A School Valentines DIY
“Have a Berry Happy Valentine’s Day”
It’s Valentine’s Day once again and what does that mean? Valentines cards, chocolates, candy, flowers, sweet words of friendship, and declarations of love. For children it can be a fun holiday, especially in elementary school when they get to exchange Valentines. As a child, it was one of my favorite school holidays, because we did a class Valentine exchange. Everyone brought something and everyone got something. You felt like you mattered and you were liked. Now that I am the parent, I want to make sure my kids get that same feeling, and give it. I want to make sure the Valentines my son takes to school have a personal touch, however what exactly to send him with is always a struggle.
For those of you with kids in elementary school, I’m sure you’re familiar that struggle. Valentine’s Day isn’t something you can ignore otherwise you let your child and their classmates down. So do you get the cheap grocery store pre-made cards, or create something personal and unique? Do you include treats for the class, or just get the cards? Candy or healthy snacks you know the kids are likely to toss? Do you want to spend a fortune on little toys, or slap a sticker on a card and call it a day? As a mom with two businesses and a toddler, prepping Valentine’s Day gifts for my son’s class was not at the top of my list. I wanted to do something more than buying the box of pre-made cards from the store, but I didn’t have time for it to be super cute and Pinterest-perfect.
My first task was finding the treat. Do I get a toy or something edible? If its an edible treat do I get candy or some type of food? I decided on food, because toys are subjective to each child. So I hit up Costco to see what they had. My choices were Cheez-Its, Fruit by the Foot, fruit snacks, squeeze applesauce, or popcorn packages. Cheez-Its are not that healthy, and not that great of a treat. Fruit by the Foot is filled with god-knows-what. Squeeze applesauce is like getting raisins on Halloween. And popcorn, what kid wants to get a treat they have to microwave to enjoy? I went with the fruit snacks. The box said “made with real fruit and veggie juice” and had a fairly short list of ingredients.
I did some searching on Pinterest and my favorite Valentines for kids were the puns. There weren’t many for fruit snacks, and I wasn’t crazy about the ones that were shared, so being a graphics and Photoshop ninja, I decided to make my own. For the design, I used the colors of the fruit snacks packages and added a red strawberry graphic I had sitting in my giant clipart reservoir. I played with the fonts until I found something I liked and voila!
This turned out to be a nightmare. My thought was, ‘four cards on one 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock, cut, and attach the treats, bam, easy, done’. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that easy for me. My printer wouldn’t feed the cardstock so I had to print on regular printer paper. My husband said just send the snacks on the printer paper, but printer paper is so flimsy they would get wrinkled or torn or wet and damaged, and the snacks weren’t likely to stick to them. So I ended up gluing the paper to the cardstock.
We had two glue sticks in our everything drawer. One was completely dried and the other had one foot in the trash. We had a bit of Elmer’s glue, which lasted all of two sheets of cardstock, so I made the mostly dead glue stick work, albeit with a lot of clumps. The glue stick was definitely the way to go over the Elmer’s though. Once all of the cards were glued and cut, and my son had his name on them, I needed to attach the treats. Glue obviously wasn’t a choice, tape was likely to fail quickly, so I decided on staples. To top things off our stapler was on its last leg and we had to reseat the thing after ever staple, all 54 of them. It worked, however, and we ended up with 27 cute little Valentines for my son’s class.
- Don’t do school Valentines the evening of February 13th. Start at least a week before.
- Know your printer, and it’s limitations.
- Have fresh glue sticks on hand.
- Have a working stapler.
I learned some valuable lessons for next year. Even though it was a headache, I had a bit of fun and love that I am sending my son to school with something unique. Below I’ve attached the file so you can download and print your own Berry Happy Valentine’s Day cards.
It’s super simple, if everything works for you the way it’s supposed to. You will need 8.5 x 11 Cardstock, the color really doesn’t matter, but something like white or cream will show the colors better. Scissors, fruit snacks & a stapler. You could also get cardstock in another color, then print on regular paper and glue the paper to that for some added color and depth. I will likely do that next year. If you want to keep it simple, print the template I provided, cut along the grey lines, and staple your fruit snacks onto the card.