Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inspiration for Free, Recycled Valentine Cards

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Carrie's Hand Made Recycled Valentines

What do you need to buy to help your child make valentine cards? Nothing. Example: I made the above valentines with discarded items from around my home. All I needed was glue, scissors and a marker. I started with a photo of a kitten and scanned it. I copied it onto the back of a bright pink flyer from my junk mail--4 small scans onto one sheet.
Next I set a goal of finding a shoe box full of pink, red, white and purple items that could be used to create something 3-dimensional to complement the pink kittens. First, I dug through my personal collection of odd items I save for crafting and there I found buttons, ribbons, bows, felt scraps and some small pink and white shells from a broken wind-chime.

Then I searched my daughter's closet for leftover craft stuff. I knew I was more likely to find goodies in a girl's room. Jackpot! I found some scraps of pink construction paper which I used as the pink heart behind the kitten photo. I kept looking and found a white net bag which was tied shut with satin ribbons. It had once contained a cosmetics gift.
In my office I had recently cleaned out my files for the new year, and discarded a tattered red file folder. It had some writing on it, but I still used it for the backing of my valentines, covering the writing with the various hearts, shells, buttons and bows I had collected. I wrote on a few felt hearts and glued them to the front of each valentine.

Finally, I cut the net bag open along its seams, removing the bow and cutting it into pieces. Sectioning off the net into 4 pieces, each easily gathered into a bow made from the ribbon taken from its closure. As you can see below, I glued each of these onto the back of the valentines, giving the look of a flowing veil.

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

Back View of Valentines

While these valentines would not make it past Martha Stewart, your child's grandmother, teacher and friends (well, at least the girls) will be delighted. Perhaps a different style would better suit your boy, but you get the idea.

You and your child can enjoy a Saturday afternoon of crafting together, after cleaning out your own closets and collecting odd items that can be used. With a little creativity, you can make something unique and therefore, special. Remember, it's the thought and the effort that counts. It's also nice that you didn't buy lots of impersonal, paper valentines that were made at a factory and shipped hundreds, if not thousands of miles to your store. Sorry Hallmark.

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