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Valentines: Let's talk crafty

It's my favorite time of year to get all paper-y. Early February carries so much promise! I can't wait to come up with some combination of scissors, paints, hearts and paper that will perfectly demonstrate my kids' big, big hearts.

In 2010, for Truman, we cut up some of his old art work and made it into pretty little arrow/heart collages -- one of my all-time favorite combinations of a kid's art with a mama's execution. I was humming Jon Bon Jovi the whole time. Somehow this seemed festive!

Last year, for both Everett and Truman, I found a little envelope template and painstakingly (note: I find this pain fun -- endorphins? something!) printed out, cut and glued 40-some envelopes decorated with photos I'd taken. The boys got to pick between valentine heart candy and dragons, and then I had Everett draw some pictures of dragons with little funny sayings -- "I'm on fire for you, Valentine," and things like that -- and we scanned and printed a bunch of them.

Remembering at the last minute that children only love valentines if they're accompanied by candy, we ran to the store for mini chocolate bars to go alongside. This year, inspired by my Halloween epiphany, I'll be buying the organic lollipops. (I've done the math and, at less than 19 cents apiece, the organic lollipops are cheaper than the mini chocolate bars with the not-so-cruelty-free chocolate.)

Speaking of lollipops. If you too want a sweet homemade card that's not too difficult, you should check out Kristen Howerton's amazing idea. She calls it the "slacker mom" valentine, but really? She is no slacker! Four kids and valentines already done before January was out. And they're super sweet, with each kid posing with a closet rod (you could use a plastic pipe) in front of a chalkboard with the message, "Happy Valentine's Day, Love ___." The kid only has to write his or her name once -- and then the empty space above the closet rod is filled in with a real-life lollipop. Adorable.

I'd love to see your ideas about homemade valentines, or other heart-day crafts. What do you have planned?

(We've talked before about homemade vs. storebought valentines, if you want to add to that debate! And what do you do with your family for this day of love?)


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I just came across this and I LOVE IT! Crayons become colorful hearts or other shapes. http://www.parenthacks.com/2012/02/heart-crayon-valentine.html

We have done photo collages from the local photo store. A picture of the kid with a heart; his writing Happy Valentines day; scans of some recent art, scans of some hearts he drew, etc. Good for the kids at school and family. We work on it together. I get a little crafty time, but not overwhelming. Valentine's gets a bit of a short shift these days since my son's birthday is Feb 13.

My 5 y.o. daughter and I just made these adorable little bracelets - they were easy and fun to do!

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