Wholly Craft owner Olivera Bratich offers a Valentine's Day activity

String art for kids serves as an easy introduction to the concept of hand sewing, and the final project of a heart can be used as a Valentine's Day card or wall decoration.

If everyone enjoys the activity, it can be replicated with any shape to display year-round!

WHAT YOU NEED

Pink or red cardstock Pink or red embroidery or crochet thread Darning needle or plastic kids' needle Bamboo skewer Clear tape Scissors Pencil Glue stick (optional)

HOW YOU DO IT

Fold a piece of red or pink cardstock in half. Choose a thread in a contrasting color. Use a pencil to lightly draw a heart on the front of the cardstock. Use a bamboo skewer to punch holes ¼ to ½ inch apart along the heart outline. To avoid tearing the paper, press the sharp end of the bamboo skewer on top of the paper and gently lift the cardstock just enough to create a hole. Adults may have to help younger children with this step. After all the holes are punched, erase any remaining pencil lines. Cut a length of thread that goes from the tip of your finger to your elbow. Thread the needle and insert it from the back into any hole in the paper. Pull the thread through until there is an inch or so remaining in the back. Tape that to the back of the paper, making sure not to cover any of the holes. Weave the thread in and out of any of the holes in the outline, creating a crisscross pattern in the heart. Older kids can use the needle and thread to “sew” around the outline of the heart. This step is not necessary, but it provides an opportunity to demonstrate the principles of backstitching. After reaching the end of the string, again tape the excess to the back. Leave the project as is and write a Valentine's message inside the card, or cut off the back of the card and create a wall hanging by mounting the front to another piece of cardstock with a glue stick.

WHO THOUGHT THIS UP

OLIVERA BRATICH owns Wholly Craft, 3515 N. High St. The Clintonville shop features handmade goods from more than 200 crafters and artists, including clothing, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, home decor and more. Winter hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, go to whollycraft.com or call 614-447-3445.