Instead of buying drugstore Valentine cards for children to give to classmates, help children make something special for their friends, teachers, babysitters, and family members. Parents and children will have a great afternoon together bonding over an art project, children will feel proud of their accomplishment, and the effort is sure to be noticed by those lucky enough to receive the Valentines.
These marbled Valentines are easy enough for elementary-age children to make on their own, with limited parental supervision and for preschoolers to make with only a bit of assistance. Using shaving cream as a marbling medium makes the project non-toxic and safe for children, and the process allows children creatively express themselves while creating a polished finish product.
Materials Needed to Make Marbled Valentines
Parents will need to supply these items to start making these crafts.
- Heavy construction paper in light colors (White, pink, and grey are all great color choices for Valentine’s Day.)
- Baking sheet
- Chopstick or craft stick
- Old-fashioned shaving cream, without added scents or lotions
- Liquid water color paints
- Large (at least 4” width) heart shaped stencil or heart shaped tracing object (A small heart-shaped candy box works well.)
- Hole puncher
- Black or silver marker
Steps for Making Marbled Valentines
- Squirt a mound of shaving cream in the center of the baking sheet.
- Let children choose three colors of paint to squirt on top of the shaving cream mound.
- Show children how to use the craft stick to swirl the paint through the shaving cream. The idea is to distribute the colors, not to mix them.
- Have the children gently press a sheet of construction paper into the shaving cream to transfer the paint patterns onto the paper. Be sure that the entire sheet of paper touches the shaving cream – even the edges.
- Lift the paper, scrape off the shaving cream into the trash, and the swirled paint will be left behind.
- Repeat steps 1-5 as needed to marble more paper. Let the paint dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
- Help children trace heart shapes in the marbled paper and cut them out.
- Have children punch holes, approximately one inch apart, along the edges of the heart shape. The holes do not need to be evenly spaced
- Have children thread ribbon through the holes to frame their cards.
- Tie a bow with the ribbon ends, or simply glue them together at the back of the cards.
- Have children write “Happy Valentine’s Day,” their names, the recipients’ names, or another Valentine’s Day message in the middle of the cards.
The entire project is best completed over a few days and three or four hours – one hour on day one for the marbling and another session for threading the ribbon and writing the Valentine’s Day messages. Send children off to school with a stack of homemade Valentine greetings to pass out to classmates. But be ready to share the kudos when the other parents ask how these beautiful marbled Valentine cards were created.