Valentine's Day crafts that actual mortals can do with their kids

January 31, 2018

Valentine's Day crafts that actual mortals can do with their kids

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and there’s one thing kids need for Valentine’s Day, aside from adorable shirts and a million valentines for their classrooms. They need crafts. They need crafts with hearts that you can dole out to grandparents, friends -- significant individuals. So they feel loved. Because this is, after all, the season of love, and nothing says love like a handprint hedgehog with hearts.

Kidding. We couldn’t find that one. And we looked.

But fear not! Free to Be Kids did go a-Pinteresting, and we did pull out our seven (why seven? We like seven) favorite V-Day crafts that require a minimum of supplies and artistic ability while ramping up the cute factor. We field-tested a few with a focus group of Free to Be Kiddos and their grownups, and a conveniently-timed grandparent visit meant we can also attest: relatives think these things are freaking adorbs.

So break out the scissors, the construction paper, the paint -- the basic art supplies. The kind average parents actually have in their houses. And let’s get a-crafting.

Note: we here at Free to Be Kids believe in showing you the REAL kids’ crafts, not the perfect mommy-made-it version, so you can expect this is what your kids will end up producing, and not be disappointed when they don’t reach levels of Pinterest perfection.

Handprint LoveBug Valentine’s Day Craft For Kids - from CraftyMorning 

Sub out: a Sharpie marker for googly eyes, because we ain’t got time to buy googly eyes

One of our four-year-old friends tackled this one. It took him about twenty minutes, and only because he insisted on Sharpie’ing a meeeeeeeeeeellion dots on his butterfly wings, which his mama cut out. He probably could have done the cutting if someone had traced the hearts for him, but it would have taken a lot longer. We did the handprint first, ran to the bathroom to wash it off, dotted the wings while it dried, glued them on, and added eyes and antennae and voila! His Grandad and Grandmama were very touched.  

DIY: Valentine Paper Roll Owls by Happy Clippings

We like to take complicated projects and adjust them down to our level, so don’t run screaming when you see the words “Mod Podge.” We are not Mod Podge people. We ditched, in order, the pretty paper and Mod Podge (sub: acrylic paint), the googly eyes (sub white paper and Sharpie marker), and instead of wasting a whole sheet of construction paper for orange snips of beaks, cut tiny hearts from the scraps of white and red paper we’d already used to save paper and the environment. We cut out the pieces for the kids to save time, because it was easier, but older kids can cut their own. Make sure the hearts fit the toilet paper rolls! We had to size down.

They turned out super cute, and one family doubled this up as a homeschool project for the goddess Athena, one of whose sacred symbols is the owl.

DIY Heart Bouquet -- Pinterest

This is just a picture, no instructions, but it’s pretty easy to infer what to do. Draw a flowy bouquet form in black on  construction paper, or have your older child do it. Cut out hearts from various colors of construction paper. Stick some of the hearts on the boutique as is. Others, fold in half, glue one half to one half, and glue the resulting long end to the bouquet (clear as mud?). Tie a ribbon on the bottom if you want, or just cut one of out paper. Pretty simple craft you can do with paper and glue and scissors.

Valentine’s Day Tree Paper Craft -- Housing a Forest

This is so super cute we're bummed we didn’t have a chance to try it. All it calls for in its original form, is construction paper, glue, and scissors. This is our kind of craft! Basically, you cut out brown sticks, stack them together into a tree, and add multi-colored heart leaves. Absolutely adorable, and a good way for your kids to practice those cutting and gluing skills. You could go a step further and have mom or dad (or an older kid) write something you love about the giftee on each heart as it dries. Or do the craft as a family, and write something you love about your family on each leaf. Super sappy, super cute, and super crazy heartwarming. 

Toilet Paper Roll Heart Printing - Pinterest

This is when an enormo stash of toilet paper rolls comes in handy. One of our focus group mommies saves them all, because she loves to craft and is, in her words, "over the border of obsessive." Whenever it pays off, she says, she wants to throw a ticker-tape parade and yell, “See? SEE?! THEY ARE USEFUL!” And it paid off big time this week!

If you have the toilet paper rolls -- and girls, boys, and other-gender-identifying persons, we had the toilet paper rolls -- this is an awesome-sauce craft, because printing is fun. You shape the top of a roll into a heart, which is far easier than you’d expect, dip it in some paint (acrylic or tempera, but acrylic will get you better color), get the roll generously wet, and touch it to the paper. The key is to be gentle, otherwise your toilet paper roll will curl under and become an amorphous blob, and and be generous with your paint, so you can get more than one print out of each paint dip. Then you get a piece of paper and go to town. The kiddos who worked on this one really love black, so black paper it was, and the results turned out great.

ASL I-Love-You Card: Busy Mommy Media

This craft is super cute, and inclusive in an adorable way without being obnoxious. It also only requires the basics: scissors, glue, crayons, paper. It’s annoying that the author uses only caucasian-colored paper for the hand and calls it “skin-colored paper”, but we here at Free to Be Kids know that people come in all colors!  And so do you, so get that rainbow rockin'. Kids trace their hand and cut it out, then form the sign with the cutout and decorate the card any way they choose. Yay for incorporating Deaf culture into your holiday!

DIY Heart Tote Bag - Pinterest

Okay, first, we ditched the tote bag idea, because most people do not have a stack of blank tote bags at their office (we do, but you probably don't), nor the time or the funds to buy their kids totes bags to put hearts onto. So we went with good old constructino paper. Then we ditched the pencils, because we didn’t want to ruin erasers. So we ended up using construction paper, cutout hearts, painter’s tape (regular tape would work okay, masking tape better), paint, and our fingers. The kids picked their construction paper colors, and used their fingers to make dots around the hearts we’d secured to their paper with blue tape. Everyone got pretty into it, including the grandparents. So we call that a success.

So there’s your Free to Be Kids Valentine’s craft round-up! Do you have any go-to V-Day crafts? If so, link them for us - and if you try any of these, be sure to share your efforts with us!

We design and create baby, kids, and even a few grownup clothes with positive messages and nary a gender cliche in sight. We believe clothes send a message, and our mission is to spread positive messages one fashion statement at a time.

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