When it comes to Valentine’s cards, the old cliché is right; it truly is the thought that counts. It’s easy, and a matter of minutes, to pop into the local shop or buy a card online, but a home made card takes thought and effort. Hand crafted cards also provide much more opportunity for personalisation. In short, a hand made card says “I care for you” in a way that a shop card can never do.
A Traditional Valentine Card
Traditional Valentine colours contrast white or cream with red and pinks. Good motifs to use are hearts, cupids, arrows, angels, birds and flowers. A card can easily be given a beautiful Victorian theme by cutting shapes out of paper doilies to create a lace effect. Try using ‘snowflake’ decorations made from folded paper if doilies are not available. Images of cupids, doves and swans work particularly well for this theme, as does the use of decoupage.
Finding Victorian-style images to use on cards is easy; simply type ‘Victorian cupid’ into Google image search. Victorian paper images designed especially for card-making, as well as Victorian decoupage kits, can be found at most craft stores. Decorated paper themed on Victorian interiors is also available, which can be used as a striking background for the main design.
Cute Valentine Cards
For a cute Valentine card, pastel colours are essential, especially pale pink, yellow and blue. Animals work well on cute cards, particularly bears, rabbits, and kittens, as well as small plump hearts, with or without smiling or blushing faces. For a creative and more personalised design, try to compose a cute message using mainly pictures. For example, ‘honey, you mean the world to me,’ might involve pictures of a pot of honey, a cuddly sheep (ewe), the world, and a personal photo. Letters and numbers can be written in, drawn in glitter, collaged, or cut from magazines.
One of the joys of making hand crafted cards is the opportunity to really personalise them. For a personalised Valentine card, photos of the couple, of any shared pets or children, or of places or events that are meaningful on a personal level work very well. An alternative to photographs are charms or small personal items, such as a tiny model of the Eiffel Tower from a romantic holiday. To embellish a personalised card, think about the details. A personal photo could be framed by a collaged heart, made with torn pieces of paper in shades of red and pink, or the background of the card could be decorated with romantic messages written in flowing cursive.
Fun Home Made Cards
For a livelier card, think about deserting the traditional pastel pinks for bolder colours and patterns. Frame photographs or images with stripes, tartans or check, cut out pictures from magazines and replace the heads with personal photos, or create pop-outs inside the card. Think about what is meaningful for the recipient, about their hobbies and interests, and find a way to represent these on the card. For a more arty approach, construct a decoupage rose in black and white using cuttings from newspapers. When creating cards for younger people, consider bold combinations such as black and hot pink. Utilise magazines, images from the internet, buttons, beads, glitter, and any materials lying around the house. For those who enjoy baking, a fun, romantic and edible card could be created as a giant cookie, decorated with a personalised message in icing.
When making home made cards, certain tools and materials are essential.
- Glue: a simple paper glue is usually enough for card crafts, but some weaker glues may have trouble if you use other materials, such as metal. Always read the label carefully.
- Card: buying sheets of card in a variety of different colours ensures that there is always plenty of choice to hand. Patterned paper and card is a good choice for backgrounds and frames.
- A nice pen: There is no point in going to all that effort to make a card if the message inside is written with a leaky biro. Try using a coloured ballpoint or a fountain pen.
Others materials are optional, but can create some great effects as well as help to spark new ideas.
- Paper-trimmer: consider investing in a paper-trimmer. Although not essential, this very handy device will cut down on time and vastly improve the look of your cards.
- Papers: paper comes in even more varieties than card, including hand made paper, rice paper, and paper with flower petals pressed in it. Look through the selection available in a craft or online store for inspiration.
- Trinkets and Extras: a good supply of buttons, sequins, beads, ribbons, and other bits and bobs will help add interest and detail to home made cards.
- Glitter: glitter will brighten any craft project, but avoid using it on the more simple, elegant or traditional cards.
- Glue dots or strips: these are incredibly useful when trying to stick fiddly or awkward pieces to the card.