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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and kids love to get into the holiday spirit by sending cards to the family and friends they care about. Rather than buying premade cards at the store, have them make something special using materials you already have at home! 

These Valentine’s Day cards are great for a range of ages and skills, so find your red and pink supplies and get to work!

Secret Message Valentines

Elementary-aged kids will love sending secret messages with these homemade valentines. Perfect for friends and family, these cards are easy to make and even more fun to receive. Have kids cut out hearts from white cardstock. It’s vital they use thick paper so that it holds up to the “big reveal.” Next, they’ll write a secret message in white crayon on the front. Decorate around the heart with other embellishments, then include instructions on the back to paint over the front with pink watercolors—the secret message will be revealed when the paint dries!

Homemade Play Dough Valentines

For something hands-on and fun to send on Valentine’s Day, turn homemade play dough into the card! Use whatever recipe you like, color it red, and then shape into hearts by using a cookie cutter or freehand shaping. Kids will love cutting out the shapes and getting their hands messy! They can include a separate note on the outside of the container or stamp a word on the play dough itself with small letter stamps.

Celery Print Valentines

Do you keep buying celery even though your kids refuse to eat it? Repurpose those stalks for an easy valentine that even the littlest hands can help create. Slice off the end of a celery stalk, paying attention to the shape—you’re looking for a spot that most closely resembles a heart. Have kids dip the celery into valentines-themed paints and stamp across the front of a blank card. You can have them go in rows for a uniform look or randomly place the stamps for a unique design. Add a message inside and send them to your friends! You can also make these quickly in bulk for class parties by having kids stamp all over large sheets of paper, then cutting into heart shapes and addressing them on the back.

Butterfly Pencil Valentines

If your kids want to hand out valentines to their classmates, but you don’t want to include yet another box of candy, this cute butterfly pencil craft is perfect. Start by cutting two hearts out of pink, purple, white, or red paper. Then, have kids decorate them with glitter hearts (or any fun design!). Overlap the finished hearts to form the butterfly’s wings and cut a slit to hold the pencil. If you do it right, the pencil threaded through will keep the wings together! Add some pipe cleaner antennae and your love-ly butterflies are ready to soar!

String Art Valentines

This string art project is perfect for kids who want to make a special valentine for a cherished family member or friend. You can have kids make these out of wood and nails for a more permanent keepsake or use cardboard and push pins for a less demanding craft. Start by drawing a heart outline on the wood or cardboard, then place nails/pins in even increments along the outline. Older kids can do this part themselves, while younger hands will need help. After your shape is outlined, it’s time for string! Use red, pink, or purple string to run back and forth around all of the nails in a random pattern. When the area is mostly covered, tie it off, and you’re finished!

3-D Heart Valentines

For older kids who want to take time with a meaningful card, these 3-D hearts are a fun way to repurpose colorful papers. Choose scraps of red, white, pink, purple, and gold wrapping paper, cardstock, or even magazine pages and cut them into small heart pairs (a heart punch makes this easier!). Glue one of each pair to a blank piece of cardstock to form the background. Next, use either a sewing machine (for a very polished look) or a stapler (much easier for most kids) to attach the matching heart to its pair along the very middle. Fold up the sides of the top heart to create a 3-D effect. Lining the inside of the card with colored paper will cover the back of your stitches or staples and give you a blank space to write a message.

Whether your kids are sending valentines to their whole class or that one special family member, these homemade cards are sure to light up everyone’s day.