Valentines: Scissors, Glue, a Bottle Cap or Two

Remember punching out valentine cards that came 8-10 to a page and addressing them to send to your classmates? Back then the do-it-yourself craze hadn’t caught on in the Valentine’s Day department. A least, not at Rheems Elementary School. Though we may have made a special card for Mom in art class, shiny, mass-produced cards were de rigueur for others.

Now websites galore displays steps, even videos, for creating your signature card. Author and Visual artist Kathryn McCullough suggests: “If spending a small fortune on store-bought greeting cards doesn’t appeal to you and you have an old phone book, scissors, and glue, maybe a bottle cap or two (and a bit of imagination), you can create a Valentine that expresses love for both your partner and the planet.” She promises that if you can cut and paste, you can create a card from scratch that looks like this:


My husband Cliff, like Kathryn, is a visual artist and sometimes comes up with hand-made cards, none of which requires a button or a glue gun.

Cliffs Valentine Card_1976_inside_final_5x4_300

I, on the other hand, buy my valentines in a store. Once though I got up the nerve to make my own card, raiding my sewing closet and cutting up old cards, fashioning lace and felt paper into my version of a DIY Valentine. Here is the result, a little worse for the wear:

1982_0200_Valentine Lace Card_from Marian

Kids create spontaneously and usually don’t want to bother with bottle caps, lace or fancy paper. Crayons, construction paper and doily hearts will do too.

Jenna's Valentine
Jenna’s Valentine
Patrick's card
Patrick’s card

Did you ever create a valentine from trash? When was the last time you made (or received) a home-made valentine?

Share your story: A Memorable Valentine’s Day


Coming next: A Box of Choc’lates!


35 thoughts on “Valentines: Scissors, Glue, a Bottle Cap or Two

  1. My daughters and I usually make our birthday cards. Mine are not very artistic–they are more wordy (big surprise). My husband and I don’t usually do very much on Valentine’s Day because his birthday is right around that date, and both daughters also have February birthdays. When they were children we often had parties for them with crafts, including making Valentine’s cards for parents or other family members.


    1. Birthdays and Valentine’s are I nice combo – both emanate LOVE. Our family has the same experience with Christmas in December with 4 birthdays in both the immediate and extended families. Yes, I think kids like the craftiness of Valentine’s and the bright reds of crayons and construction paper they create with.

      I like that you have made meeting us here an early morning ritual – bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have a brother whose birthday is Valentines Day. When he was younger he did not like that…too sissy and girly of a holiday, he thought. Then he met his future wife at the Valentines social at college. Her birthday is the 12th of February. Well the next year they announced their engagement on Feb 14th and then year after that were married on Feb 14th. Their youngest child’s birthday is Feb 15th. Now they just celebrate the whole week and if you ask him what he thinks about Valentines Day he says he loves it!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Valentine’s Day has been a fun time with the children and grandchildren the love baking cookies and cakes more for the sprinkles that they use to decorate with. They are very creative in their designs. It’s always fun. This year they will have a friend of mine stay with them so that Pablo and I can have a get away. It will be nice and much needed


  3. I probably made some hearts and valentines when the children were little. I remember cutting round cakes into heart shapes by making a V in the pan and reassembling the rounded pieces on a piece of cardboard. Lots of icing and food color and little candies all over. Nothing as majestic as your work of fiber art! It’s the thought that counts. Right? 🙂


    1. It’s the thought that counts – always. Maybe other people have heard about your simple but clever way of forming a heart cake, but I haven’t. Maybe Jenna and I can do that this weekend – with a mix of course. Right now I don’t feel very energetic.

      I’m guessing someone will take your crafty cake idea to heart, Shirley. ; – )


      1. The Betty Crocker cookbook shows how to make a heart cake using a square pan and a round pan. We have done it several times and it takes lots of frosting to cover up the uneveness of our cakes. Of course Betty’s cake looks perfect. But I am sure it tastes the same, perfect or lop-sided.


        1. I have done tricks with frosting too, once with a carrot cake that looked very woebegone, sinking in the middle. I like your sense of humor about the whole thing, Athanasia. Usually mishaps like these don’t affect the taste – or the fun of baking with grandkids.


  4. Sweet. I haven’t received or made a homemade valentine for a long time. Vic and I frequently exchanged love notes with a little heart, but not more so on Valentine’s Day. We decided that everyday was Valentine’s Day for us and every day an anniversary. I made homemade cards with my kids and recently created soul card collages, but not for Valentine’s Day.

    I think I’ll hide out quietly until Feb. 15 and let the hearts and flowers pass by with a tender smile. I love the card you made, Marion. It says it all.


    1. And the same to you and Wayne!

      Whether the Valentines are home-made, store-bought, as long as the love is true, it doesn’t matter. Fortunately, this applies to friends, family, partners in life. Love makes the world go round . . .


  5. Marian — Your post has brought back great memories from elementary school. Back in the day… we made “mail pouches” out of paper and attached them with yarn to the back of our chairs. After diligently printing the first name of each classmate on valentine-stuffed envelopes, we “delivered” them to the appropriate pouches. This was followed by a much-anticipated feast the “room mothers” prepared for us to enjoy: cupcakes and punch rated high on the appreciation scale. And of course no child went home without receiving several colorful candy hearts with one and two word “messages” on them.


    1. I love the idea of mail pouches, and the way you describe them helps me picture them hanging on backs of the desk chairs. You reminded me of the big decorated Valentine box in the front of the room that was opened with all of the anticipation of a pinata. I think our teacher, My Aunt Ruthie, made heart-shaped sand tart cookies topped with red sugar.

      Thanks for bringing those memories front and center, Laurie.


      1. I remember in class we decorated shoe boxes or oatmeal boxes or even a Kleenex box, what ever was handy. Boys always acted like it was silly but they certainly eagerly watched as Valentines were stuffed in the slot. I still have some of those valentines from the 60’s…cute little red cheeked boys and girls and simple wishes, often puns. None of the movie tie-ins like Transformers or Little Mermaid etc that they have now.


        1. I can picture those sentimental valentines. We can all remember getting some – and maybe even feeling left out by some in the class you were picky about friends. Lucky for you to have some valentines from the 1960s. I don’t have any of my own, but I do have some Victorian valentines passed down to my dad from his mother. We discovered a whole box full of elegant stand-up cards probably from the early 1900s when we cleared out Mother’s house this past fall.


  6. Oh Marian, the very idea of making a card by hand sends shivers up my spine. From the arts and crafts cabin at summer camp to coloring Easter eggs when my kids were young, I’m one of those who has long believed these things are better left to “experts.” I know; I’m working on it. 🙂


    1. These words have a voice now and I imagine your tone as you tell us all this. (Somehow I imagine those boys of yours didn’t mind one way or another about homemade Valentine cards and Easter eggs.)

      You’re crafty in many other ways – tee hee!


  7. I hate commercialism and yet when I see red hearts , red roses , chocolate , etc I just flip and go like mush . My son and his girlfriend came to stay for a couple of days, Marian, and beside their bed I put a bag of red foil wrapped chocolate hearts that displayed ‘ I love you’ on the bag. Their smiles through their munching was a delight .


    1. Aw, sweet story, Cherry. People can feign indifference all they want, but everybody likes to be remembered. And chocolate always hits the spot. I talk about the “sweet spot” on Saturday’s blog post.


  8. I’ve been making and teaching card making for years. I think I’d be lynched if I gave anyone a store-bought card. My Mom always did something special when we were kids so I try to bake heart-shaped cupcakes (notice the word try) or buy a funny toy. It’s all about making memories together! 🙂


      1. Actually I haven’t posted anything about crafting. I had a blog when I was a demonstrator and I have thought about doing a card blog but didn’t know if there’d be any interest. I’ve been teaching at home and in our women’s ministry program for over 8 years…it didn’t seem that long until I did the math. 🙂


  9. Your Valentine’s Day cards are adorable. I can’t remember when I last created a card, but I love the ones our grandkids make for us. What I do recall about this holiday was a prankster in my 6th grade class, Freddy Salerno. He jokingly repeated the Hallmark line, paraphrasing, “Don’t send me a card unless you send the very best – Hallmark.” He’s the reason I always buy Hallmark cards for holidays and birthdays. I think of him and just smile.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Marian. ❤


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