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Valentines that only cost your time

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Valentine’s Day is less than a month away. When on a tight budget, kid’s class parties and required giving can be stressful to the frugal-minded. This year, make it your goal to create simple and fun cards/crafts without the cost of gas and dollars spent on commercial items, here’s how . . .

The tricky part is being willing to be creative (and let your child create as well). I’ve seen the perfect doily hearts, name brand cards and piles of candy the kids come home with. However, I promise the kids don’t think any less of the homemade cards. My 8 year old has noticed that homemade and creative ideas stand out and get noticed. She is so proud to say she had a part in creating.

Now is the time to start gathering. Save your Christmas cards, cereal boxes, junk mail, art papers the kids have brought home, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, and paper towel rolls.

Two simple crafts to create: bookmarks and cardboard hearts. Both very easy and can be made from items around the house.

1. The book marks just need to be a rectangle shape. Different sizes and shapes are OK! The kids write a small note on one side and can either decorate the other side or leave it the way it is. I have found that Christmas cards have very similar colors as the Valentine’s Day theme. Using a sturdy cardboard will last longer, so I recommend using the tissue box, cereal box, cards, and other thicker items for the bookmarks. See the pictures of the ideas we have created.

2. Cardboard hearts can be made from the tubes gathered. Just cut one inch sections off the tube and then pinch one end to a point and push the other side in to make the humps. Wrap in paper, crafts, or just color. My daughter had the idea to put small holes through some of the hearts and decorate pencils as a gift. I was able to round up 6 pencils from around the house.

(See Bottom Photo: The picture shows an unfinished heart on the purple pencil and a finished heart on the yellow pencil, turned on it’s side, to show the note written)

Most kids have around 20 class mates, so set a goal now. Make 5 a week… spread it out, so it stays fun and doesn’t feel like a sweat shop!

Overall, just enjoy! Don’t try to make every card/craft the same! Let the drawings and art speak for itself. Cute poems and saying are NOT required. Make this a tradition with your children.

NOTE: It is so easy for children to get caught up in the hype of wanting to buy the candy and cute cartoon cards. Teaching our children how to be creative and not follow mainstream ideas is vital in allowing our children to grow and process into independent thinkers and problem solvers. Simple tasks like creating Valentines, instead of buying, further develops young minds and sets them on a path to a great future. Give your child the freedom to create (and save yourself money at the same time)!

We’d love to see YOUR Homemade Valentines! Feel Free to share them in the comments below:

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