When I was in elementary school, there was only one rule on Valentine's Day that was firmly enforced: we were allowed to pass out cards to all of our friends and classmates, but the catch was that they couldn’t be store-bought. That’s right, everyone had to make their own cards. Though the idea in actuality just stopped anyone from exchanging cards on school time (which was most likely the teacher’s intention), she claimed it was to teach us a sentiment of humanity, one which says love isn’t shown by what one can afford.
As an adult, I really like this idea. I think it's a nice notion to create a handmade card from scratch when they are so readily accessible to the masses in stores, but admittedly, some problems do arise. What if you’re not a creative person? What if you simply lack the ideas or know-how to make a valentine yourself? This article will provide a step-by-step guide to making a wonderful Valentine's Day card sure to impress, and despite how it looks, its rather easy.
Time: 15 minutes || Cost: $5
Step 1 - Fold and Cut Your Paper
To begin this project, take a traditional 8.5 x 11 piece of paper in the color of your choosing, and fold it in half. In the card above, I then made a cut to the paper so its width measured at 6 inches, creating a nicely sized card.
Step 2 - Cut the Hearts
This is where it begins to get interesting. Choosing bold and contrasting colors and patterns, fold two pieces of paper in half to cut the shapes of half-hearts at the fold. As most know, when the papers are then un-folded and even, a symmetrical heart shape has been formed. What’s more, the crease where the paper had once been folded will come in handy in later steps.
Step 3 - Attach the Hearts
As we are making a 3-D Valentine's Day card, the following arrangement must occur. On the front of your now folded card, place the first heart with the pattern you want to be shown facing out, and place your second, contrasting heart, on top of it. Along the crease made in the hearts in step two, begin sewing using a needle and thread (as done in the cards above), or use a sewing machine if on hand, from the bottom to the top of the hearts. As I like the character that the thread adds to the overall look of the cards, I tend to choose bold colors, which stand out on the card. If it’s not your thing, simply choose one that more easily blends in.
Step 4 - Make the 3-D Effect
For this step in the card's creation process, ensure both ends of your thread are firmly knotted and other additions secure. To create your card’s effect, gently fold each of the halves of your paper hearts along the pre-made crease so they stand almost on end. When looking head on, it appears that the heart has depth, with style and variance.
Step 5 - Touch Ups and Pro Tips
After making these cards for a while, I noticed that the sewing aspects become vulnerable and loose. If you are planning on your card receivers to keep your handmade affections of love, simply take a standard glue stick and run it over the inside of the card on the back of the sewn seams. When it dries, it will give a clean support system, ensuring your beautiful work goes unharmed.
I am not a crafty-oriented person by nature. I can build things and DIY to my heart's content, but cutting, gluing, and painting arts and crafts do not come easily. Therefore, if you too have trouble cutting out hearts that look like actual hearts, seek out a die cut machine or even find free heart outlines online to aid you in expressing your love on paper.