Galactic Hot Dogs

Valentine's Day Picture Frame

Use this simple dough recipe to make a heart picture frame for your loved ones on Valentine's Day.

Time frame: One to two hours plus overnight to dry

Level: Moderately easy

What you need:

Gifting Glitches

Making items out of dough is much like baking cookies or bread. The cooking time may vary with individual ovens, so you'll want to check the dough frequently to be sure it doesn't get too brown. The finished product should be puffed out a bit with golden brown edges. Allow the dough to cool for about five minutes before removing it from the pan. If you don't use nonstick pans, be sure to spray your cookie sheet first with nonstick cooking spray.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 12 cup salt
  • 12 cup water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Rolling pin
  • Small, heart-shaped cookie cutters
  • Nonstick cookie sheet
  • Cooling rack
  • Oak stain
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue gun
  • Thin calico ribbon (approximately one yard or enough to go around the perimeter of the frame)
  • Cardboard picture frame
  • Two cinnamon sticks
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the flour, salt, and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients with your hands, working out any lumps. If the mixture is too dry, add a few drops of water; if the mixture is too wet (slimy), add a small amount of flour. The mixture will stop sticking to your hands when it's ready.
  2. Place the dough on a cutting board that has been dusted with flour. Roll the dough out with the rolling pin to about 14-inch thickness. Use small heart cookie cutters to make six hearts for the frame. If you have extra cookie dough, make more hearts to use in future projects.
  3. Place the hearts on a nonstick cookie sheet, and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes until they are firm when touched and have a slight golden edge. Check your hearts frequently so they don't get too brown. The hearts will puff slightly; this is normal.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the hearts to cool for five minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  5. Once the hearts are cool, stain them with the oak stain and allow them to dry. Using a paintbrush, apply a coat of varnish to the hearts and allow them to dry thoroughly.
  6. Using a glue gun, glue the ribbon around the perimeter of the cardboard picture frame. Glue three hearts on the left side and three hearts on the right side of the picture frame.
  7. Break the cinnamon sticks into four pieces. Glue two cinnamon sticks on the top middle and two cinnamon sticks on the bottom middle of the frame. Make two small bows out of the ribbon, and glue one on top of each stack of cinnamon sticks.
  8. Place a photo in the frame.

More on: Valentine's Day


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks