Valentine's Day is fast approaching, which for some means it's time to find the perfect chocolates, flowers, and gift for that special someone. And for others, it means it's time to doll out the art supplies and begin crafting a heartfelt card for their sweetheart.
With the vast selection of unique and whimsical cards available to buy, it may seem intimidating to try making your own. However, you could create something extra meaningful by making it with your own hands. Certainly, recipients will notice the tender effort that go into making a handmade card. So, for those who haven't made a card before, or who need a bit of a refresher, we have compiled a short guide of tips and tricks on how to make a handmade Valentine's Day card.
Learn how to make your own handmade Valentine's Day card with these 10 tips and tricks.
Find your inspiration
Before you start shopping for art supplies, it's best to have at least a general idea of what you're making. Good places to look are Pinterest, Instagram, and local stationary stores. Consider writing down things you like about favorite cards—including color, caption, design–that you would like to emulate in your own style.
Pick out a variety of cardstock
Shades of pink and red are the classic go-to colors for making a Valentine's Day card. However, since you're already shopping for new paper, consider purchasing specialty paper as well. Placing printed patterns like stars, flowers, and yes, hearts on the inside of your card will pleasantly surprise your sweetheart.
Cut a perfect heart
There are many ways to achieve a “perfect” heart for your card. Here are a few:
- Sketch a freehand heart design on the reverse side of your chosen cardstock. Then, cut out with a precision knife or scissors.
- Fold the paper in half and draw half of the heart towards the folded edge of the paper. Then, cut with a precision knife or scissors along the pencil line. Simply unfold the paper to reveal an even heart.
- Trace over a printed heart design using natural light or a lightbox.
- Use a heart-shaped stencil to transfer the design on paper and cut it out.
- Use a heart-shaped hole punch.
Include a funny pun
Although you can never go wrong with classic Valentine's phrases like “Be Mine,” thinking of a punny caption is a fun way to bring a little whimsy into your card. To do this, you can brainstorm inside jokes you share with the recipient or find outside inspiration on the internet. A good pun will also help you decide on the design of your card.
Add some calligraphy
If you prefer cards that are heartfelt rather than humorous, consider adding some calligraphy or hand-lettering. To make your own, all you need is a good brush pen. This writing utensil will allow you to create a fanciful script with expressive thick and thin lines.
Use specialty craft scissors
To easily incorporate detail into your paper cutting you can use special craft scissors. These creative tools are available in a range of designs like a wave, zig-zag, cloud, Victorian, and more. You can use these designs to add unique decorative borders to your card.
Layer your card
Layering can quickly amplify a simple design card. To do this, simply choose a variety of paper—for instance, red, pink, and cream—and find ways to place them together. An example can be cutting one heart on red paper and cutting a larger heart on pink paper and an even larger heart on cream. Then, glue them down on the card together, making for a more elaborate motif.
Add hand-drawn images
If you don't feel so confident with scissors, then consider decorating a card with some hand-drawn images. Sketches of individual flowers like a rose, or a sunflower add immediate sweetness. Or, you can draw a bouquet of flowers to make your card a floral paradise. Check out the meanings of flowers for inspiration.
Include a photo
Do you have a treasured photo of you and your loved one? Consider including a polaroid or printed photo inside the card to give it a personal touch. You can either glue it directly to the surface of the card or create a pocket to tuck it into safely.
Add some decorative ribbon
A little bit of ribbon can go a long way in enhancing the beauty of your card. You can either punch holes along the side of your card and weave it through to create some nice texture. You can also wrap it around the card or create a bow with the ribbon and attach it to the front of the card with glue. If you're pairing your card with a bouquet of flowers, you can wrap the arrangement with a ribbon.
Round the corners of your card
An easy way to make any handmade card look more polished is to round the corners of the card. To do this, simply find a quarter (or another coin) and place your folded card onto a cutting mat. Put the quarter in the corner of the card and carefully cut around it using a precision knife. Then do the same in the other corner.