For you long time Harris Sisters followers, you KNOW that we are crafty, as has been established previously in this post. So, when it came time to round up not one but TWO sets of class Valentine's cards this year, somehow I decided that crafty was the way to go. Although, please read this all the way through. YOU might decide:
Last year, our experience with store-bought valentines was that no matter which pack your child chose, the number of cards in said pack was at least one shy of the number of children in the class (thereby causing you to have to buy two packs and ending up with additional cards). Considering these packs of postage-stamp sized cards cost anywhere from $3.50-$5.00, it starts to add up when you are buying about 4 packs for two kids.
So, I meandered over to my Valentine's Pinterest board to check out some options. I wanted to give two different types of DIY valentines a go so that I could report back to you, our loyal readers, my findings.
For Jaxon, my four-year-old, I thought it only fitting to go with the Pop Rocks/You Rock, Valentine. He concurred. For those of you who might be unawares, Jaxon is our wild child. I offer up as proof a gift that he received for his third birthday:
Although there are several of the Pop Rock valentine templates floating around on Pinterest, I chose to use the one found here: Keeping It Simple Crafts. And this is how ours turned out:
What I loved about this template was that it printed four up on a page, it was sized perfectly for the Pop Rocks (no need for an additional bag as some of the others required), and the template is square (which doesn't sound like a bonus until you get to the review of the next DIY valentine - trust me).
Template from Keeping It Simple Crafts (link above)
Pen for writing students' names
Pop Rocks are sold at the Dollar Store in packs of three, so this was an economical choice for valentines. Cost for the entire class (16 kids plus 2 teachers) - $6.00.
For Aidyn, my seven-year-old, we had previously decided to go with a version of You're Just "Write" for Me (a heart with a pencil stuck through it as an arrow) so I had already purchased valentine cut outs that were the right size for this. But when we got to the Dollar Store to buy supplies for Jaxon's cards, Aidyn changed his mind and wanted to give out hot chocolate. So, for him I will be reviewing a valentine of my own making WHICH I WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN. :-)
This valentine is different for one main reason: it is heart shaped. Now, this does not sound like a big deal until you realize that you have to cut out 24 of them . . . .
And, of course wanting to make it as difficult on myself as I possibly could, rather than just designing a beautiful valentine, printing it on card stock, cutting it out, and calling it a day, I thought it best to just print it on regular paper and glue it to the pretty hearts I had already purchased (because I didn't factor in the extra time cutting would take until AFTER they were already printed). Cost for the whole class (20 kids plus 4 teachers) - $7.59. And this is how they turned out:
Template of your own design that says "Valentine, you warm my heart" (if you dare)
Heart Shaped Colorful Cut Outs (mine were purchased from Carson-Dellosa)
Pencil for writing students' names
So, considering I am a sucker, it is likely that we will make our own valentines again next year (the boys loved it). Given what I know now, I would recommend a few of these nice simple ones that I've pinned:
And as you can see, glow sticks can also be replaced with Pixie Sticks as acknowledged on Inchmark.
And another idea (and free printable) for glow sticks found at Kommunicated:
An idea (and free printable) for Kool Aid (which is el cheapo grande) found at Moms by Heart, although after this year, I might just be inclined to design an Avery label and stick it right on the back of the pack of Kool Aid (easy peasy!).
Don't forget to check out this post for many more ideas and links to free Valentine printables.