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How to Make DIY Valentines for Kids

by Rachel Withers
January 24, 2024

Paint and decorate cardboard hearts in this fun process art activity for Valentine’s Day. These DIY Valentines for kids are so easy to make!

Updated January 2024

I’m so excited to share these colorful cardboard hearts that my son & I made together for valentines. As a kid, I always loved making my own valentines for friends in elementary school so I was excited to begin this new tradition with my son.

These are super easy and each one is unique (something I love about process art). If you’re looking for DIY valentines for kids that are a little off the beaten path, this project is for you!

DIY valentine pin
Photo by Rachel Withers

Last year, I decided to try these with our toddler art class but swapped in big cardboard hearts and I loved them just as much. They made sweet wall hangings that I know I’ll pull out year after year.

We used Mala squeeze paint from IKEA for this project which provided bright, beautiful coverage on the cardboard. If you’ve never tried this paint, I think you’ll like it! But certainly, any acrylic or tempera paint will work as well.

DIY Valentines for Kids



  1. Paint cardboard

    This was a two day project for us. The first day my son happily squeezed (a lot of) paint onto pieces of cardboard.

    Because there was so much paint, we put two pieces of cardboard together for some smush painting. In my experience, kids are wild about making blotto prints and the process creates beautiful swirls of color.

  2. Cut heart shapes

    After letting our cardboard dry, we came back to this project a few days later. I cut the cardboard into heart shapes.

    Painted cardboard and scissors for DIY Valentines for Kids

  3. Decorate the valentines!

    Use whatever craft materials you have at home such as pom poms, glitter, ribbons, sequins, googly eyes, feathers–any of these will work great to add to the valentines.

    Then grab a bottle of glue and let your little (or big) kid squeeze away.

    Glueing u0026 glittering cardboard diy heart valentines

  4. Let dry!

    We ended up with quite a lot of glue sitting on the cardboard, perfect for glitter and pom poms, but it took a couple of days for them to dry completely!

Homemade valentines take a little extra time but are so worth it and the process is so fun for kids–and adults too!

I hope you enjoy trying your own variation of these easy DIY valentines for kids. If you give this project a try, we’d love to see it! Tag #artfulparent on Instagram.

DIY valentine hearts
Photo by Rachel Withers

More DIY Valentines for Kids

Want even more creative ideas?

Check out our Hearts Activities pack!

We think you’re going to LOVE this sweet collection of adorable heart activities! This 32-page printable eBook is full of coloring pages, drawing prompts, games, and more!

Pin It For Later

DIY valentines pinterest

How to Make DIY Valentines for KidsHow to Make DIY Valentines for Kids

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