DIY Valentines Day candy Sweethearts® sculpture

Changing planes on Southwest Airlines last year, I spotted this super creative — and super ambitious — DIY Valentines candy Sweethearts® sculpture at the entrance to one of the gates in Baltimore. Supersize me: This thing is like 12′ feet tall. The creator seems to be Colleen — see her name on the ‘box’ that’s pouring out all the heart candies. As you can see, she’s written clever Southwest- and airline-related messages on them, including “Bags Fly Free.”

What would it take to do this project? I’m thinking: Very smooth, tight-cell styrofoam… an electric carving tool to shape the hearts… a digging-out tool to carve the messages, spray paint and acrylic paint to paint the hearts and then the red message… and a hot glue gun to glue the hearts together. A less ambitious plan, of course, would be to do just few hearts — but I think that for impact, yes: Glue them together and make a little “installation.” If you want to do the box, too, you will need cardboard and more paint.

valentine heart candy sculpture

I love Southwest, it is hands down, my preferred airline. It’s so civilized that they let you changes flights without a rigamarole. Yup, two bags fly free; now, in comparison, when I step up to other other airline counters and am charged $25 a bag, I am angered. I think their customer-friendly policies help Southwest’s attendants stay in a good mood — which keeps us in a good mood — so it’s all a virtuous circle. It really helps make flying more fun. Yes, it is still possible: Luv Is In the Air.

  1. JKaye says:

    Very cute display. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the link to the Necco Co. My sister loves Necco wafers, and I always get her some for her birthday, Christmas stocking, and any other event that calls for candy, like Valentine’s Day! Never thought to look up their website, so this was a fun find.

  2. caren says:

    I actually have a retro ’70s styrofoam cutting tool I found in my grandparent’s house. It’s like a cheese slicer with batteries. I guess it heats up and cuts through styrofoam. Never tried it. The cardboard battery case seems like some sort of safety violation.

  3. h0n0rb says:

    I’d be willing to bet that’s pink panther dow corning insulation foam (hey – at least something still comes in pink, right?) stuck with a light coat of Super77 spray adhesive and some dowel pegs. Or, that’s how I’d make it. Fun!

  4. JKM says:

    Colleen Barrett is President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, hugely popular and well-liked. My guess regarding the candy box being labeled “Colleen’s Luv” is that it’s probably an inside joke. FYI – the “luv” part of their corporate lingo is from them starting business and being headquartered at Love Field Airport in Dallas.

    1. pam kueber says:

      ah, this makes sense! thanks you, among all the readers on this site – we know everything – and there is always a backstory!

    2. JKM says:

      Also – the “Thank U Herb” candy heart is referencing Herb Kelleher, co-founder and former CEO of Southwest. If I remember correctly, Colleen started as his administrative assistant when there were only a handful of employees and ended up running the airline when he retired. I find the double-meanings and inside jokes interesting.

  5. Dulcie says:

    Sorry, total thread hijack here, but I just saw something I got all excited about and needed to share with others (I”m giving that way). I started watching the episode called Cinderella Story on the tv show The Finder and got to the part about 15 minutes in when he sneaks into an apartment. It was filled with fun retro-era things, including one of those oil lamp thingys with a statue in the middle and it looks like the statue is standing in the rain (I’m sure there’s an actual name for those things). Anyway, I was getting all excited about the room decor when he went into the bathroom and the flooring was Tarkett’s blue bubbles! I yelled out YAY, at least I think I did since my dog looked at me funny.

    It’s nice to see retro decorating in a mainstream capacity.

  6. Bronwen says:

    I have seen small paper mache hearts, about 4-5″ across, at craft stores for around $1-2 apiece. They are actually little heart shaped boxes. These might make an easier alternative for this project if you didn’t have the proper tools to cut styrofoam.

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