By Guest Blogger Barbra T

I love to come up with fun projects to do with my children. I really wanted to do something a little different for Valentine’s Day, so we (well, actually I) decided to make some fun and inexpensive Valentine crafts we could give away to teachers and friends. The kids always want to give their friends the store bought Valentine’s Cards complete with their favorite cartoon character. That can definitely be cheaper and much easier, but it sure does take the fun out of Valentine’s Day (for me anyway). So, in order to keep it low budget I found several projects to do using many things we already had around the house…some of them right out of the recycle bin! I also have included a way to use those store bought valentines—only better!

Just remember no matter what you make with your children that the important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process … sometimes the product is a little rough around the edges, but you are teaching your children how special it is to give a gift that is thoughtful and handmade. That is priceless and hopefully something they will always remember.

Valentine Bookmarks

Supplies: Scrapbook paper—variety of colors and patterns, Newspaper, stamps – hearts and letters X and O, glue stick, scissors, ribbon, Laminator or clear contact paper, Hole punch

1. Using the letters X and O stamp a pattern all over the newsprint.
2. Cut different papers (scrapbook & newsprint) into 2 x 6 inch rectangles.
3. Stamp hearts onto white paper and cut out.
4. Glue the hearts onto the patterned paper.
5. Use a laminator or clear contact paper to cover the bookmark.
6. Hole punch the top and tie with coordinating ribbon.
*Another option is to stamp the newspaper with hearts, cut out and glue to a rectangle cut out of patterned scrapbook paper. Whole punch and add ribbon

Valentine Banners

These were fun to make and even better–free…I just used things I found around the house!
Supplies: Old Cereal or cracker Boxes, Scrapbook papers or newspaper, twine, Mod Podge, hole punch
1. Cut lots of hearts out of your old cereal boxes…all different sizes.
2. Trace the hearts onto scrapbook paper (or you could use the newspaper again stamped with X’s and O’s).
3. Cut out the paper hearts and attach to the cardboard hearts using Mod Podge.
4. Hole punch each heart and string the hearts along the twine so they will hang with pattern paper facing in the same direction.

Valentine Picture Frames

Here’s a fun way to decorate for Valentine’s Day or you can use these as teacher gifts!
Supplies: Unfinished wood frame (sold at AC Moore or Michaels for $1), Scrapbook paper, mod podge, sponge brush, scissors, stamps
1. Take the card board insert out of the frame and lay frame upside down on the scrapbook paper.
2. Trace the inside and outside edges of the frame –be sure you do this on the wrong side of your paper so your pencil lines will not show.
3. Using a sponge brush cover the front of frame with Mod Podge.
4. Carefully lay the paper over the paste smoothing from the inside out to eliminate bubbles.
5. Allow the frame to dry about 2 hours and then add a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the scrapbook paper.

Love Note Jars

This project uses things right out of the recycle bin. Make a gift that’s so simple (and pretty much free!) but means so much to the person you give it to.
Supplies: White copier paper, Empty glass jars with lids, newspaper stamped with X’s and O’s, scrapbook paper or construction paper, ribbon

1. Cut the white paper into strips. Have your children number each strip: 1, 2, 3, 4…write on each strip all the things they love about someone (daddy for example) or special memories you’ve had together.
2. Clean the jar and remove any labels.
3. Cut a piece of patterned paper about 3-4 inches tall (depending on the size of the jar) and about ½ inch wider than the jar.
4. Wrap the paper around the jar, secure with tape and add a homemade label.
5. Put the numbered strips of paper in the jar.
6. Trace the lid onto a piece of the same paper and glue it to the lid.
7. Add ribbon around the lid.
8. Give to someone special to read just how much they are loved!

Tissue Paper Hearts

These hearts are so easy to make and perfect for a classroom project. We did it with our cousins…children’s ages ranged from 4-12 and they all loved it!
Supplies: Pink and white tissue paper cut into 1” squares (always save the tissue paper you get in gift bags for crafts like this), White craft glue, Scissors, Pieces of cardboard (we used empty cereal and cracker boxes), Pencils with an eraser

1. Cut out a heart shape from the cardboard. Draw a heart in the center of the cardboard heart.
2. Put white craft glue all over the drawn heart.
3. Using the eraser end of a pencil, place the eraser into the center of a pink tissue paper square. Twist the tissue paper square around the eraser and dot it onto the glue. Continue this process until entire middle of the heart is covered with pink tissue paper. (My son refused to use pink on his heart—so his is red and white!)
4. Repeat the process from step #3 with white tissue paper for the border of the heart.
5. Glue a hanger to the back if you like.
*Options: add a magnet to the back and put on the fridge

Candy Love

Here we just took an inexpensive candy bar (ours were about 30 cents each) and made it into a creative and meaningful gift that says I love you!
Supplies: Candy Bars, pattern paper, ribbon, stamps, tape or glue dots

1. Cut patterned paper to fit around your candy bar.
2. Stamp decorations onto paper and cut out.
3. Glue decorations to candy bars and tie with a ribbon.


Cupid’s Arrow Valentines

Here’s a way to use those store bought valentines and add a little extra touch.
Supplies: Store bought valentines, red or pink construction paper or card stock, hole punch, tape and valentine pencils (these are a steal at the dollar store for only…that’s right–$1!)

1. Cut hearts out of red or pink paper.
2. Glue store bought valentines to front, or decorate with stamps.
3. Hole punch hearts at an angle and insert pencils to look like Cupid’s arrow.
4. Secure on back with tape.

I hope you enjoy doing these crafts with your children. We sure had fun doing them at our house.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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