Monday, February 8, 2010
Today I cracked open my closet and pulled down some boxes filled with letters -- letters I wrote my husband when we first met, letters he sent me. Cards and letters I received from my grandparents, my mother-in-law, my parents, my cousins. Cards and letters from penpals and friends. Some homemade. Some not. All special.
Valentine's Day will arrive at this week's end. For me, Valentine's Day has always been about the letters and the cards. And by that I don't mean something bought in the store last minute and signed, "Love Ya." A real valentine, one that will be cherished and kept forever, is one given thoughtfully from the heart. The first valentines were handmade tokens of love or handwritten notes. I prefer homemade valentines and handwritten poems and letters over the mass produced simply because they are an original intimate and personal expression of love. Those are the kind I keep stored away in my letter box, and those are the kind I prefer to give each and every Valentine's Day.
So here's a little inspiration for you - some homemade Valentine's Day Card ideas for kids and adults:
(Do you have a favorite homemade valentine design? Let me know. I'd love to add it to my list.)
Puzzle Purse Valentines - A special valentine folded into a small square puzzle from a larger piece of paper. Each fold contains written poems or sentiments, intended to be read in a specific order to reveal the whole valentine message.
Martha Stewart - Puzzle Purse Valentine
Nancy Rosin Puzzle Purse Valentine
Papercut or Cutout Valentines - A valentine cut from a folded piece of paper into an ornate pattern, usually using a scissors or x-acto knife. Also called "scherenschnitte."
Martha Stewart - Papercut Hearts
Little Acorn - Squirrely Love, A Papercut Valentine
Little Acorn - Squirely Love II, another papercut Valentine
Rebus Valentines - tiny pictures take the place of some of the words in these creative valentines. Vintage rebus valentines were often made using the papercut technique.
Family Education - Rebus Poem Valentines
Pinprick Valentines - Lace designs and pictures are made by pricking tiny holes in paper with a sharp needle or pin. The technique is also called paper pricking.
Fred, She Said - Paper Pricking Pattern and Card
BBC - Make Your Own Victorian Cards (downloadable instructions and template are appropriate for Valentine's Day, even though they are geared toward Christmas)
Gem's Cottage - Paper Piercing Tips
Acrostic Valentines - a poem in which the first letter of the lines spells out a loved one’s name or special phrase.
The Rise and Fall of Herbert Pollcat - Acrostic / Cross Sticks / Cross Stitch Samplers
Legacy Project - Acrostic Valentine
Cobweb Valentine (also called Beehive, bird cage, flower cage) - the center of this valentine is lifted up by a ribbon or string and a picture and message is found underneath the cobweb effect of paper.
Martha Stewart - Cobweb Valentine
Heidi Boyd - Victorian Beehive Valentine
Quill Cottage - Bird Cage Valentine
Handprint Valentines - Handprints make special valentines from young children. Preserve a special moment in time and give the special gift of handprint artwork.
Handprint and Footprint Art - Valentine's Day Crafts
My Little Gems - Handy Valentine Card
Silly Eagle Books - Handprint Heart Keepsake
Love Knot - The love knot poem represents a never ending love and graceful loops of poetry or verses are written in the shape of a knot.
Legacy Project - Love Knot Card
Pressed Flower Valentines - Glue or tape dried or pressed flowers onto a valentine to create a meaningful keepsake card.
Lovebirds in Flight Pressed Flower Valentine's Day Card
Accordion Valentines - An accordion folded fan makes a beautiful 3-D valentine heart. Write special verses or messages in the folds.
On a Whim - Fan Heart
Martha Stewart - Accordion Valentine
Making Books Blog - Hearts within hearts accordion book
Pop-up Valentines - Pop-ups surprise and delight with their creative construction. An image moves or pops up when the card is opened.
Robert Sabuda - Valentine Pop-up
Martha Stewart - Kissing Pop-up Valentine
Joli Paquet - [Vintage] Valentine Pop Up Card Tutorial
Skip to my Lou - Heart Pop-Up Valentine
Other Homemade Valentine's Day Card Ideas and Printables:
Free Vintage Printable Valentine Images at Vintage Holiday Crafts
Martha Stewart Valentine's Day Cards
Family Fun Valentine's Day Cards for Kids
Education.com Homemade Valentine's Day Cards'
Nick Jr. Valentine's Day Crafts
Disney Family.com Valentine's Day Crafts
PBS Kids Valentine's Day Activities