Goodwill Valentine's Challenge


Christmas is in our rearview window and our homes are looking a little dark and empty with all of the decorations put away. I love to get the Valentine’s Day decorations out immediately to help the house look less empty. Bonus, there a few Christmas items that I can leave out that work for Valentine's Day too! I don’t have too many decorations for Valentine's day, and I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, so I headed to my local Goodwill and looked around and bought a few things to see what I could come up with! I looked up a few ideas on Pinterest to have some kind of a plan but knew I needed to keep an open mind to what would be available. I also didn’t want to spend too much, so I tried to keep it under $20.

Walking around I saw a few everyday things that could easily be used as a Valentine decoration.  I found a red suede belt, then when you turned it over, it looked like the laces were hearts!  I found a bag that had fun heart-shaped hardware that would be fun to use in some way.

 3 6

I went to the frame department knowing that those would be inexpensive and painting them would be fast and easy and make a big difference. When looking for something to paint, make sure the finish is something that will accept paint. If it’s shiny or polished, the paint might scratch right off. I found quite a few frames I liked but narrowed them down to two. 


I looked around some more and found a roll of glittery red ribbon (perfect for Valentine’s Day) some gold hoop earrings that had individual beads on them, some pencil pockets that were made out of gold glittery vinyl (and they were on clearance) and a hard backed copy of Twilight! I was hoping to be able to use book pages for something and thought this innocent romance novel would be perfect!


I left Goodwill with 7 items total and spent $19.66!

Now to go home and figure out what to do! I really didn’t have a plan, but I wanted to use everything I bought and didn’t really want to have to purchase anything else. I did use some items I already had on hand, including multiple types of glue (glue stick, Elmers and my hot glue gun) some card stock and paint.

I started by painting the frames, I knew that my mind would wander and be creative while I was painting.  When you paint frames like this, I like to do light layers of paint and add a few layers, this allows the paint to stick better. My plan was to paint both frames and glitter one of the frames. I picked a red and aqua color because I love those colors together. When I started painting the red one, I realized that paint was a high glass and it looked great, so I decided not to glitter the frame, but a glittered frame is an easy project that gives a ton of impact!


Once the smaller frame was painted aqua, I decided to start with that one first. I wanted a simple heart in it. I cut a piece of card stock to fit the 4x6 frame and glued a page from the book to it. I decided to create multiple layers for the heart, knowing I wanted the top layer to be red. I cut a large heart out of the card stock and painted that the same color as the frame. Then cut a heart out of the book that was a little smaller, then one out of the gold vinyl slightly smaller and lastly a smaller red card stock heart. I did all this by hand and was wishing I had a cricket at this point! I also cut a piece of the ribbon and put that down the back. Once I had that all together, I put it aside to figure out what to do with the red frame.


I originally wanted to do a trio of hearts and use the frame horizontally.  That would have been beautiful, but because I put a heart in the other frame I wanted to do something different. Sometimes in projects, simple is the best way to go. I remembered an idea I had seen during Christmas to display cards and thought that might be a great idea for this! I used the back of the picture that came with the pink frame, it was heavy cardboard. I started the same and glued some of the book pages for the background. I then cut squares out of the book pages, 4” by 3 and 5/8”, the exact width of the frame. I glued the edges of the squares together to make a loop and glued each one in the frame. It made it very 3D and gave little areas to stick in a little valentine or cut out! My husband printed out a few Valentine Theme clip art things for me, and this little frame was done!


I looked at both of them together and loved how they looked.  If I left them like this, they would have been adorable, but I had one item left that I hadn’t used, the hoop earrings! So what could I do with them!  I took them apart and had just enough to make the small heart in the aqua frame!  I am so pleased with how they turned out.  I had very little waste and still have some of the gold vinyl left and the red ribbon to use another time!  Don’t be afraid to try new things!

 14 17

Some quick tips

  1. Try to have a plan but be open to change.  I was hoping to find some buttons or jewelry. I did find the hoops but was hoping for a long necklace to take apart or a shirt with a lot of buttons.  There were purses and bags with some great fabric and hardware, they were just more money than I budgeted for this project.
  2. Don’t be afraid to change your idea if it isn’t working
  3. Use what you have, almost everyone has some glue, paint, construction paper, stamps, ribbon, and other odds and ends around the house. It's always a good idea to pick these types of items up when you see them at Goodwill.
  4. Have fun with it!


Shendra De Oliveira is busy wife and mom of two young boys. She is the owner of Trendy Shendy’s, an embroidery and applique business, and is a creator of, and Christmas craft and decorating blog. With a background in fashion and interior design, Shendra applies her creativity to DIY crafts and projects for the home and the holidays.


Post a comment