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Five DIY Kids’ Valentines Ideas for the Not-So-Crafty

kids valentinesWhen I hear the words “kids” and “crafts” in the same sentence, I confess I always cringe a little. Many projects that are supposed to be fun quickly lose their luster when I discover that either (1) my child has little interest in actually completing them; (2) they involve messy materials and tiny pieces that end up taking the rest of the day to clean up; (3) they require some magic ingredient that of course I don’t happen to have (e.g., “Oh, look! This one only requires baby oil, flour, water…and liquid gold!”); OR (4) I could vacuum the entire house, give the dog a bath, and cook from-scratch lasagna in the time it takes to prepare said craft…only for the actual crafting to last approximately five minutes or less.

So, in years past, we’ve always erred on the side of boring, store-bought valentines. But after getting sucked into the vortex of creative craziness known as Pinterest, this year I vowed to give homemade valentines a try. And, OMG, y’all, it was actually fun! And easy! And now my daughter has a bunch of adorable valentines to hand out to her friends and classmates on V-Day!

Feeling a little apprehensive about jumping on the valentine craft wagon? Don’t be! Here are five super cute, simple, relatively mess-free Do-It-Yourself homemade valentine ideas that you and your kiddos can do together:

1. Cereal Snack Valentines

These precious cereal box valentines are perfect for classes with candy restrictions, and kids will love having their own individual V-Day snack ready for breakfast the next day.

CEREAL-sly cute!

CEREAL-sly cute!

Materials:

  • Single-serving boxes of cereal
  • Plastic spoons
  • Red/pink grosgrain ribbon
  • Red/pink construction paper or cardstock for heart-shaped Valentine’s message
  • Scotch tape

Directions:

Take a plastic spoon and, using grosgrain ribbon, tie it to a single-serving box of cereal. Use Scotch tape to secure a heart-shaped note to the front of the cereal box with a message like, “I CEREAL-SLY WANT YOU TO BE MY VALENTINE!” or “I’M CEREAL-SLY GLAD WE’RE FRIENDS!” Instant adorableness!

2. Goldfish Bowl Valentines

A super cute and health-conscious V-Day treat that your child will love to hand out to classmates, these goldfish bowl valentines are inexpensive and easy to make.

O-fish-ally adorable!

O-fish-ally adorable!

Materials: 

  • Goldfish crackers
  • Blue & white cardstock
  • Red/pink construction paper or cardstock for heart-shaped Valentine’s message
  • Clear cello bags or cello wrap
  • Red/pink grosgrain ribbon
  • Scotch tape

Directions:

Cut a piece of blue cardstock in the circular shape of a goldfish bowl. Trace around the blue circle and cut a piece of white cardstock in the exact same shape, while adding a small “lip” at the top like a real goldfish bowl. Cut off the “top” of the blue cardstock circle, so that it has a flat edge on one side. Tape the blue cardstock circle to the white cardstock circle, so that the white “fishbowl” sticks out from behind. Place the cardstock fishbowl into the bottom of a cello bag, making sure it stands upright. Drop a handful of Goldfish crackers into the bottom of the cello bag, in front of the fishbowl. Secure the top with red or pink ribbon, and use cardstock and tape to attach a heart-shaped Valentine’s message to the bag (e.g., “I’M O-FISH-ALLY WISHING YOU A HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!” or “VALENTINE, I’M SO GLAD WE’RE IN THE SAME SCHOOL!”).

3. Love Bug Valentines

These buggy valentines are easy and affordable, and they’re perfect for boys (or girls) who might be a little put off by the lovey-dovey aspect of Valentine’s Day.

Buggy trumps lovey-dovey!

Buggy trumps lovey-dovey!

Materials:

  • Brown or white cardstock
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Small rubber or plastic insects (which you can find online or in the favor aisle at party supply places like Party City)

Directions:      

Click here to access the free printable “jar” template, compliments of Dandee Designs. Print the jar template on brown or white cardstock. Glue a rubber or plastic bug in the middle of the jar. Have your child sign his/her name at the bottom, and BOOM! DONE!

4. Robot Snack Valentines

These homemade robots are healthy to eat, fun to make, and adorable enough that they’re sure to be a hit with both boys and girls alike.

Robot girl to the rescue!

Robot girl to the rescue!

Materials:

  • Applesauce cups (or, alternatively, cups of diced peaches, fruit cocktail, etc.)
  • Juice boxes
  • Mini-boxes of raisins
  • Googly eyes
  • Red/pink construction paper or cardstock for heart-shaped Valentine’s message
  • Red/pink grosgrain ribbon
  • Glue gun
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Double-sided tape
  • Clear cello bags or cello wrap
  • Sharpie marker for nose and mouth

Directions:

To assemble, use a glue gun to hot glue two mini-boxes of raisins to the bottom of a juice box as “feet.” Use regular Elmer’s glue to paste googly eyes to the side of an upside-down applesauce cup. Attach the upside-down applesauce cup “head” to the top of your juice box “body” with a dab of hot glue or Elmer’s glue. (Note: DO NOT attempt to use hot glue when attaching a fruit cup with a plastic lid to your juice box. Foil-lidded applesauce cups will not melt with hot glue, but fruit cups with plastic lids totally will. Trust me on this.) Cut out strips of red cardstock and fold, accordion-style, to make the “arms”; attach with double-sided tape. (To make “girl” robots, use double-sided tape to attach a grosgrain ribbon bow to the top of the applesauce cup.) Tape a red cardstock heart to the front of the juice box with a cute Valentine’s message—e.g., “I LIKE YOU A ‘BOT’!”—place the robot into a clear cello bag, and secure the top with red or pink grosgrain ribbon. Voila!

5. Heart-Shaped Birdseed Biscuits

A simple, hands-on activity for toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids alike, these Valentine’s Day birdseed biscuits are fun to make and perfect for nature-lovers!

Fun for the kids, and a bonus for the birds!

Fun for the kids, and a bonus for the birds!

Materials: 

  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 4 oz. plain gelatin (an entire box of Knox gelatine, which you can find in the Jell-o aisle at HEB or Walmart)
  • 3 c. wild birdseed (we used the Texas mix)
  • Medium-sized, heart-shaped metal cookie cutters
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Foil
  • Plastic straws, cut in half
  • Baking sheet
  • Clear cello bags or cello wrap
  • Red/pink grosgrain ribbon
  • Red/pink construction paper or cardstock for heart-shaped Valentine’s message
  • Scotch tape

Directions:    

Mix gelatin into boiling water; add birdseed, and stir. Coat the edges of heart-shaped metal cookie cutters with Pam cooking spray. Place cookie cutters on foil-lined baking sheet, and tightly pack birdseed mixture inside each mold. Insert half of a straw toward the top of each heart shape to create a hole for hanging. Place the baking sheet in your refrigerator (or freezer, if you want to save time) for a few hours so that the mixture can set. Remove the baking sheet from your fridge and set it out somewhere so the biscuits can fully dry overnight. The next morning, pop the biscuits out of the cookie cutters, remove the straws, and string a red or pink ribbon through the hole, creating a large enough loop so that a child could easily hang the biscuit on a tree branch. Drop the biscuit into a clear cello bag and secure the top with grosgrain ribbon. Use cardstock and tape to attach a heart-shaped Valentine’s message to the front of the bag (e.g., “VALENTINE, YOU’RE THE ‘TWEET’-EST FRIEND EVER!” OR “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO A SUPER ‘TWEET’ FRIEND!”).

Happy homemade Valentine’s Day to all!

Do you usually create homemade valentines or go with store-bought stuff? What are some of your favorite homemade Valentine’s Day ideas?

 

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2 Responses to Five DIY Kids’ Valentines Ideas for the Not-So-Crafty

  1. Anne February 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    What a great list of easy ideas that do not break the bank.

  2. Lindsay
    Lindsay February 10, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    The bug one is perfect for little boys! Love all of these, Taylor, and that they are not super time consuming. Thank you for sharing!