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85 homemade Valentine cards are ready for school!

You read that right – 85! Between three classes, my kids are handing out (with teachers included) a total of 85 Valentine’s Day cards. At their Montisorri school they have “communities” versus classes. My oldest is in a mixed age setting with first through third graders. There are 46 children and five teachers. So – you see how the numbers can add up.

It started out simple, by letting the girls make one homemade Valentine with me reproducing it – saving us from doing 85 signatures. My inspiration came from here, then as my ideas grew, it turned into a not-so-simple undertaking. In the end I will say the kids loved them, and it was really fun spending that time together Monday while we assembled them all. We listened to fun music, drank hot chocolate, danced and sang while we pasted and taped two-hours a way in a flash.

Here’s the results, with my childrens’ names blurred out because it just seems too personal of a thing to share with the world. I hope you understand.

Below the images is the information on how we made the cards – in all of their wonderfully imperfect, childish ways.

Here’s how I went about this.

First I took pictures of each girl standing against a blank wall, with hands out like they were holding an imaginary heart (not my idea – it’s all over Pinterest). I printed the photos at home, cut them out – old school style – and gave them to the girls. They each had a 5×7 card to make one Valentine card using their photo. They liked this touch and feel variety, versus the techie way of me cutting and pasting electronically in Photoshop (and honestly, I don’t really know how to do that). The downside is the quality of the photo decreases every time it is reproduced. But for a kid card, I was okay with that.

My youngest daughter wanted to paint. My middle girl wanted to trace my writing, sign her name and was really most pleased with her silly picture. She’s not much of an art gal. My oldest girl took the longest amount of time with her card, drawing out a nice picture.

Next I scanned in their cards to my computer, resized the images and sent them to Walgreens to be printed as 4×6 photos for 10 cents apiece. When I asked about envelopes for photo cards, the lady gave me the 5×7 envelopes for free. Score!

I will say – the resizing of the image threw me for a loop this time because I couldn’t get it right, where the Walgreens auto cropping software did not crop out parts of their best work. Thankfully, a friend who has become our family’s professional photographer, was up late watching the Grammy’s, chatting about it on Facebook, and offered to resize the images. She saved me! (Since the scanner was the problem, another option would have been just to take a picture of the art, and skip Photoshop all together.)

We glued the 4×6 photos to the red 5×7 card stock. Tip: Office Depot will cut a 250 count ream of card stock to any size for $1.50. So don’t you dare do that yourself! Lastly, we used double sided sticky tape to adhere a chocolate candy in the girls’ hands.

For my toddler’s cards, instead of chocolate we used remelted heart-shaped crayons, made from old crayons. (To do this – use a silicon mold, unwrap crayons and break them into pieces to fill the molds. Bake at 250 degrees for about 10-20 minutes – keeping a close eye on them.)  The remelting the crayons project was great fun with my two-year-old. I could write a whole post about her excitement doing this.

SO – our homemade idea and way of avoiding the tedious time of signing cards, turned out to be a time well spent tighter and a lot of fun.

Happy Valentines Day.

And for you grandparents, aunts and uncles out there. Don’t fret, you’ll be getting these cute cards too. As soon as the postman can get them there. 

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