleaners and Cheerios, thumb-print love birds, a hand-print fish, a heart made of tiny feet, and two handmade paper hearts in the coolest colors. I definitely noticed a purple trend.
From start to finish, the swap is so much fun! Can’t wait to do it again next year.