Friday, February 4, 2011

By Request

...nope, not the puppet patterns (yet!) but something more urgent. A friend asks for:

"Quick and easy Valentines a preschooler (and his well-meaning but lazy mother) can make for his 16 classmates. Preferably more creative than your standard construction paper and doilies."

How about construction paper and random items from the produce aisle?

I've seen stamps made of vegetables here and there lately and wanted to try it myself. Ignore that head of lettuce there above; it didn't quite work out. Instead I ended up with a starfruit star and a celery stem rose.

So cut some hearts out of construction paper.

Put a stamp on each heart.

Since the stamps are a little, uh, abstract--and have a tendency to go even further in that direction when a preschooler is in charge--I made little drawings to help solidify the stamps' rose and star identities.

Add a sweet star- or flower-related saying and that's it!

Seriously, this project took more time to blog than to execute. Which incidentally meant that it was just right for my kid's attention span. She was delighted with it.

If produce stamps aren't your speed, there are tons of free printable Valentines out there:

Color Theory Valentines from Mer Mag

Love Mail Valentines from Noodlehead

Class Party Valentines from One Charming Party (via 17 Dove Street)

Looking for more Valentine ideas? Check out my Valentine board on Pinterest. (Though it turns out that few of those ideas are truly quick & easy...which must explain why the house belonging to well-meaning but lazy me currently features the wintry dregs of Christmas and a couple of bedraggled paperwhites.)

Happy Hearting!


  1. I love the celery stamp! And I must confess that I am very curious about what you planned to do with the lettuce...

  2. Oh, I thought its stem end might make a flower, similar to the celery. The shape was actually about right, but I couldn't get the ink onto the cut leaves evenly enough to look right--and I figured it would be even harder for my preschooler to do so. I think you could probably make it work if you were using paint rather than ink pads.

  3. Nice idea. Older kids could cut the hearts out on their own, and practice writing too. I have three baby cabbages in my fridge, and now I am wondering if they'd make pretty stamps.

  4. Oooh, I think you should try the cabbages, Jenny! Aren't there flowers called "cabbage roses"? Maybe a cabbage stamp would end up looking like those.

    I also wonder, if you cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, if you might get the effect of a spine and ribcage. And you could draw a heart inside? Crazy? Nerdy? Probably both!

  5. Thanks for this idea. I made a whole pile of Valentine's for my son's preschool, and ended up trying the celery idea. I used paint instead of stamps, so the results varied depending on how much paint was on there, but with a stem and some leaves they look great! And total time for 25 cards was about an hour.

    I had seen the printable Valentine's, but there's something about digital greetings that makes me sad. Thanks for the inspiration and the motivation.

  6. Oh, I'm so glad you had fun with the project! Thank you so much for dropping by!

  7. Original requester here! I loved the stamps, but I ended up wanting to use supplies we had, and my preschooler had this request: "I can glue things?" So we glued heart cutouts onto bigger hearts. We had to do it in two sittings, and I wound up doing the last six or seven myself. I think he might have been the only kid in his class who made his own Valentines, and I'm guessing the other kids were more into the lollipops, temporary tattoos and stickers many of the bought cards come with. I had no idea Valentines Day came with so much "booty."

  8. Hey! I'm glad you two ended up with a fun project!

    One of the kids in our preschool class gave out these homemade valentines on which she had signed her name--I was really impressed at the kid, and then I realized that it was actually a photocopy. Now I am impressed with the mom--sneaky! ;-)