Family Craft Idea: Love Tokens & Hug Tins

This was such an easy project, but one that is working out really well for our household. The idea is simple. Give more love and attention. The problem with the life of moms is that love is abundant, but attention is often hard to garner. This simple little craft helps moms and kids tap into each other’s needs for attention and gives kids a way to “act out” instead of misbehaving to get what they need. The first time I saw a concept like this was on Ashley Ann’s blog Under the Sycamore (her version HERE). I decided to make my own love tokens and set up our system a little differently. Ready to begin?

Love-token-craft-Crafts-UnleashedThe supplies for my love tokens are a little “fancy,” but you could certainly make similar little tokens with basic watercolors and colored pencils.  I decided to use these pearlescent paints for a pretty finish.

Pearlescent PaintsThe final supply you MUST have is this letter punching set.  It will set you back $19 or so, but I use this supply ALL the time.  (See my baking soda ornaments and clay plant labels!) Well worth paying for this supply that might possibly outlast YOU and be passed on to the grandkids.

suppliesSupplies needed to make your own DIY love token system:supply2

Watercolor Pencils

Pearl watercolorsAfter you have rounded up your supplies, the fun begins!  Basically, you will want to identify simple actions that show love to your children.  Things you do all the time like giving a hug, saying “I love you” or dancing it out to Miranda Lambert (What?  You don’t do that?).  Either write in the action with your letter punching tool or use an icon.  i.e. the heart below stands for a hug.

heart tokenTo make these little love tokens, you start with the watercolor pencil.

Simply draw a shape and loosely color it in.

penciled heartThen, take a brush with a tiny bit of water and blend the color.

DSC_2776Then, take your brush, dip it in your watercolor paints and draw an outline around the heart, leaving a border of bare wood.  This works best with more paint than water on the brush.

DSC_2779To finish, pull the color out towards the edges, making sure not to touch the bare wood border you made. This particular step works best with a little more water than paint on your brush.

painting heart token For the love tokens with words, the same technique of using a well watered brush and pulling the paint out towards the edges while leaving the letters bare makes for a pretty effect.

watercolor edgesHere is the process from start to finish:

Hug Tins on Make A GifThe words look best when no paint gets down in the grooves (in my opinion). However, some look really great with a darker color down in the grooves and a lighter color on top.

good for one danceBlending a couple different colors makes a pretty, understated love token.

silly minuteThe process:

There are three of each token.  Each week, we turn all the love tokens over and play a game like memory to find three that match.  Once we find three, the boys grab them and throw them into their tin.  Once everybody has one of each, we cap them and put them aside.  The boys can use any token any time it is appropriate (i.e. silly minute or dancing crazy during naptime will not work) and once they use that particular love token, it goes in a separate tin until the end of the week.  By the end of the week, everybody has put their tokens in our extra, fourth tin and we start all over again.

Our tokens include:

  • A heart – hug
  • A book – for reading
  • A “good for one dance” token
  • Silly Minute (They can go wild WITH me for a minute)
  • One Game with Mommy
  • Storytime Token (not a book, a story from me)

Very simple.  Very rewarding.  DO IT.

Love-token-craft-Crafts-Unleashed-2To finish off the tins, I simply wrote the name of each boy on top with a copper Sharpie marker and colored in the edge of the rim in copper to match.  You could mod podge paper around the tins, paint them or leave them as-is.  This project would also work with a leftover glass pasta jar and scraps of paper.  Make it work friends.  Make it work.

About Amy Renea

Hey y'all! I'm Amy Renea, a freelance photographer and writer based out of Hershey, PA. I spend my days chasing children and chickens around the back yard, sipping on dandelion tea and munching on sweet potato chips. Come visit the Nest for All Seasons to learn more about my food, photography, DIY designs and modern garden living!


  1. candi says

    This is a lovely idea! I’m going to add some categories; my grandson and I are going to make this for him to give his mommy on Valentines Day! Thank You!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *