The best Valentine’s Day cards to give—and get—are the ones you make from scratch.
: Children under four should not use scissors, and kids four through nine should use safety scissors.
Step 1: Create the basic card Create a basic card by folding a piece of construction paper in half, and then in half again. Don’t feel you have to stick with red and pink. Using non-traditional colors will make your card stand out.
Step 2: Cut a cool edge Trim the edges of the card with decorative-edge scissors, which create an interesting edge as you cut. Designs include scallop, wave, ripple, and torn paper.
Step 3: Pick a cover image Decide what you want on the cover. You can draw or paint something right on the card; create the design on a separate piece of paper; or use a personal photo, a picture from a magazine, or a king or queen of hearts from an old deck of cards.
TIP: Make your own craft paint by mixing three parts glue to one part water and a few drops of food coloring.
Step 4: Punch it up If you’re transferring an image onto the cover, punch holes around the edges and lace a piece of ribbon or yarn through them, tying the ends into a bow at the top.
Step 5: Prep the cover Glue a background on the cover, like a doily, a square of velvet, a piece of fabric, or some aluminum foil. Or, use one of those materials to create a border.
TIP: Use decoupage glue—it won’t leave bumps the way regular glue can.
Step 6: Glue on the picture Glue on your cover image, and add whatever embellishments you’d like: beads, candy hearts, stickers. Leave room for a greeting if you’d like.
Step 7: Write messages Using a slim marker, write your cover greeting and a message inside. For a more professional look, use a stencil-alphabet kit.
TIP: Not feeling inspired? Find a poem online, paste it into a document on your computer, format it in fancy font, and glue it inside the card.
Step 8: Be nice! If the cards are going to classmates, make sure no one is left out.
FACT: Valentine’s Day is the second most popular greeting-card holiday, after Christmas. Mother’s Day comes in third.