First a disclaimer. Besides my last one, these are all ideas I’ve done for Valentine’s past. Meaning I didn’t know I would be writing a bloggity-blog about them for people to potentially be inspired and pin and whatnot. The photos aren’t full of pretty natural light or styled to be placed in the next Martha Stewart magazine. We are talking about taken with an iPhone 4, in extremely low light the night before the Valentines exchange and then “perked” up with the Valencia filter and hashtagged #gettingcrafty.
First up would be my firstborn, Parker’s, very first Valentine exchange. He started a one-day-a-week preschool at 18 months old and so I got all the dibs on creating this Valentine because he could barely even say the word “Valentine.” His first Valentine exchange ended up being a very packed day. Not only were they exchanging Valentines but it was also school picture day and it was also the day closest to his 2nd birthday so he was in charge of bringing in a birthday snack as well. I mean didn’t he look dapper (and tired) or what?
I found the heart straws in packs of 6 at my local Dollar Tree (a trip there recently showed that they even still exist). I used washi tape to attach the straw to a piece of cardstock and then I found a never-been-used pencil and carved the eraser to look like a heart for the stamps. If you already own a heart or valentine-esque stamp then that would be a little easier! You could also switch out the plain cardstock for some Valentine themed kind and skip stamping all together!
These Valentines were also made in 2014 like the crazy straws. I was a part of a local MOPS group and the kids had an exchange. With 1 and 2 year olds your options are a little limited on what is safe to consume and play with so I thought a squeeze pouch would be a good route to take. Which, this right here is an example of my love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Maybe my fellow crafters can feel me when I say there are fewer let downs than being so excited about your idea just to search it on Pinterest after the fact and realize it’s already been done #sadtrombone. Moments like that I prefer pre-Pinterest where I felt blissfully unaware how unoriginal I was actually being all the time. But at least I still had fun with my alphabet letter stamps.
Moving on to Parker’s Valentine preschool exchange 2015. I found a bag of Valentine colored play-doh and turned them into flowers. I used Pinterest for verbiage help with the “You’re A-Doh-Able” saying and used leftover scrap-booking paper for the flowers. I did have to use tape on the underside to keep the flower from sliding down to the bottom of the play-doh tub so make a mental note. Transportation is also easy since play-doh is stackable!
Now 2016 was apparently the year I didn’t take any pictures. Which makes sense since not only did I now have to make Valentines for Ellie too but Maren was only 3 months old and I was exhausted. But I do remember I threw together a glow stick Valentine similar to this if you’d like some inspiration. You can get packs of like 10-20 glow sticks from the dollar store so it’s a super cheap and quick DIY. Related: did anyone else when they were little keep their glow sticks in the freezer after activating them to make the glow last longer? Random childhood memory right there.
This year I went back and forth on what to do. The thing is, even though I (obviously) love to craft, Parker and Ellie are older and more into the holiday and understandably have their own interests and want to pick out the typical box cards. There is something nostalgic about that and I’m not going to go all “it’s my way or the highway on them.” But I also think it’s fun to get them involved in the crafting in hopes to rub off on them and to instill a sense of accomplishment in making something yourself. In the end I was able to compromise. The kids each have to bring Valentines on two separate days because not all kids attend each day at the preschool they go to. So for one day of their exchange they are using box Valentines they picked out and for the second we made them together. I still let them pick their own theme of choice.
A few weeks ago I received an email from Tiny Prints promoting $20 off anything (no minimum) so I went to the website just to see what looked interesting – I mean if they are giving me $20 why wouldn’t I use it?? “This is your budgeting problem,” says voice in head…but that’s neither here nor there. I happened upon their Valentine Classroom Cards and realized I could get a set for each of them and only end up paying a couple bucks (not including shipping) with the promo. Parker immediately saw they had Star Wars so that wasn’t a tough sell and anything with chocolate makes Ellie-girl happy. I used a picture of Parker from Halloween when he dressed up as Darth Vader and the one of Ellie is from Maren’s one year photo shoot so I didn’t have to take the time to capture new pictures or anything either. Once the cards arrived in the mail we got to assembly.
Parker picked out Star Wars pencils to include with his and we added glitter cardstock to make them look like arrows (totally wish I would have saved the glow stick idea for light sabers instead though). Ellie helped sort and stuff the ingredients for her s’mores. Parker signed his cards and Ellie tried but unfortunately the space on her card required like 12 point font and homegirl needs room for a solid 50 so I signed for her. These weren’t overly crafty or time consuming but definitely personalized and something we worked on together which was the most important part! I also made sure there were enough so their teachers could each have this version as well.
And good news – we have a discount for Tiny Prints for any first time customers! Simply use our referral link and you’ll get $20 off your first purchase! Now go and order some cute Valentine cards for
yourself your kids! If you have any other DIY Valentine card ideas please share in the comments – we’d love to hear!
As an added bonus here is one of Betsy’s from a year or two ago! (Inkwell filter. Classic.)