Homemade Valentine's Day Cards
Here are some more card ideas:
Use a corrugated cardboard square with hard plastic taped to the back so your child can't pierce though and hurt himself or mar the work surface.
A great source for sintimental and old-fahioned stickers is Dover Publications. These are reproduced from vintage printed images and come ina wide variety of themes, including cats, brids, butterflies, angels, valentines, romantic images, and animals.
If you're looking for way to use your computer as a card-making machine, check out these programs: Microsoft Publisher 97, Hallmark Connections Card Studio, Printmaster Gold CD Publishing Suite, and Print Artis CD Edition (all for Windows CD-ROM); Print Shop Deluxe Ensemble and CardShop Plus Deluxe (both available for Macintosh and Windows CD-ROM); and Microsoft Great Greetings (Windows disk).
Cut a heart out of removable sticker paper (available from rubber stamping stores and catalogs or crafts stores) and type, rubber-stamp, or print a message over it. The words can be terms of endearment or "I Love You" in different languages (check out the list at the "I love you" web page at http://www. tu-chemnitz.de/~lpo/ lovep.html). Experiment with different typefaces or colors. Remove the sticker paper and you'll have a clear heart suspended in a sea of type.
Pop-up cards are easier to make than they may seem. The following illustration shows the basic pattern. Create a design on the cut center part. Experiment first with some prototypes.
Mirror cards can use an actual mirror, or better yet, some mylar (available from crafts or art supply stores). Cut out a heart shape and then cut the center out in a heart shape. Cut the mylar just a tad smaller than the outer edge of the heart. Glue the paper heart "frame" to the front of your card, with the mylar sandwiched in between.
A birdcage or spiral card was popular in the 19th century. These featured an image hidden beneath a piece of paper cut in a spiral, which, when lifted, revealed the image underneath. One popular idea was a bird under a birdcage. Cut paper in a spiral as shown in the following illustration and tack the outside edge to the card. Make a tab in the center of the spiral by inserting a piece of ribbon through a slit and taping it flat on the underside.
Cards don't have to be simple bi-folds. Try using a tri-fold or multi-fold and making a big, bold greeting inside.
Make a simple pinwheel card. For these you'll need some extra-stiff paper, about the stiffness of a manila folder. Adapt the basic pattern shown in the following illustration.
Cards that unfold when you open them add some interest. Use the simple pattern for making a fortune teller, and you can experiment with it to make a card..
Throw in something extra. Add heart-shaped confetti, glitter, flower petals, potpourri, or some other surprise to your card.
Experiment! Try using fabric instead of paper for your glue-on decorations, play with rubber stamps, use cut out images from magazines and old calendars, and look around at card and craft stores for ideas.
You don't have to stick with hearts and flowers, either, when it comes to images to use on Valentine's Day cards or gifts. Other symbols include rings, lovebirds and doves, roses, and cupids. Love knots and gloves were Victorian symbols. Animals can also make for all kinds of variations. Put your imagination to work and come up with phrases for any animal that appeals to you: "Hog wild for you!" "Don't monkey around! Be mine!" "I can't bear it...Be my valentine!" The cornier, the better.
And just one more note...make sure your kids have valentines for everyone in the class, not just their favorites. It's also a lovely gesture to send a valentine to someone you know probably won't be receiving one. You can sign it "from Your Secret Admirer" or your own name and wish the person a happy day.
You might also want to make a valentine mailbox with your child. I recommend making two-one for home and one for school. These are easily made from shoe boxes. Make a good-sized slit in the top of the box, cover the box with appropriate wrapping paper or fabric, and decorate. All the valentines that come in the mail can go into the home box, along with the ones you've made for each other. The school box can be used to carry valentines to and from school.
Think of special places to hide valentines where the receiver can discover them: in a lunch box, under a pillow, in a cabinet, or in a briefcase or purse.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.