This post was sponsored by JOANN. All opinions are my own.
Valentines Day is known for the love and romance but so often we skip over our gal pals and head straight for kids classroom valentines or get caught up in treats for our significant other. What about the lovely ladies in your life?
Every month or so, I invite my girlfriends for some sort of DIY craft, activity or outing. We’ve decorated sugar cookies, made terrariums, wrapped Christmas gifts, visited the pumpkin patch, arranged flowers, made holiday wreaths…you name it, we’ve done it. It’s so much fun to break away from your typical week and spend a few hours with friends, doing something crafty.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I invited my girls over for a Valentine’s themed ladies lunch filled with dessert and Valentine making. There’s not a whole lot more I love than finding a pretty card in my mailbox, so with that in mind, I set out to host a get together with sweet, handmade cards in mind.
This party is simple to recreate for the special ladies in your life! You’ll want to begin with a pretty tablescape. I always head straight to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores to pick out a fabric as my party inspiration. For this occasion, I chose a white with navy fabric and simply folded it for a table runner. By folding it, you can use it again afterwards for other needs, rather than making it a permanent table runner.
I picked up a few votives, vases and candles to decorate the table with. The wedding aisle at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores always has a large selection of items that work for a variety of purposes, not just weddings! I found a set of blush pink glass candle holders and some pretty vases that can be re-used for other celebrations.
Instead of having friends bring items to the party, I offered to have all supplies on hand when they arrived. I chose a color palette of blush pink, white and navy, and kept all card making supplies within that color range. I picked up an assortment of cardstock, pre-made notecards, twine, washi tape, pens and fresh scissors for the ladies to craft with. The supplies doubled as table décor by arranging them on pretty serving platters and dishes.
Since I knew our hands would be busy card making, I skipped the lunch portion and stuck with desserts. I baked mini chocolate layer cakes topped with fresh flowers and a blackberry. These are easy to make using a doctored cake mix, buttercream icing and a circle cookie cutter. (Similar Recipe HERE)
Craft punches are really useful in card making, but also in hosting! I had found an XOXO punch that I used in party prep as wine tags! I punched an XOXO out of four different kinds of cardstock and then tied one onto each glass. My girlfriends were able to easily identify whose drink was whose!
It was fun to watch each gal craft and make their own cards. We each came up with our own unique designs, using all of the same products. We made several different designs with the card punches, washi tape and note cards, yet no two cards alike!
Here is a list of supplies you may want to include for an afternoon of pretty valentine card making!
Heart Cookie Cutter
Rose or sparking water infused with berries
Mini layer cakes
Heart shaped sugar cookies
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that real, genuine friendships are rare. I remember seeing an image somewhere that I haven’t forgotten.
There are three kinds of friendship:
Friends for a Reason.
Friends for a Season.
Friends for Life.
If you are lucky enough to find the friend for life kind, hold on to those! (And send them a Valentine!)
What qualities are most important to you in a friend?
Mini Layer Cake Recipe
Chocolate Mini Layer Cakes
- 1 box Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
- 1 3.4 oz box Chocolate Jell-O Pudding mix, dry
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups margarine
- 2 cups crisco
- 4 lbs powdered sugar
- 2 tsp McCormick pure vanilla extract
- 6 tbls milk
Baking and Assembling the Mini Cakes
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9×13 pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
- 2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil and eggs on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until well blended. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- 3. Pour 1/2 the batter inside each of the prepared pans.
- 4. Bake cakes for 15-17 minutes each, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- 5. Remove pans from the oven and place on wire cooling racks for 25-30 minutes to cool. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes, flip the pans over and gently extract the cakes. Let cool completely before decorating.
- 6. Make buttercream frosting while waiting for cakes to cool.
- 7. Color frosting in shades of your choice. Fill each decorating bag with icing, fitted with the variety of spring flower decorating tips
- 8. After cakes have cooled, using circle cookie cutter cut circles from each cake.
- 9. Using the filled decorating bag fitted with a Wilton 2A tip, ice the tops of 6 cake circles.
- 10. As each circle is covered in icing, top with a cake circle. Repeat until you have stacked two cake circles on each. Top each stacked cake with icing.
- 11. Decorate tops of cakes with fresh berries, flowers and sprinkles.
- 1. Combine the margarine and Crisco in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- 2. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed about 2 minutes or until mixture is creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add remaining powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, and beat until frosting is creamy and fluffy about 2 minutes.
Photos by Kelly Clare Photography
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