Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kids' Personalized Valentines

It's February! The lovely month of valentine cards, hearts, chocolate (oh wait, that's every month), and when my boys' favorite colors temporarily change from blue and green to red and pink (and more pink this year than ever!).

When I was growing up my family had a tradition of making valentine cards for each other. I still try to carry on that tradition, and I've even started getting the boys involved. But I quickly tire of the commercial cartoony valetines from the stores. Yes, they're inexpensive and easy, and even fun. But every now and then it's nice to do something more personal. With the baby due in a couple weeks I'm not making any promises about fancy cards this year. But I was quite pleased with what we did last year. I've been saving them to share with you:

Last year we made our own cards to print and send. First we started with a photo shoot. Five-year-old Alexander was great at doing all sorts of funny (and scary) poses, as well as sweet ones. Lincoln's pictures just came from photos we already had.

I made a letter-size template in Photoshop, and let Alexander go wild. At the same time I made it a learning experience, as he had to do the typing himself. He "drew" the hearts how he wanted and chose the sayings, pictures, and colors. He got quite creative. I made sure we had some sweet and normal ones to send to the grandparents, and let him send the silly ones to his cousins. (One of them asks, "What do you want for Christmas?" Yes, crazy and nonsensical, but it shows his personality.)

Lincoln's template was fairly uniform, but I did switch it up with four different pictures.

I had the valentines printed on cardstock, then I cut them up with my handy paper slicer. In the meantime I had also made a spreadsheet list of all the relatives and friends to send cards to (with Alexander's input, of course).

Alexander did almost all the hand writing himself using the list I had printed for him. He checked off each name after he wrote it. I was proud of him for doing such a big project.

Lincoln, not even two years old at the time, just scribbled on most of his cards while I wrote the names in for him. I had to make sure to place a new card in front of him every couple seconds, and even then we didn't get his cute scribbles on each card. But we got pretty close.

And now... I'm going to share a simple template with you. This is the one I used for Lincoln. Save it, print it, and paste your own pictures on top.

Pink Valentine Template - Here
Blue Valentine Template - Here


Or, if you plan on making your own, here are some additional ideas:
-To save time: Have the child design just one card and duplicate it, making them all uniform.
-To save time: Make your own templates without involving the kids. They might still enjoy signing their names and addressing them, especially with their own picture on it.
-To save money: I don't have a color printer, and so the 8.5x11" color copies can get expensive when printing a lot. Try making the templates in 4x6" format and get them printed as photos for cheaper (Although the photos might be harder to write on).
-Just for fun: Make a space for drawing pictures. Or do what my friend did a few years ago and have the kids simply draw a picture, then duplicate and print that as the card.

By just modifying our existing template, my kids might send out valentines this year, after all.
Happy crafting!

P.S. I just added the "You might also like:" widget with hopes that it would link to related posts i.e. for this post have links to other valentine posts. But it seems more random than that, at least right now. So here's just an additional direct link to all my posts labeled "Valentines".

Links to more cute Valentine ideas and printables:

  • Candy bag toppers from I Am Mamma Hear Me Roar

  • Heartbreaker printable on MADE

  • Love Mail Valentines by Noodlehead

  • Love, Lily Lollipop holder valentine on Grosgrain

    Thanks for your comments! They make my day!

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