The kids and I made their classroom Valentine cards yesterday—last minute as usual, despite all my best intentions to be on top of it this year.
One of them has their class Valentine party today instead of Friday as I had expected and so we had to come up with something quick.
Here’s what we did…
And despite the last minute Valentine’s idea, I think they actually turned out pretty great so I wanted to share them here in case you need a last minute Valentine’s idea yourself. (If you’ve got your Valentine’s covered for this year, I bow to you. Feel free to save this one in the idea file that is Pinterest for next year…)
Last Minute Valentines Day Photo Cards
- Materials needed to make one large-ish Happy Valentine’s Day sign or artwork (paper, markers, stickers, paint, etc. You can see what we used below)
- Printer (we had ours printed at Walgreens but you could also print on a home printer)
- Clear plastic favor bags (sandwich bags might work too)
- Small trinket, gift, or candy to include
Have your children make ONE unique Happy Valentine’s Day artwork or sign. This is key #1 to a quick and easy Valentine’s Day card for all the kids in the class. No assembly line craziness or trying to make a ton of stuff. They can focus their attention and creativity on one piece.
Step 1) Start by Making 1 Valentine’s Day Message Card
I handed Daphne a large heart cut out from watercolor paper and asked her to find the letters to spell Happy Valentine’s Day from a bowl of colorful cardstock letters.* She then used glue dots to attach the letters to the paper heart. Not because glue dots were the ideal to use with these letters (they actually were a bit big and showed) but because Daphne really, really wanted to use them. What can I say? Glue dots are fun.
And finally, she signed her name.
Maia came up with her own Valentine artwork idea and wouldn’t let anyone look at it until she was finished (as is often the case these days). She made a large contact paper suncatcher with colored tissue paper, paper heart doilies, and Happy Valentine’s Day spelled out with those same cardstock letters.
*The letters were sent to us for free to try out from Discount School Supply. All opinions expressed are my own.
Step 2) Take a photo of your child holding the card
Okay, so now it’s photo time! I took a picture of Daphne in front of the chalkboard holding her big Happy Valentine’s Day card.
And took a photo of Maia holding her suncatcher up to the window.
Step 3) Get prints made
I quickly downloaded the photos to my computer, had the kids help choose the one they’d like to share with their classmates, then uploaded the chosen ones to Walgreen’s online, and ordered 4×6 prints of each to be picked up in an hour.
I like the photo idea because it’s quick and easy to take a picture and have any number of prints made at a one hour place. And because it means their is no need to sign their name a ton of times—their photo is their signature.
That said, Maia (the 9 year old) didn’t want to share her full-on photo as her Valentine and I could see other older kids not wanting to do that as well. She was okay with the one that shows part of her holding up her suncatcher artwork, though, so we went with that. (We printed a few of the head-on one for teachers and ourselves.)
Valentines Day Photo Card Ideas for Tweens & Teens
If you have an older child who would be embarrassed to share a photo of themselves as their Valentine, I’m sure you and the kid in question could come up with a creative way to use the photo idea if you wanted to.
Here are a few of my ideas to get you started:
- Hold a Happy Valentine’s Day sign (or whatever wording you want) over the face.
- Take a photo of the back of the head (just brainstorming here!)
- Have the kid take a funky self portrait
- Take a photo of just the artwork.
- Have the kid create a found object assemblage that represents Valentine’s Day and take a photo of it.
- Other ideas?
Step 4) Assemble the photos with a small gift
Okay, so once you have your prints, you could give them as is. Nothing else needed.
However, both my kids wanted to include something fun so they slipped the photos into clear plastic favor bags. Daphne added little bubble wands and stickers.
Maia added pages cut out from a MadLibs book and a chocolate heart. Then we folded over the top of the bags and taped them closed.
And they were all set to be taken to school for their Valentine’s Day parties!
What started out as a total last-minute Valentine’s idea for the kids’ classes turned out to be a Valentine that we all really like. A lot. And want to send to the Grandmas and friends. And Harry’s requested copies for himself. So I think we have a winner.
I’m already planning other ways to use photo cards in a similar way—thank you cards (after a birthday or Christmas), birthday party invitations, etc. What else could you do this way?
By the way, when making these Valentine’s we combined ideas from the following sources
- 3-D Lollipop Valentines (Design Mom)
- MadLib Valentines (Design Mom)
- DIY Children’s Birthday Party Invitations
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