It’s fun to surprise a friend on Valentine’s Day with a special card. Crafting the card yourself and writing just the right words on it will make a valentine even more special. Try your hand at making an accordion-style valentine card and a matching envelope. It’s important to seal the card inside the envelope because when your lucky recipient takes the valentine out, the card will unfold into a surprising, 12-inch-long string of hearts!
Some of the steps for making the card might seem a little difficult at first, and you might need an adult’s help to get you started. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be on your way to making unique valentines for everyone on your Valentine’s Day list.
Make a Handmade Valentine to Surprise Your Friends
- Construction paper in several colors
- Scrap paper
- Lightweight cardboard (such as cereal-box cardboard)
- A quarter
- Marking pens
- Glue stick
- Wax paper
Instructions for making the valentine card template:
- Cut a 2″ x 3″ piece of lightweight cardboard.
- Mark a pencil dot on each 2″ edge at the 1″ center point.
- Mark a dot 1/2″ from the top center dot and connect the two dots.
- Place a quarter so that it is touching one side edge, the top edge and the 1/2″ center pencil line.
- Trace a pencil line around the top arc of the quarter. Repeat on the other side.
- Mark pencil dots 1 1/4″ up from the bottom on both sides of the cardboard. Connect the bottom center dot to the two side dots.
- Cut on the pencil lines, creating a heart shape with flat sections on the sides. (See illustration 2 following this article.)
Instructions for making the valentine card:
- Cut a 3″ x 12″ strip of construction paper for the main body of your card.
- Mark small pencil dots every two inches along each long edge.
- Starting at one short end, accordion fold the paper on the marked fold lines, just as though you’re going to make paper dolls.
- With the six sections stacked, hold the card so that an open edge is to the left (the page facing up will be the back page).
- Place the valentine card template over the back page, having the top, side, and bottom edges even. Trace a pencil line around the template.
- Cut on your pencil lines through all six sections. Open the card to make sure the hearts are connected correctly.
Decorate Your Handmade Valentine with Colorful Hearts
Instructions for making the heart template:
- Cut a 1 3/4″ x 2″ rectangle from scrap paper. Fold one 2″ edge to meet the other.
- Draw half a heart shape, with the top arc of the heart touching the top of the rectangle and the widest part of the heart touching the side of the rectangle.
- Cut along your pencil line.
- Unfold the heart shape, place it on a small piece of lightweight cardboard and trace around it.
- Cut the heart shape out of the cardboard. This will be your heart “template” or pattern.
Instructions for decorating your valentine card:
- Use the heart template to trace heart shapes on eight small pieces of construction paper in at least six different colors. (Seven hearts are for the card and one is for the envelope.)
- Cut out the heart shapes.
- With the six sections stacked, hold the card so that the open edge is to the right (the page facing up will be the front page).
- Cover your work surface with wax paper or scrap paper.
- Glue a heart to the center of the front page. With a marking pen, write “To” and your recipient’s name inside the heart.
- Open the card and lay the inside face up on your work surface.
- Glue a colorful heart to the center of each of the six connected hearts and write a one- or two-word message inside the first five hearts and sign your name in the last heart.
- Allow the card to dry completely before refolding it and tucking it inside a homemade envelope.
Enjoy Making Each Valentine Card Unique
Have fun with this Valentine’s Day craft idea for kids. Make each card special by choosing different color combinations and different messages. And remember, you don’t need to worry if your cards don’t look perfect. That’s the beauty of handmade crafts – they’re supposed to look handmade!