I still remember Valentine’s Day as a kid. I sat at the dining room table for what felt like HOURS addressing and signing cards for every kid in my class. In third grade, we HAD to do them all in cursive, too, which at the time was excruciating. My hand cramped, my eyes blurred, I probably cried once or twice. And it took days. I hated it.
My kids have it so much better. They don’t have to address the cards individually – they only sign their names – and there are less kids in their classes as well. We often finish them in a single night.
I am a big fan of NOT giving candy with their Valentine’s cards. It seems that Valentine’s Day is the new Halloween – they come home with a huge bag of candy that they will never finish and that will linger on top of the refrigerator until it “disappears” one day in April.
Instead, I love giving little non-food items – and if it’s a consumable that can be used up (like bubbles or pencils), even better.
Every year, we roam the Target Dollar Bins or the party aisle for party favors, or we head to the dollar store to find packs of small items for super cheap. Then I come home and design a card around the trinket.
Now, I didn’t come up with this idea – there are hundreds of ideas online that you can easily download and print – just Google “printable dollar store valentines” – I got some of my ideas from there.
But I love designing the cards myself. I can spend hours picking just the right font, just the right clipart, just the right shade of pink. (In fact, I stayed up until midnight on Friday working on this year’s batch. I know. Wild and crazy Friday nights, y’all!)
I took them to FedEx on Saturday to print, and the woman behind counter said, “Oh no! Valentine’s Day is this week! I haven’t gotten the cards for my kids yet.” I told her she should just print mine out and use them. The amount of time I put into making sure the bouncy ball clipart bounced exactly where I want it, other people should get some use out of it, too!
So I’m passing them along to you in case you need a last minute idea. I took them to have them printed because my printer’s out of ink, but they are easy to print at home. (You can download them at the bottom of this post.)
Here’s what we’re doing this year:
Have a Ball Valentine. Just add bouncy balls (we got them in the party aisle at Target – order online here). I use cheap sandwich bags to make them easier to attach to the cards – I just cut the little fold over flap free to make a basic bag – way cheaper than cellophane bags for things like this. We poked a hole in the corner and then tied the ball and bag to the card with matching yarn (orange, so obviously BB’s cards).
You Make My Heart Bubble Valentine. These are BG’s cards this year. We attached bubble wands (packs of 8 from the dollar store) with washi tape .
And this is what we did last year:
Just Write Valentine. Just add a pencil. I used an Exacto knife to cut two little slits to hold it in place, but you could just attach with washi tape.
And use your imagination here:Magnifying Glass Valentine. Add a mini magnifying glass. I searched and searched my house for one of these magnifying glasses to show you what it looked like. We seem to always have a plethora of them floating around until I need one, and then there are NONE. So imagine those little magnifying glasses with red handles tied to the card with red and white baker’s twine so you could see the heart through the glass. It was adorable. (You’re just going to have to trust me.)
Download the FREE PRINTABLE Valentine’s Day cards here: