Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Craft with me 1-2-3...Valentine's Day

Ahh, Valentine's Day. As a kid this was one of the BEST school holidays.  I remember very carefully reading each Sweetheart before joining it with the just-as-carefully-chosen card.  Always making sure to give "True Love" to the cutest boy in the class who shared his colored pencils with me and being very intentional when choosing "Neat" for the close-talking boy who always forgot to brush his teeth.  And what could be a better day in the life of a third grader- dressing up in festive heart-knit leg-warmers (and perhaps a matching scrunchie, or maybe a red banana clip), passing the day with semi-educational Valentine craft projects, and ending it with an all-class party complete with love notes that the teacher wouldn't take away, all-you-can-eat candy, and over-sugared punch.  As I grew older and the mandatory "give-everyone-in-the-class-a-Valentine" rule faded, I started to think that Valentine's Day was for chumps...a Hallmark holiday at best, a nasty trick on the naïve consumer, a dreaded mark on the calendar making single people of the world let out a simultaneous sigh of despair.  I had a few lonely Valentine's Days myself- one of which I actually had a boyfriend and STILL didn't have a date!  Eventually I rallied against the traditional Valentine's Day and declared February 14th Vagina Day! (explanation point mandatory!)  Instead of spending the evening having an expensive dinner of forced romance with my sig-nif, Vagina Day! was a day to celebrate the fabulous women in my life and thank them for their friendship.  Seemed a much more worthy way to celebrate.

Now that I am approaching my 30s and finally losing the self-consciousness that plagued me in my teen years and stuck around long into my 20s, my vendetta against this American tradition has been lifted to some degree- due to my own stability, an inevitable and ever-developing re-organization of energies, and also due to my girlfriends' respective stations in life- be they attached or single- and their similar "comes-with-age" confidence.  But most of all, my re-discovery of the joy of Valentine's Day is due to being a mom of two little girls who are elated at the sight of pink and red decorations and approach all things Valentine with the enthusiasm of, well, a kid in a candy store.

With Tinkerbell's inaugural year of preschool comes her first-ever Valentine's Day party, and thus a reawakening of my own love for this cold day in February.  Tinkerbell has an oft-read Mary Engelbreit book called Queen of Hearts that has made her privy to the details of Valentine's Day parties.  When she came home with a letter from her preschool teacher announcing the day of the her very first Valentine's Day party she was literally jumping up and down as the words bubbled out of her.  So this very long self-analysis and walk down memory lane has all been a verbose precursor to the real subject of this post, and that is the very simple Valentines that Tinkerbell and I created today for her preschool classmates.

Valentine's Day cards for kids

I am not at all exaggerating when I say that this is a quick, easy, and cheap little craft.  All you need is some red or pink cardstock, a pair of scissors, a pack of pencils, a hole puncher, and some fun decorating tools- markers, crayons, stickers, stamps, etc.  

Draw a heart onto a piece of cardboard or cardstock (or even print one off of your computer) and use it as a pattern to create your desired number of Valentines.  If your kids are older they could help with the tracing and cutting once you have a pattern.  Since my girls are three and one, I did the tracing and cutting myself; Tinkerbell and The Bear did the coloring, stamping, and adorning with stickers.  If you are confident in your skillz just freehand some heart shapes with a scissors to shave off even more time to the preparation.

Once the hearts are decorated, punch or cut two holes in each heart and slip a pencil through like an arrow....and you're done!  

Beautiful, unique, handmade Valentines that your little one will be proud to distribute and that even the strictest of dentists would endorse :)


(Click on picture for detailed view)

And, just because I can...

Happy Valentine's Day from Tinkerbell and The Bear!

Lastly, a special V-day! shout-out to my best girls.  You know who you are.  And I love you.


  1. I so enjoyed this post.....so, so true! Your girls are beautiful.

  2. I was cutting out hearts with my 4th grader today and it was fun! Love your pencils through the heart. Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. You're the 'craftiest' mom I know! Can we come over next year to do this with you and the girls?!?!