By Kristine Munroe • January 15, 2015
A few years ago, I bought my son those cheap Valentines from the drugstore to distribute at his preschool, but I wasn’t too happy with them. I noticed he received some really cute homemade ones from classmates, which prompted me to peruse the internet for ideas for future Valentine’s Days. The more I looked into making homemade Valentines, the more I liked the whole idea of it. Instead of picking out some bland mass-produced Valentines, homemade Valentines can truly come from the heart. Especially with all of the stories in the news about bullying, homemade Valentine’s Day cards can really send a positive message to fellow classmates.
Don’t let the idea of homemade Valentines scare you! They don’t have to be difficult, time consuming, or expensive. Even if you’re not crafty, there are lots of easy ways to help your kids make lovely homemade Valentines.
Making a homemade Valentine can be as simple as you want it to be. It can be a construction paper heart decorated with markers. The simplest homemade Valentine we’ve done is stickers on doilies. I bought some paper doilies and Valentine-themed stickers. It was easy enough for my then-toddler to create, but would be just as much fun for older kids because they can go into more detail. You can even buy things like pom-poms, sequins, or glitter glue to make it a more advanced project.
A fun crafty idea is foam picture frames. Kids can get totally creative with decorating the foam part of the picture frames. These frames come with foam inserts that can be used to decorate the frame, but I also love these glittery heart stickers to make the frames particularly festive. If they have pictures of their friends from school, you can print those out and put them in the frame. By including pictures, it will make these Valentines particularly personal. Otherwise, they can frame pictures that they draw for their friends or write little Valentine’s Day messages.
If you want to include candy, you can incorporate the candy into your Valentine. Smarties work well accompanied by a homemade “you’re a Smarty, Valentine!” card. Bubble gum could go with a “you blow me away!” caption. Who could possibly resist a Valentine’s Day pun? I know I can’t! Not into giving out candy or worried about cavities? Buy a bunch of toothbrushes from a wholesale store or a dollar store, and have your child decorate cards to attach to each one that say, “You make me smile!”
You and your child can also make homemade Valentines with items you already have around the house without spending a dime. Upcycle your broken crayons by making mini-muffin crayons. Kids adore this project and the outcome looks really cool. Your kids can attach homemade cards that say “Have a colorful day, Valentine!”
For another creative, inexpensive idea that requires nothing but a printer and some crayons or markers, you can print out paper rulers, like this one, cut it out, and have your children decorate and write “you rule!” on it.
If you like the idea of printing out Valentines, TwistyNoodle has a lot of adorable Valentine’s Day printables. These include coloring sheets and printable mini-books that children can customize. For a more advanced printable for older elementary school kids, check out this template for a fortune teller a.k.a. “cootie catcher.” Your children can customize each fortune for their classmates to make it even more personal.
This year, have your child make homemade Valentines for their classmates that have a personal touch. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be something complicated, but it should be from the heart.
Kristine Munroe Kristine Munroe is a freelance blogger living outside of Boston with her husband and 5 year old son, Isaac. When she's not being a social media junkie, she's spending time with Isaac and finding fun stuff to do around New England.