My daughter's first handmade Father's Day crafts

A heart my daughter
made for Father's Day.

Yesterday, with less than five hours left until Father's Day, my 4-year-old whispered in my ear that she wanted to make a heart out of clay for her daddy and cover it with glitter. We had none of the supplies at home, but, because the idea was hers entirely, I wanted her to be able to make it. We headed off to Hobby Lobby for clay and glitter, making our way to the checkout just as the store closed.

When we got home, I settled in to balance my checkbook, while she molded the heart. Every so often, she'd call out, "Mommy, come look!" to show me how it progressed. I'll be honest, it looked a little rough, but she's just 4, and she was proud and so was I.

She made the bulk of the heart out of pink clay, adding three purple clay hearts on top. She used up the bulk of the pink clay for the project, I had a feeling that using that much clay would prevent the heart from drying in time, but she was so proud of what she'd created, I decided to say nothing and hope I was wrong.

A picture frame my
daughter made of clay.
When she finished, I noticed she had set aside a small amount of clay, a mix of both purple and pink. I made a mental note to grab it when I cleaned up. We set the heart out to dry, and she got her PJs on and did the whole bedtime routine.

I forgot about the extra clay until this morning, when I noticed it had been formed into a second, smaller heart. Because I had no idea when my daughter could've made it, I thought my husband had. He denied it, and sure enough, my daughter later came up to me and said, "Mommy, did you see what I made for you?"

She told me it's a picture frame, and she wants me to cut out a photo of her and glue it to the back. I cannot express how much this little heart makes me smile. I still don't know when she managed to make it for me.

When we went to inspect the heart she made for her daddy, as I feared, we found it was still not dry. But, today being Father's Day and not wanting the gift to be late, we set to work putting on the glitter anyway.

I have very little experience with glitter. In all the years I've done crafts, I don't think I've ever bought any. But she and I hunkered down on her bedroom floor with the glitter glue bottles, and that's when I learned that glitter glue, at least the brand I bought, comes out as glue mostly. The glitter kind of got gunked up in the nozzle and stayed there. So I squeezed the bottle as hard as I could to get the glitter out.

Bad idea. The nozzle popped off, and just like a big mucus-filled sneeze, glitter glue splatted all over the heart, the newspaper we had underneath it and on her bedroom carpet.

We cleaned the mess, then continued glittering as best we could. She added the word "Dad" to the top (technically, it says "Dab," but I give her points for trying), and then presented her daddy with his gift.

A little while later, the two of them got into a pillow fight, during which one pillow got smacked into the still-wet glitter glue, giving the heart an even more disheveled look and leaving me to wonder if the glue will come out of the pillow as well as it did the carpet.

The heart, by the way, is still not dry. It still looks a little rough, but I gotta say, out of all of the projects I've worked on, this one is my favorite, because it was the first one I've done in which my daughter had taken the lead.

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