I was in my 20s before I ever gave someone a store-bought Valentine’s Day card. I have no idea what my mother had against the greeting-card industry, but her rule was always: Make your own card or give nothing at all. Today, I realize this is a completely unrealistic standard for most people, let alone busy parents and overcommitted kids. But still, I’m going to try my best to help my kid make his own DIY Valentines for his class this year.
This does not have to require bending space and time, fortunately. Even if you’re getting a last-minute start, there are a lot of easy, fast card projects for kids to make and give for Valentine’s Day. We searched through some of our favorite mom blogs and craft suppliers to gather some of the best ideas out there for our fellow procrastinators. And for those of you who really do plan ahead for every holiday, bookmark this for next year. (Also, would you mind coming over and organizing my life, please?)
Get out those safety scissors and washable markers, everyone. It’s time to make your kids subvert the Hallmark patriarchy — ahem, encourage their artistic expression!
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Custom Photo Card
Even when they’re too young to hold those scissors or sign their name, they can at least pose for a photo. Upload your cutie to Minted and order customize V-day cards for everyone.
Secret Message Water Color & Crayon Cards
Since water color paint washes right over wax crayon, layering the two is an easy technique for turning scribbles or perfect handwriting into romantic art. For older kids, Crayola suggests turning this into a two-part project in which your kids draw their “secret” messages with white crayon and have their recipients paint the cards to reveal what they wrote.
Inkblot Heart Cards
You can use the printables from Doodles and Jots, or just handwrite messages to create this clever collaboration. Fold the paper in half and then have your kid paint one half of a heart (or another shape, if they like) with tempera paint. Fold the card again and voilà, you’ve got a complete heart.
We also love these printables from MomUnleashed, which have a space onto which you can place a heart-shaped Slinky. Have your kids do the Slinky-taping to get them involved in this one.
A-MAZE-ing Toy Cards
Life With Fingerprints has printables to suit these other fun dollar-store toys (plus others for candy or pencils, should those suit the kids more). Little ones can play with tape or fill bags. You could also have older kids draw their own versions, by hand or computer.
Create-Your-Own Card Kit
If your kid is a coloring machine, put them to work bringing these cards to life. The kit comes with markers, stickers, googly eyes, and 36 envelopes and cards.
There are several disadvantages to large class sizes — an underdiscussed one being that it is hard to cut out more than 25 construction paper hearts! Pick up a set of these, get out the glue stick, and you and your kids can go to town.
You could also buy your materials pre-cut, like these felt hearts, which come in a variety of colors. Use glue or a needle and thread to attach paper notes from your kids.
Heart Pop-Up Cards
Whether you use those heart punches, velvet hearts or old-fashioned scissors, these easy pop-up cards from EasyPeasyandFun.com add an extra wow factor to your DIY project.
Lego Heart Valentines
You can buy these cards with removable Lego hearts ready-made from Etsy, or your little master builders can create their own.
Ladybug & Bee Cards
Who can resist a good googly-eye project? Nontoygifts.com offers templates, so you can precisely cut out these lovable construction-paper bugs.
You’re the Balm Cards
Tweens and teens who still love to give cards but are kind of over the cutesy stuff can use these printables from All Things Thrifty and tape on EOS lip balm, or the balm of their choice. This is in no way meant to encourage kissing, BTW.
Sticker DIY Card Kit
The jewel stickers that come in this kit from Target will up your kids’ DIY card game with so little effort on your part.
With these Crayola instructions, layers of construction paper, a bit of fake origami, ribbons and glitter, kids can create 3-D cards that might even be too nice to give to their friends. Save one for yourself, at least.
Older kids who are comfortable with a needle and thread can help hand-stitch these crepe paper ruffles, or run them through the sewing machine with you, if you guys are advanced crafters. Younger kids can have fun pulling the thread to cinch the ruffles, too. TazandBelly.com explains it all.
Crochet Chain Valentine’s Necklaces
When you’re just learning how to crochet, it’s very tempting to make a never-ending chain. Encourage that impulse in your kneedle-crafting kid — just get them to stop every once in a while to let you tie off a mini-chain and turn it into a charming Valentine’s card-necklace. Doodles and Jots has printables and instructions for you.
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