Pinning It Down Volume 4 :: Valentine Countdown Garland

Click here: See how I have updated this Valentine activity with 14 Ways 14 Days including a free printable for you to download.

Welcome to our fourth Pinning it Down Tuesday! Do you find yourself pinning projects to Pinterest, but rarely getting around to doing them? Do you need a bit of encouragement to make some of those projects come to life? Join Sarah and me every Tuesday for the Pinning it Down link-up, where we’re making a Pinterest project happen in our homes every week.

This Pinning it Down just goes to show that what you make doesn’t have to be nearly as cute as the original to be effective. I was poking about on Pinterest last week and this cute banner caught my eye. Turns out it was a count down of sorts — something to do each day for the first 14 days of February leading up to Valentine’s Day. All the better as we could use a does of levity around here. Sometimes Mama needs help not being so serious. It’s an issue with my personality.

The urge to go shop was strong, but I was determined to make this pin from my stash. I am nothing if not cheap frugal. So I scrounged up a few sheets of scrapbooking paper and vellum, printed a template and the hearts with numbers, and hand cut everything while watching Downton Abbey last night. Fortunately I had a bit of liquid chalk around to hide the cut edges and attached the hearts to a piece of ribbon with some plain clothes pins. Not too shabby and gets the job done. The kids’ interest is certainly peaked.

Right now the hearts have nothing on the back — I have to leave my options open and be flexible. I will write the next day’s event each night before so I can check the weather and supplies. Some ideas are:

Pink smoothies
Tea party with Valentine’s treats and poetry
Story time and lunch out
A picnic and nature walk at a local favorite park
Conversation heart math
Make and eat heart shaped pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream
Make Valentines for friends
Date with mom or dad
Make and decorate heart cookies

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Are you ready to play along? Here’s how our link-up works:

1. Choose a project from one of your Pinterest pinboards and make it happen. Blog a little about it. Remember, it doesn’t have to be elaborate- we just want to see what you’ve been up to!

2. Make sure you link back here somewhere in your post so others can find us and play along. Feel free to grab our Pinning it Down graphic if you’d like to add it to your post. Also, don’t forget proper pinning etiquette and try to include a link back the original idea whenever possible. We want to be sure that cool idea credit is given to the proper person.

3. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address. You can add your link all the way through Friday, so if you haven’t gotten a chance to work on any of your pins yet this week, you’re not too late.



  • Sue Elvis says:


    I’m not a Pinterest person only because I’m short on time. I do love looking at other people’s ideas and projects though. This one is beautiful! I like how you have adapted the idea to suit the supplies you already have. We have lots of scrapbooking paper too. I’m going to have a go at this with my girls!

    Your photos are so good. I wonder how you took such great shots towards the light.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Thank you Sue. Do let us know if you guys make the garland. Re: the photos. First, they are tweaked afterwards in Photoshop Elements, so the exposure doesn’t have to be perfect out of the camera. A trick I use, though, is to set two different buttons on my camera for metering light and focusing (check the manual).

      So I would bring my lens close to one of the pink hearts (not the dark brown or the light white ones) and then press the button for light metering (which is the shutter button pressed half way) then while still holding the button in place I would step back, frame my shot, and press the other button I set to do the focus (on the back of my camera). Once everything was how I wanted it I would press the shutter all the way down to snap the photo. That sets the pink heart at the proper exposure and ignores all that extra light around it. It tends to blow out the background and make it too light, but I don’t much care as the hearts are what’s important. It sounds complicated, but after you practice with it a while it becomes second nature. HTH

    • Sue Elvis says:

      Pam, thanks for the photography hint. I shall read my camera manual and have a go!

  • Laurie says:

    I love your banner- even if all you do is use it for decoration. Adorable.

  • Sarah says:

    Oh, I really like this! I especially like how you add the activity the night before, instead of writing them all out ahead of time. That seems so much more doable to me.

    And I’m going to need to try out the photography tip you gave Sue. I always wondered how to do that…

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Borrowed the wait until the night before idea from Dawn!

  • Stephanie says:

    AWESOME idea! I love it!

  • Your banner is so sweet! I almost didn’t get my project done this week, but this link-up really is great motivation!

  • dawn says:

    Oh, I love this! Valentines is probably my favorite holiday, so 14 days of activities leading up to it sounds like a fabulous idea to me. The banner looks so cute too. 🙂

  • bfarmmom says:

    Cute banner. It is very bright and cheery :0) Definitely doable.

  • Love your pretty window!

    It’s my first time today. 🙂

  • Kat says:

    Very cute idea. Pinned this. I don’t know if I will be able to get it done for Valentine’s, but I am thinking maybe Saint Patrick’s Day!

  • Erin says:

    What a sweet and more importantly doable idea:)

  • Jeannine says:

    I love a pretty banner! What a cute idea. And you are very well stocked…I don’t know if I’d ever “just happen” to have some liquid chalk! Been perusing your blog…you are giving your children such a beautiful childhood.

  • Pam Barnhill says:

    Thank you everyone! We are really having a good time with it. The kids usually remember to go look as soon as they get up, so I know they are enjoying it.

  • Heather says:

    They look beautiful! Great job!

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