Turning Your Child’s Art into Unique Valentines
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!