Crafts · Holidays

Homemade Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

When I started to think about writing a Valentine’s Day post, I immediately thought about all of the homemade valentines that I’ve made for my kids over the years. From the time they were old enough to understand the concept of Valentine’s, I have made a point of creating some sort of homemade valentine card or gift each year for both of them. My kids are now in their 20’s, so I have made quite a few. I thought this would be an easy post to write because all  I would have to do is lay out a bunch of cards and then just explain how I made them. However, when I asked my kids if I could photograph their valentines, it turned out that they hadn’t saved them!

At first, I was shocked and a little hurt. Afterall, I had put quite a bit of time and effort into making all kinds of valentines: origami hearts, paper fortune cookies, fans, little booklets, elaborate woven 3-D hearts, you name it. And when I made them, I imagined that my kids would treasure them; so that when they were adults, they’d have a collection of tangible expressions of their mother’s love. Who wouldn’t want that? What I failed to take into consideration is that kids are notoriously unsentimental. They thought the cards were nice, but they were much more interested in the candy or trinkets that accompanied them. This should have been obvious to me, but I foolishly assumed they would have the same feeling about homemade cards that I did (I may be a bit of a crazy hoarder, but I saved everything they’ve made me since they were little).

Needless to say, I was disappointed. However, after thinking about it a bit, I realized that the cards themselves don’t matter. They were important because they were a way to tell my kids how much I loved them. And today, there is no doubt in my mind that my children got the message of those cards.

Being the packrat that I am, I did find a few of the more substantial valentines I made my kids, and I thought I would share them with you.

A collection of homemade valentines --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

When she was in grade school, I helped my oldest child make a Valentine box for school. She wanted a pink one with butterflies, so we painted a shoebox, and I cut out butterfly shapes using hearts for wings. We then added lots of decoration with sparkly puffy paint.

homemade child's butterfly valentine box --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

My younger child was too little and not interested in crafts, so I made my baby a heart-shaped box, which I painted, covered with layers of hand-punched flowers, and a large red bow.

Heart-shaped valentine box --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

I always loved the reaction of my children when they were surprised by their gifts under the tree on Christmas or their baskets on Easter morning. Valentine’s Day was not as big a deal. I usually put their card and candy at their places on the breakfast table. But always wanting more drama, I created curtains of conversation heart-studded streamers. My husband and I hung the streamers from their door frames after they fell asleep on the night before Valentine’s Day, so they woke up to a cascade of silly love notes.

Valentine door curtain of conversation hearts streamers --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

Silly valentine conversation heart streamers --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years
I used to tease my kids by calling them all sorts of outrageous made up pet names, so I included some of that nonsense in the conversation hearts I placed on the streamers.

Since I am a total girly girl, I loved giving my kids fun inexpensive heart-themed jewelry for Valentine’s Day. Because of this, I was always looking for unique ways to present the jewelry gifts. One year, I had seen a tutorial on “Martha Stewart” for making padded jewelry pouches. So, I decided to sew one for each child using a sweet pink and yellow bumble bee print fabric. Since I made these pouches many years ago, I couldn’t find the tutorial for making this particular jewelry bag, but this one is the same idea.

DIY fabric jewelry pouch --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years
The jewelry pouches are secured with black and yellow text ribbon that is a running list of carefree childhood pursuits like somersaults, skipping, tickling, etc.
Embroidered initial on the bottom of a DIY fabric jewelry pouch ----Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years
I also embroidered their initials on the bottom.

Continuing with the jewelry theme, one Valentine’s, I gave my kids necklaces that had hidden compartments in which I placed tiny rolled up love notes. That year, I hand painted heart-shaped trinket boxes to hold the necklaces.

Hand painted heart-shaped valentine trinket boxes --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

One of the only paper valentines that survived is this embellished origami card.

Origami valentine --Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

As you can see, none of these valentines are not perfectly executed. What is important is that they were made with love. However, you choose to do it, showing your loved ones how you feel about them is what’s important.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in this:

Hearts, Flowers, And Tea? A Valentine’s Day Tea



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20 thoughts on “Homemade Valentines Ideas: Love Notes Through The Years

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. The streamers are easy to do and a lot of fun. Just make sure you wipe off the top of your door frame before you try to tape them in place. Mine kept falling down until I realized that tape and dust don’t mix. Happy Monday and Happy Valentine’s!

  1. Oh my goodness, I had tears in my eyes. Being in a similar situation with children who do not have the room or the emotional attachment to things I have created or feel is of value, I needed also to step back from the hurt and disappointment. However, like you indicated, it has no reflection on the kind of love they still hold for their mother. What you did for your children is absolutely heartwarming and wonderful. I fully appreciate it as another mom. You are so sweet. Happy Valentine’s Day. You deserve much appreciation for your love and thoughtfulness and giving.

    1. Thanks so much, Marsha. I really appreciate your kind comment. It is so nice to hear from other moms who feel as I do. I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!

  2. Wow, this is so sweet! While, unfortunately, it is impossible to save everything we accumulate over the years, what people always remember is the effort you put in and how you made them feel. It is clear that you put a lot of time and love into those cards and I’m sure that has stayed with your children throughout their lives. Happy Valentines Day!

  3. They were all sweet and from the heart! Your adult children may find themselves repeating some of your special Valentine gifts for their own children one day. By the way, I love the streamer idea! Pinned to my Valentine’s Day board. Thank you for sharing your special gifts with us on Party in Your PJs!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Teresa. The streamers were fun and easy to make. I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Ahhh Lisa, I feel for you. It’s so sad when that happens but no doubt your girls know how much you love them and while the homemade gift may no longer be around the memories of how loved they are sure will be. Hope you have a lovely Valentine’s day and get showered with all the love you give so freely

  5. I love the idea of making streamers for the door and surprising them when they wake up. I have made cards for all of my boys each year but I do stick to traditional cards with a small little gift and we too put them at their spot on the kitchen table to find when they wake up, but streamers would be exciting and different.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. The streamers were simple to do and a big hit with my kids. They are especially fun if you personalize the conversation hearts with silly pet names and inside family jokes. I hope you have a very happy Valentine’s Day!

  6. I used to always make everybody’s b/d card until couple times was sick or for whatever reason didn’t make them. I found out kids/grandkids/friends were disappointed when I stopped making cards. I didn’t ask if they kept them but was so happy when they asked me to make cards again. Now my “kids” are older than most of you kids/bloggers but they still want their old Mother to make cards so will be doing that, have 3 b/d’s coming up very soon. Better get busy huh?
    I sure understand how you would have been a bit hurt that your kids didn’t keep their cards you made. I too still have few things my 4 kids made and we’ve moved quite a few times
    Our kids are 57,55,54 and 47. While cleaning out some things I found a paper rabbit our youngest made in kindergarten, talk about a sentimental old lady (77) , well what can I say, if you are, you are.
    I am going to borrow your ribbon streamers idea, will be so cute. Will hang on back door after Mr.Furry goes to sleep so he sees them when he goes out in let chickens out and to feed, that oughta surprise him. We’ve been married 49 yrs. and he’s been a great Dad to my 3 older kids and his kid and husband.
    Have a wonderful week

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It is so lovely that your kids remember and ask for your homemade cards. It is a testament to you and the way you mothered your kids. I am glad you are planning to make the streamers for your husband. I am sure he will love them. I never thought of making them for my husband but I might just borrow your idea. Congratulations on your 49-year marriage. I’ve been married 28 years and hope to make it to 49 and beyond. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

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