Put the doilies away, because it’s 2018, and you’re upgrading your Valentine’s Day crafting.
We spoke to artist Kelly Lynn Jones, owner of the San Francisco art shop Little Paper Planes, to get her tips for kid-friendly Valentine’s Day DIYs. Jones teaches kids at her brand-new after-school art program; who better to guide us to the best heart art for kids?
There’s truly something for everyone here: a toilet paper roll bee for the littlest all the way up to string-art hearts for older (i.e., more skilled) kids. Bonus: None of these options require a ton of prep time or a fortune spent at Michael’s. Nope — just quick, cheap, easy, customizable and adorable crafts for maximum creative fun.
Scroll through these heart-themed ideas with your little ones and then start working on some sweet projects together for Valentine’s Day. And when you’re done crafting, voila — instant Valentine’s Day decor.
Beginner string art
Blog Reality Daydream has a simple tutorial for this elegant heart-shaped project. “This piece is really sweet and good for older children, so they can learn hammering nails,” says Jones. Just make sure to supervise them.
Start with a piece of wood — 4 inches by 4 inches is perfect. Then draw a heart on paper, place it over the wood and hammer nails in to form the outline. (A mini hammer is perfect for this if you have one.) Then remove the paper, and kids can start wrapping any color of string they like around the nails, creating a heart. Perfect.
Use an outline of your child’s hand to make a tree using this tutorial from the craft blog Krokotak. “I love this so much… for the younger kiddos,” says Jones. “Using their hands is always a great way to create a project, and this is a clever craft. Who doesn’t love a heart tree?” Once they have the cardboard tree trunk shape, kids can fill out the tree with construction paper hearts and leaves and even “carve” (write) a message on the trunk.
Construction paper critters
This Valentine’s-themed critter craft “is also a great moment [for kids] to learn about a variety of animals,” Jones explains. Let kids choose their own creatures; check out instructions from blog Crafty Morning for specific shapes and parts to cut from construction paper. Glue them together, add some googly eyes and voila: adorable valentine.
Speaking of adorable valentine critters, this fun little bee craft from The Resourceful Mama is not only cute; it’s eco-friendly too. Kiddos can turn a used toilet paper tube into this creative creature. “Perfect for all ages,” says Jones.
Gather some paint, construction paper, pipe cleaners and a toilet paper roll. Paint the roll yellow, and while you’re waiting for it to dry, cut out various bee parts from the paper. Then glue or tape it all together to craft your colorful bee. Don’t forget to write, “Bee mine” — that’s the whole point, right?
This inventive Valentine’s craft is presented by The Resourceful Mama for Crafty Morning. Jones likes this project because there are so many ways to personalize it. “This heart purse… can be made in so many ways,” she says. “The child can paint the paper, add glitter, put their name on it, add more hearts in a variety of colors, braid the yarn — to name a few.”
Start with paper plates (cut the tops off straight across) and have your child punch holes along the plates’ edges. Then have them thread yarn through the holes. Create a strap with a piece of yarn (Jones suggests braided sections). Then start decorating. Use stickers, cutouts or anything else your little one desires. In the end, kids will have the perfect place to stash their classroom valentines.