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Turning Your Child’s Art into Unique Valentines

Updated on February 11, 2012

When my children were in preschool, Valentine’s Day was a big deal. I remember all those store-bought Valentines with cartoon characters on them from my childhood. I also remember getting seven identical Josie and the Pussycats cards in the third grade. Not very memorable.

The day that the class list for Valentines came home, my daughter brought it to me and said, “I better get started—it’s going to take me a long time to make one for everyone.”

MAKE one? for EVERYBODY? Yikes.

How could we create unique cards for everyone on her list (including teachers and grandparents) without making the process so interminable that we were sick of Valentines by the time February 14 rolled around? Here’s what I came up with:

All it takes is a creative child, some paper and markers, a color scanner/printer, white cardstock, and something to cut the cards apart (I use a photo cutter with a replaceable blade that I got at Michael’s several years ago).

1. Have your child create a Valentine’s masterpiece with bright markers on an 8.5 X 11” sheet of paper. Depending on how your scanner works, you may want to mark off a quarter- to half-inch margin around the edge of the paper to ensure that the edges of the picture aren’t cut off by the scan.

2. Scan the artwork and save to your photo library.

3. Open the scanned artwork on your computer

4. Format your artwork to print four images to one 8.5 X 11” page of white cardstock. (Depending on your printer, the colors in the artwork might not translate accurately to the printed version—experiment with marker colors or even photo paper instead of cardstock ahead of time if necessary.)

5. Print as many sheets of cardstock with your images as you need. (If you want to get fancy, you or your child can make an additional 8.5 X 11” sheet with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day from (child’s name)!” Then, run the artwork-printed cardstock back through the printer to print the message on the backs of the cards.)

6. Cut the sheets into individual postcards.

Let your child decide what to draw—my kids have drawn everything from abstract hearts to scribbles to their own versions of their favorite cartoon characters. If your child is very small, a little handprint would be an adorable first Valentine for the grandparents! Including their name and the year is also a great idea. And it doesn’t have to be just for Valentine’s Day—these would make wonderful postcards, greeting cards, or gift tags. Use your imagination!

We make our own Valentines this way every year now with all three kids. One of the moms at my youngest child’s school told me recently that she was looking forward to seeing my daughter’s latest Valentine’s masterpiece this year! One of these days, I intend to frame them all and hang them in our bedroom—it’s a fun way to celebrate creativity and Valentine’s Day all at once!


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    • larcaustin46 profile image

      larcaustin46 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks, savingkathy! My daughter just left for school with her Valentine creations--they're so cute!

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love this idea, and I'm sure my daughter would too. It would also work well for creating unique Christmas cards. Thanks for sharing!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      It's great when children express their love and interest in such a sweet way. Not to be missed!

    • larcaustin46 profile image

      larcaustin46 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      Thanks for sharing, Peggy! Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a terrific idea! Back when I was a youngster in school, boxes with an assortment of Valentines were purchased and then deciding who should get each signed one took some time and deliberation. They were all cute back then. Of course that was a long time prior to personal computers, printers and what you are now accomplishing with your kids. Much more interactive and meaningful! Voted up, useful, interesting and will SHARE with my followers.

    • larcaustin46 profile image

      larcaustin46 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      We are getting ready to make our cards this week! Hope y'all have fun making your own!

    • Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

      Ian D Hetri 6 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      This is lovely..voted up and sharing

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      These are darling! This would not only be a card, but a keepsake gift for grandparents and aunts & uncles. As the years go by, you can see how the kids have grown through the way their art matures.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Very cute idea, laracaustin46! I still remember writing out Valentine's Day cards with little bits of art as a kid. I wrote "I LOVE YOU" on each of 'em. Ah, good times!

    • larcaustin46 profile image

      larcaustin46 6 years ago from Austin, TX

      You're welcome--and thanks for the great homemade lip gloss/balm hub! My daughter and I want to try this!

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      What a cool idea! Great keepsake for grandparents, I'll have to try this. Thanks for the hub.