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Kid's craft: Valentine's Day cards

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Homemade cards full of love

If you love crafting with your kids, then Valentine's Day is the ultimate. Who doesn't love homemade, handmade Valentines? They are naturally infused with love and care ... just like a good Valentine should be. Here's how to get started.

Cupid's readying his arrows and preparing for the most lovely day of the year. Yes, that's right! Valentine's Day is creeping up on us fast. Sure, the heart-shaped decor and pink and red frills may have invaded the aisles of our favorite stores practically the day after Christmas, but now the time is dwindling to days. It's time to pull the stools up to the kids table and start making Valentines with the kids.

The good news is that to make heartfelt homemade Valentines, you don't need to be super crafty. You just need a few handy supplies and a little patience. Ready to get started?

Supplies for Valentine's Day card

Before you can cut, glue, glittery or fold anything, you need to figure out what craft you are doing and gather the supplies. For the supplies, the key in keeping any craft affordable is to shop in the right places. You can also find great deals at local stores. Start at your local dollar store. Look for good values, such as cellophane treat bags, paper doilies, packs of construction paper and small paper bags for treats. Just be sure to do a little mental math to ensure that you are truly getting a good value.

Next stop should be the seasonal racks at stores like Target, Wal-Mart and pharmacies where you can find stickers, molds and other handy items for crafting. Finally, check out craft and party stores for items like felt, rubber foam, ribbon and other specialty items. Now, what will you make?

Hanging felt heart Valentine's Day card

Can this heart be felt? Ok, yes, that was cheesy as it comes. But a Valentine made from felt? Super sweet.

For this Valentine, you will need a sheet of felt (red, pink, white - whichever you prefer), fabric paint and ribbon. Start by cutting the felt into the shape of a heart. Use fabric paint to right a message onto the felt heart and decorate it with polka dots, hearts or whatever you want. Allow to fully dry.

Use scissors or a hole punch to cut two holes at the top of the heart, evenly spaced apart. Cut a length of ribbon and thread through each hole, tying off to keep in place. This can be hung from door knobs, drawer pulls or wherever you want.

Old fashioned homemade Valentine's Day card

Go back to basics with your kids this Valentine's Day, making an old school lacy Valentine. How?

You will need a big paper doily, red construction paper, scissors, glue and markers. First, draw a heart on the construction paper and have your child cut it out. Don't worry if their cut out isn't perfect -- that's part of the charm of a kid-made Valentine! And, using safety scissors, this is a great way for kids to practice dexterity skills.

Once the heart is cut out, paste it onto the doily (or if the doily is smaller than the heart, then paste the doily on top). Set it aside to dry for 10 minutes or so. Finally, use stickers, markers or crayons to decorate the heart and doily and write a special message on them.

Easy peasy, and sweet too.

Edible Valentine's Day card

Kids love getting into the kitchen and cooking with their moms, so let them! A homemade edible Valentine is a great fun spin on the traditional Valentine's cards. And while cookie stores and bakeries command premiums for delicious cookies, you can make them at home pretty inexpensively.

Start with a basic sugar cookie recipe. You can make round drop cookies or roll them out and cut them into heart shapes. Not keen on making cookies from scratch? That's okay. Refrigerated cookie dough can be a great shortcut to homemade cookies.

Next comes decorating, you can sprinkle cookies with colored sugars or decorating sprinkles before baking. Want to gourmet it up a bit? Ice your cookies with buttercream frosting (tint it with a little red food coloring, if you like!) or make a simple icing from confectioner's sugar, a little water and a little vanilla extract (again, tint with food coloring). Put the icing into a pastry bag or a resealable bag with one snipped corner, and outline a heart on the cookie. Then, use the icing to write fun messages like "Be Mine," on the cookies. Let your kids go to town with their own special messages and designs!

To give these Valentines, you can individually wrap them in cellophane bags or have your kids decorate small paper bags with stickers and markers, then place the cookies inside and seal them with a heart-shaped sticker.

More Valentine's Day fun for kids:


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