Tag: holiday craft

Homemade Valentines with a Toddler (and paint)

This year is the first year Cooper gets to celebrate Valentine’s day at school. Last year, as a one year old, he was a little too young to participate in the festivities. But this year, he gets to exchange valentines in the big kid room. We were asked to bring in 19 valentines to exchange with all the students at his daycare. I decided while he is still young enough to not have an opinion about what valentines to bring, we would make our own. Plus the art teacher/mom in me thought it would be fun to have a craft project over a very rainy weekend. 

We started by using the easel he got for Christmas. I limited his color choices to pink, white, and silver, gave him two brushes, and let him go to town. I did encourage him to cover the entire page, but other than that, this was 95% Cooper painted. I decided to use the paper that came with his easel since it was large and already attached to the easel, but if I could go back I would’ve used a thicker paper instead.

We painted two large sheets of paper using pink, white, and silver, then let them dry overnight. The next day we flipped them over and painted the back of the sheets with red and glitter red paint. I was much smarter first time around, having Cooper paint without a shirt on. I forgot to take his very white shirt off before painting with very red paint. Luckily, we were using washable paint, so the paint that inevitably ended up all over his shirt came out after just one wash.

After we finished painting and the paint had dried, we started adding some other decorations. One of Cooper’s favorite parts was stamping with the heart stamp.

Next, I began cutting up the sheets of paper into smaller valentine size pieces.

After cutting and folding them, we punched out heart and star shapes. I kept the pink and white on the outside and red on the inside so the heart cut outs would pop. The heart puncher was very hard to push down, so I handled those, while cooper added the stars.

After we punched, added a few more stamps, and some colored pencil scribbles, I had Cooper put a sparkly heart sticker on the inside of each one.

This year I handled the name signing. We will work on his alphabet so maybe he can sign a few next year.

To finish them off we stuffed them in envelopes with a handful of sparkly, foam, Valentine themed stickers.

I love the homemade look of these valentines. I know this will probably be one of the only times I get the chance to do this. I’m sure Cooper will be seduced by the action heroes, minions, and other fun characters that cover the not as fun and unique valentines in the stores. Until then, I will soak up every minute of craft time with my little.

I hope you enjoyed this Valentine post on Valentine’s day. Help me spread the word about crafting with littles, art, visual journals, and all things crafty by sharing it with others. Thanks for stopping by!

Adventures in making homemade valentines with a two year old, and paint, and stamps, and stickers, and so much more.

Guest Post by Alicia Lawrence: Five Creative DIY Christmas Cards

If you want your Christmas cards to stand out from the rest and reflect your own personal style, consider making your own. Believe it or not, it’s easy to do and is a great project for the family to work on together. Here are five easy ideas for fun and festive homemade Christmas cards. Gather your tribe and give one a try!

Send a Carol

Have any old Christmas music books? Put it to good use by creating this vintage styled card. Cut out a section of the music to fit onto white cardstock. If you want to be fancy, add a red cardstock in back of the sheet music. Use a cute stamp, like a Christmas tree, and attach a simple message on the front like “Christmas Greetings.”

vintage music

Handprint Santa

Here’s a great one for kids. Be sure to lay down plenty of newspaper to protect your work surface! Cut Santa hat shapes out of red craft paper and use glue sticks to attach to each card. Glue googly eyes about one finger’s width below each hat. Using white tempera paint, have your child stamp handprint beards on each Santa. Use fingertips and various colors to add a black mouth, pink cheeks and perhaps some white trim for the hat. Don’t forget the red nose!


Rosemary Wreath

Begin with blank greeting cards in the color of your choice. Icy blue or pure white looks good with this idea. Take sprigs of rosemary and form them into circles, then secure with red ribbon or yarn. Use a dot of hot glue to secure it to the inside of your card. Not only will you have a beautiful creation, it will also have a wonderful Christmas scent your recipients will love!

rosemary wreath

O Christmas Tree

Use wavy or zig-zag craft scissors to cut strips of different green patterned scrapbook paper. Use different shades to give your tree more visual interest. Use regular scissors to cut a tree trunk out of brown scrapbook paper. Glue onto red card stock, forming a tree shape. Start at the bottom of your tree and work your way up. The green strips should be wider at the bottom, narrowing at the top into a triangular tree. Top with a gold star sticker.


Perfect Presents

Here’s a great way to use up scraps of wrapping paper. Cut them into present shapes or ornaments and use a glue stick to attach to card stock. Try mixing and matching various colors, patterns and sizes for unique and festive combinations. Use a gel pen or marker to draw the strings or red bows on top the presents. Write your greeting on the face of the card. Voila! Your Christmas cards are wrapped up.


Creating handmade Christmas greetings is a fun and creative project that does not take a lot of time or effort to do. Try the ideas offered here, or be inspired by ideas at Better Homes & Gardens or at Martha Stewart. You’ll be proud of your creations and your recipients will love them. Who knows? They could be kept for years to come and inspire others to use their imagination as well.