Before we go into this, a couple things…
Thing one: If you are related to me and your name is Luke or Abby, stop reading.
Thing two: Nearly everything Valentine related you see in this post is currently 40% off at Michael’s. And if it isn’t, there is a coupon for that.
What am I making today; A VALENTINE KIT.
It’s a kit of stuff you use to make Valentines. Part of me says I should have just made something Valentiney, but the other part of me is like, NO WAY THIS WILL MAKE YOU THE COOL AUNT. And I’m weirdly competitive like that. So, it’s not really a DIY (but you know I went and had to sample the goods). I’m sending this off to my niece and nephew. Apparently little kids exchange cards and stuff still. Isn’t that the sweetest? I’m really glad some kiddos still do that. Our elementary school stopped letting us exchange valentines with each other in 6th grade because it was too much pressure on some folks. So because it was 1991, we instead sent valentines to soldiers in Iraq for operation Dessert Storm. We called it Operation Valentine. You see what we did there? Yeah. Our school was right to a military base so the patriotic pride factor was pretty strong. I was already weirdly competitive with crafting back then, and whereas most students made five or six valentines, I sent well over 100. Yes, one hundred. All homemade. All with glitter doilies. And I wore a yellow ribbon headband every day for weeks (listen, it was the 90s) and included a photo of me wearing said headband in with the cards. A couple soldiers even wrote back to say thank you. And then one solider wrote back to ask when was I getting out of school and if I had a boyfriend. …So, that was the end of Operation Valentine. (Hashtag: awkward!).
The parable of this story is let your children exchange cards with each other and they won’t be sending them off to lonely grown men in foreign countries. < And if that isn’t a bumper sticker, I don’t know what is. I digress. What were we talking about? Oh yes, the kit!
This is going to get me some brownie points in the Aunt category because I am bad at sending stuff on time for holidays and birthdays. Valentines Day is in the lower bowels of winter when any day that does not require sidewalk salt is considered tropical. Putting together a kit is FUN. And if they don’t use the stuff for cards, their craft cupboard is stocked for the season. Win-Win. Boom!
First of all, let’s talk about the bag situation up in here. It’s like an adult coloring book as a gift bag. Two for $1.50. WUT?! They also carry these cool photo mats. I think I also saw coffee mugs and stuff too. The kiddos (or big kiddos) color them in. Add photo and frame and it’s actually a very cool gift. You better make sure Grandma’s hip is in check because she will flip when you give her one.
But this is my favorite part: The Shinies.
Spellcheck is saying shinies isn’t a real word. It’s wrong. Shinies is a noun used to describe things that sparkle and shine, usually found in small sizes in high volume. It’s like when someone says “potato chips” you visualize a bag or bowl of potato chips. Not three potato chips. Three sequins is “three sequins”, but call them shinies and it’s a whole bag of sequins! Or glitter. Or rhinestones. Or metallic confetti. Have you ever received a valentine covered with metallic confetti? Somebody needs to get on this!
Now let’s talk about stickers. At the risk of sounding like a grouchy old man here, What the Hell happened to stickers? When we were kids, stickers were something you collected in a book like stamps, precious treasures to be saved. You’d get them one or two or maybe three to a sheet down at the stationary store, but you’d spend half your allowance on them. Now these kids these days get A WHOLE STINKIN BOOK OF 376 STICKERS for a dollar. A DOLLAR. I’m telling you, that’s how you raise a glutton. These kids won’t know when to stop. When stickers come this easy next they’ll be expecting job interviews to rain from the sky. It ain’t right. It ain’t right!
So I bought five books. Then some foamy heart shapes because dimension is important.
Then I went down the next aisle and they had more foamy hearts and a BAG FULL OF STARS. Three dimensional glitter front stars. Well, you know they were coming home with me. And they were right next to the feathers, I was thinking how cool it would be to be the only kid in the class who gave out cards with feathers on them? So I got a bunch of them too.
This is the important part – the substrate. You gotta get a bunch of basic cards and envelopes and glue. I love Tacky Glue myself but for little ones who use a lot, good old fashioned Elmers is the way to go. If you have a little one who is at that awkward phase where they want things to look nicer than they are able to make themselves just yet, I highly recommend getting a couple of these glitter glue tubes. The glue dries sparkly and makes everything look nice, even if it’s sloppy. Personally, I like a sloppy looking Valentine. Adds charm. But I know what it’s like to want your card to look like the Teacher’s sample and getting frustrated when it looks like cat’s butt instead. Glitter glue is a bridge. Everything looks better with glitter and this kind won’t clog up the vacuum. You’re welcome.
Just to prove my point, I made a couple of samples myself. You know, to be helpful.
So long as there is a doily heart in the background, everything else is frosting.
This one has an Under the Sea theme. Do they celebrate Valentines under the sea? Welp. They do now.
Also! Look at these easels!
They sell these teensy little easels in the art supply section. You can prop up your favorite cards on your nightstand or your mantel and display them as a piece of art.
Valentine kits. It’s a good thing.
Check out Michaels.com for more DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas! Looking for more inspiration? Make sure you visit Michaels’ blog, The Glue String, to see the rest of the Michaels Makers’ DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas.