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Activity and strategy

Valentine Crafting Project

This project can be done with individuals with visual impairments and additional disabilities to celebrate Valentine's Day.

I wanted to expand on the crafting I had done with a student at Christmas. To prepare for Valentine’s Day, my student and I looked through images online with the search “Valentine Crafts”. This was what was chosen. 


This time, instead of me gathering materials that I thought she’d like, she had more of a say in what to use. I met the parent and student at a dollar store where we shopped for items that were of interest to her both visually and tactually. We had a blast shopping! She chose items I wouldn’t have thought of (e.g. valentine necklaces). Her mother took her shopping without me and they bought the canvases for the art. My student chose 2 – 18×24 and 6 – 12×16. A former secretary in our Special Education Office gave me a tub of buttons. The parent took the buttons home and my student’s sister spray painted them red and the canvases were painted a light grey. She chose the size of the heart pattern from me to trace onto each canvas, placing them where she wanted them. 

Tracing heart pattern on canvas  Looking at heart outline on canvas


The first canvas she did was one with buttons and a cross in the middle. The cross was made from decorative glass rocks. This one she plans to give to the former secretary as a thank you for her many donations of materials to me. She plans to make several more. As you can see from the pictures, the student is very thorough in her work. It took about an hour to complete the button heart.

Heart design made of buttons with white cross in center Carefully arranging buttons on traced line

Once she laid out everything the way she wanted them, she hot glued them down. She put hot glue on the canvas under the button that I had picked up and then I put the button down in the glue. I bought a new easy grip hot glue gun for her from Walmart for $14.99 and she was able to complete the ENTIRE piece BY HERSELF! 

Two models of glue guns  Using glue gun independently

[In the picture, you can see the difference in the two hot glue guns. The white one has a larger trigger and she’s able to use her 4 fingers to pull the trigger instead of one or two fingers}

We met up on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day to continue working on the art work as she had several more pieces she wanted to make. Each time she would start a new heart, she looked over all her materials before deciding what media to use. She also stated prior to starting the heart who the heart was for. 

Placing beads on heart outline Arranging the colored beads in the heart  Heart with glass beads

Delivering the Finished Hearts

She worked hard throughout the activity and never asked for a break. Even when asked if she wanted a break, she would decline. This time we had the luxury of her delivering her art work to the people she wanted to give them to. The amount of praise heaped on her and her facial expressions when she saw how delighted/surprised the individuals were to receive such an amazing and thoughtful gift…PRICELESS!

Arranging buttons in heart shape  Heart design with roses in center

After finishing her last craft, she pulled out her cell phone and took pictures of her finished projects. I was thrilled to see her being so proud of what she had done. 

For me, the words “Don’t stop believing” is so true. I never stop believing in my students. If we can’t do something one way, then we’ll try another. This student proved to me that her creativity knows no bounds. 

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