Homemade valentines – Process AND Product!
Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Watercolors

Homemade Valentines :: It’s the Process AND the Product

Homemade Valentines for Preschoolers

By their nature (and that of many holiday crafts) Valentine cards are usually more about the finished product than the process. Which is fine, of course. We do plenty of holiday crafts in our house. And there are so many fun Valentine’s ideas out there.

But being a process over product devotee when it comes to children’s art, I’m always trying to think of ways to make our holiday projects more about the process than the product. Or at least as much about the process as the product. Because there’s no denying that we all think the finished card is important when we’re giving it to friends and family.

So when it came to Valentine cards this year I tried to think of a way to make them fun and interesting for Maia to make, as well as age appropriate (for a 4 year old) and open ended. She’s made a few different kinds so far since she’s not an assembly line kind of gal; her interest and attention span last long enough to make between 1 and 4 of each.

Homemade Valentines for Preschoolers

Maia’s favorites so far involve using her hole punch, which is such an awesome kid tool!

Homemade Valentines for Preschoolers

I cut out a stack of hearts from thick watercolor paper (card stock would work as well) and she’s been punching holes around the edges then lacing them with ribbon and red embroidery floss. Some were painted with watercolors first and some were not.

Homemade Valentines for Preschoolers

And here are her finished valentines. Not so polished perhaps, but they are ones that she had a lot of fun making and that she is proud to be able to give to her friends and grandmas.

If you liked this Valentine activity, then you might like the other Valentine’s Day crafts and recipes in The Artful Winter ebook:

The Artful Winter Ad 690 Valentines


  • Reply
    January 31, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Those are very sweet, and just perfect.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Awfully polished for a 4-year-old, I think. And the recipients will treasure them 10 times more than something “polished” in a conventional way. Just beautiful. Nice work, Maia!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Lovely. We don’t get into Valentines in such a big way over here in Oz – gifts/sentiments are only ever shared between lovers (or someone secretly admired.) It never occurred to me that a hle punch would be such a good kids tool!

  • Reply
    House Mother
    February 1, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Another wonderful reminder to enjoy the process, and the product. Thanks.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I LOVE this!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Perfect timing…I just added a hole punch to our writing table but hadn’t shown the kids yet. I know my four year will love using it to make valentines AND sew which are two of her current favorite activities. Brilliant idea! Maia’s are beautiful.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Wonderful! She did a beautiful job. I’ve been trying to think of ideas for both Valentine’s cards for my 5-year old as well as new craft ideas for him to try (the glue has had some bad results…)…a hole punch is such a fun idea!

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I love it! I have never thought in terms of process vs. product, but I try to think of things for the little ones that can be authentically theirs. Not so much mama help. You assist me so often in this area. Thank you for the wonderful Valentine idea :)

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I LOVE these! I think Valentines are among the holiday crafts that friends and family *want* to see some homemade-ness in. At least, I hope so. =)

  • Reply
    Meagan Grant
    February 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    They are lovely, indeed! I think, as parents, it is so easy to lose sight of how important the process truly is…thanks for the reminder. :)

  • Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    These are beautiful! E is really enjoying making Valentines this year — we did some where I cut the hearts and set everything out but almost every day since then she has been doing a few on her own, with stickers, stamps, pencils and paper cutting. It makes me happy to see her take the idea and run with it on her own.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Gosh, what a wonderful list! Love the colorful crayons. And why have I never thought of my hole punch for lacing cards?? Brilliant.

  • Reply
    Barbara Zaborowski
    February 2, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    It’s definitely the process, not the product. The product is what the parent or the teacher is imagining, not the child, who has his/her own ideas about what to make. BTW, the hole punch is an important source of exercise for the hand’s small motor muscles.

  • Reply
    January 29, 2011 at 2:50 am

    we just made these to give out but laminated them in hopes of them being used by the recipients and upholding said use!

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Creative Connections for Kids
    February 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Jean,
    If it is okay with you, I would like to put a link to this on my Valentine day activity post. I agree, it is about the process, not the product…but I have to say the product for this activity is very cute indeed. :)

  • Reply
    Susan Kelley
    January 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Did she use a needle to thread the ribbon through the holes? What do you recommend?

  • Reply
    Devonna snyder
    February 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Love all the beautiful little pieces of art work what a nice way for you to give back love the idea!!!

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