Ask Design Mom: Kid Valentine Exchange

January 26, 2007

Here’s another terrific Ask-Design-Mom question:
Just thought I would throw this question out there and see if you have any fun ideas for homemade Valentine exchange cards for kids. I have three girls 10, 8 and 4. Thanks, Nicole Carpenter

Design Mom answer:
Wonderful question, Nicole! I had such a good time doing a little research for this answer. I went into my old magazine archives and picked out all the Martha February issues. What a treat to reread and remember so many great articles. I’m suddenly feeling all into Valentine’s Day.

I found about one bazillion ideas, and a particularly helpful article to answer your question in a 2004 Martha Stewart Kids. I found a link to a shorter version of the text here, but no pics, so I scanned images of the 3 best ideas from the article:


Flower Lollipops. A perfect project for a 4 year old.


Hand-y Valentines. I love the stamp lettering on these.


Dot Hearts

I also found 3 other ideas that might be fun for your older girls:


Sewn Glassine Hearts
I could take or leave the envelopes, but that heart is awesome.


Doily Envelopes from a 1998 Martha
The simplicity of this is smart.

You can also find directions for the Heart Bookmarks here. (From the picture at the top of the post.)
Would be cute clipped to a card, so the recipient could see it was a bookmark and not just a little heart.

Best of luck, Nicole! I think I’m going to try one or two of these ideas with my own kids.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 laurie January 26, 2007 at 10:23 am

all great stuff. thanks for the question AND the answer! i think lollipop flowers might distract my 4 1/2 yr old girls from the lure of prepackaged princess valentines!

and the dot hearts are fantastic.

and the glassine hearts? i heart them.

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2 Namona January 26, 2007 at 10:31 am

Thanks for your research. I love these ideas – especially the hand-shaped Valentines.

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3 Tania January 26, 2007 at 1:39 pm

For the past 9 years, I have made pastel coloured homemade lollipops at valentines. We just wrap them in clear celophane with a white ribbon, and tie on a cute “from” tag. My girls love to give them, and I love that it’s tradition (we make caramels for the grown-ups.)

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4 Anonymous January 26, 2007 at 3:22 pm

What fantastic ideas–and they’re things I can do with my 4-year-old. Thanks Gabby!

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5 Anonymous January 26, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Last year my son was in kindergarten, and we made really simple homemade valentines for his class. I just cut out small (app. 2×3″) cards from appropriately-colored construction paper, picked an appropriately-sized heart-shaped cookie cutter (about the same width as the card), and had him color inside the cutter with an appropriately-colored crayon while I held the cutter and card in place. I think it works best if you just color in one direction and leave it kind of roughly filled-in, but five-year-old variation only adds to the charm. Then he just wrote to and from inside the cards, and we were done. Minimalist but cute.

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6 Anonymous January 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm

these great ideas will make for a fun weekend! thanks for asking the question, and all the work to provide the answer! another good project for the kids is the “fingerprint hearts” found on FamilyFun.com. They can make tshirts, cards, or cute little picture frames for family. Happy Valentine’s crafting!

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7 Anonymous January 27, 2007 at 11:48 am

We have had a bowl of one gazillion suckers for a while now – I’m so excited to make the flowers and get these dum-dums out of the house!! Hooray

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8 Juliane January 29, 2007 at 12:19 am

Any ideas for boys? Something cool that could replace the metallic Scooby Doo cards from CVS? I know it’s a long shot. I gave up a couple of years ago (my oldest are 8 and 10)

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9 Oh, The Joys February 2, 2007 at 9:54 pm

These are great. I think The Mayor might like the dot hearts!

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