Ralph’s MadLib Valentines

February 11, 2009

Last year, Ralph gave MadLibs for Valentine’s Day. And this year he wanted to do the same. So we decided to spice things up with a new presentation. We did this project last night, which means the photos are a little dim, but I think they’re still very use-able. (Click them to see them bigger.)

To make these, we trimmed out a stack of MadLib sheets with an exacto knife. (We buy our MadLibs at the local drug store. They come in 2-packs of 6×9 sheets.) Then we trimmed spare pieces of origami paper and craft paper to make 3″ x 6″ strips. Any text weight paper would work for this.

We rolled up a MadLib sheet, then rolled that roll in a strip of decorative paper.

We used craft floss to wrap the roll (10 times around is about right) and tied a shoe lace knot.

We printed out a sheet of messages that said “I’m mad about you,” “I can’t lib without you” and “You have mad skillz.” (Here’s the pdf of the 3 MabLib messages in case you’d like to use them as well.) Then we trimmed them out, hole-punched them, and attached them to an open end of the shoe lace knot.

Ralph was very pleased. And I loved how all the patterns and colors looked piled on the table.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angie February 11, 2009 at 11:21 am

I am totally stealing this idea when my boys get a little older!


2 sara February 11, 2009 at 11:57 am

Oh I can’t thank you enough for this idea! My third grade son’s teacher is being very strict about the no-candy rule for V-day, and we’ve been desperately trying to think of a great giveaway in place of sweets. This is perfect!!


3 Diana February 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Wow! Super-cute…and what a good idea for boys for Valentine’s Day. Sometimes, the holiday gets to be too girly with all of those pink and purple hearts everywhere. Thanks for the idea! I’m tucking this away for when I eventually have my own little boy.


4 cari February 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

such a great non-candy idea! i love it. for the littler ones, you could use coloring pages. so fun.


5 Boston Mamas February 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

It is high time we convene with our rotary trimmers and mats my dear! :-) Lovely, lovely, lovely! xo Christine


6 Janika February 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for reminding me how much I liked this idea last year! Now it’s even better with the great origami paper and the oh, so cool notes! This will get tucked in my file until my little guy is in school! You did a fine job, Ralph (and Design Mom!).


7 Smiling Mama February 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm

What a wonderful boy idea! And, I love the comment that suggested coloring pages for little kids!


8 Marci February 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I am (adjective) about this (adjective) (noun).


9 maya | springtree road February 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm

what a great idea!


10 Kate The Great February 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm

These are so cool, Gabrielle.


11 liz stanley February 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm

so cute, love the ‘ mad skillz’ one


12 Andrea February 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Love it.


13 Lisa February 11, 2009 at 8:48 pm

My 10 year-old son and I just finished making these for his class.

Miss Gabby and Ralph the best valantine ever!!!!!

(Yes, I let him write the comment)

Thanks Gabrielle

Lisa & Tully


14 Brooke Reynolds February 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Awesome.. I love that Mad Libs never go out of style..


15 Amy February 12, 2009 at 1:19 am

NOW that is a really cute, original idea for Valentine’s Day. I love it! It’s so ‘not gross’ as my son would say .. cause anything having to do with Valentine’s day is a bit.. ‘ew gross’ to him at 8 years old. He only likes the ‘eats’ that come along with the celebration. Really smart idea mom!


16 Rebecca February 12, 2009 at 7:13 am

I LOVE this idea! It’s too late for us for this year but I’m bookmarking it for next.


17 Rachel@oneprettything.com February 12, 2009 at 2:01 pm

This is genius, I love it! I’ll be linking to this.


18 Whosies February 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm

waaaa. i didn’t think about taking a book apart. too late now. ours are all done. maybe next year. great idea.


19 maya February 13, 2009 at 5:43 am

dude. you are out of control with the mad skillz part. that is such goodness for a boyish valentine. genius.


20 Princess of Everything (and then some) February 13, 2009 at 10:45 am

I just love this idea! My 16 year old will think it is sooo cool!


21 Cami February 13, 2009 at 11:53 am

Really cute and a great presentation. I bet his Valentine’s are the best in the class!


22 Anonymous February 14, 2009 at 6:25 pm

How funny! This year at the office I made a mixed CD and on the cover of each I included tons of famous “Love is..” quotes. But to make them a bit more personalized I asked each co-worker for a noun and an adjective, without their knowledge that it would complete the sentence, “Love is…” Had some great ones! Love is peaches, a dog, a phone, electric, pain, the beach, spectacular, hideous, fast, crazy and Travis. Next year I’ll use your idea that way I’m not the one that gets to have all the MadLib fun!


23 AmberLee February 14, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Mad Libs are what made me fall in love with adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions! Truly this is some of the best valentines day brilliance I’ve heard. I hope you don’t mind, I mentioned you on a new blog I started—Giverslog.com/wrapthegift. Thanks for so much reliable inspiration!


24 Christina February 19, 2009 at 10:56 am

These are absolutely great! We did nothing special around here this year – mostly because I am writing my masters thesis (due tomorrow!), but I am storing this idea away for next year. My 9-year old LOVES mad libs!


25 Grace May 4, 2009 at 9:11 am

Very late in seeing this (found via Crafty Crow). Sooo cool! I’m totally doing this with my kids next Valentines Day.


26 Janna January 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Hi Design Mom — I'd love to include this craft in a roundup for iVillage.com. Can you email me if I can have your permission? Thanks!

jannaoberdorf [at] gmail [com]


27 gillian January 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Are you kidding me? That 's about the most awesome Valentine idea I've ever seen! Especially for boys!!! AWESOME!


28 Tara February 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm

This post has been featured at Trendy Treehouse!

Here is the link to your feature


What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Trendy Treehouse!!!


29 Anonymous February 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm

My daughter and I made these!! She was so excited. Her 4th grade class loves madlibs. We wrapped ours around a new pencil. Thanks for the MAD idea!! Janet & Catherine


30 Aspen Anne March 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Keep meaning to tell you that my 4th grader loved this idea. He invented some of his own tags, including my favorite, "Aim for the libs and you can't miss!"


31 Laurie January 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

These valentines ideas are the best! We just got back from Barnes and Noble and my son picked up a star wars mad lib. This is perfect for my 5th and 2nd grade boys and i love the animals one for my preschool age son. Love your blog, it’s awesome! Thanks for the great ideas.


32 anna February 1, 2012 at 8:32 am

love this. though will admit my kids’ versions will not quite have that design mom polished quality!


33 paula February 9, 2012 at 9:22 am

We just made these for my oldest daughters class for Valentine’s…she was so excited!!!


34 LSteed February 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this idea. So much simpler than other Valentines we have put together in the past. Plus, this one is a bit educational. My second grader finished putting his together and then we did a Mad Lib together for the first time–he thought it was hilarious. THank you again for the great idea.

PS Finding Mad Libs was HARD. I finally found a huge pack at Bed Bath and Beyond!


35 Emily February 14, 2012 at 6:40 am

After visiting 3 separate drug stores (uhg) I found a bazillion at Barnes and Noble. But, the only problem I had–the books were put together with the words needed for one sheet on the back of the sheet above it–make sense. So it made it a bit more difficult. I ended up photocopying the sheets 2 at a time on my printer and then pasting the list of words needed on the back of the mad libs it went with. Hope that made sense–any tricks to finding ones printed back to back?


36 Angela January 27, 2016 at 1:43 pm

I have the same problem. I scanned through the comments and I’m surprised nobody else has asked. We’re using the junior ones so all the suggested words are on the back of the page before it. I didn’t know this until I had already bought them after reading this post. I’m pretty sure the non-junior ones are set up this way too. Do I just roll them up with the wrong suggested words?


37 Becky January 28, 2016 at 4:06 pm

We just bought book of mad libs in love and realized the same thing. It bothers me to put a single page in with an unmatched word page on the back but I’m not sure it matters to the kids. It seems like a lot of with to piece them together and I’m not sure it’s worth the work. I was considering a note to have the kids find their match and work together with a classmate. Any ideas?


38 Gwendolyn February 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

My son really wants to make these, but we’re having the same problem. There are some mad libs pages online and I might just choose one and print them out. It won’t have the word page, but I don’t think you really need it.


39 K. January 28, 2013 at 9:57 am

Thank you so much for this! I can hardly wait!! :)


40 Jessica February 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thank you so much for sharing – this is great! We shared your idea on our dental blog along with other sugar free Valentine ideas.



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