Make A Thing: So Many Handmade Valentines!

Welcome to the another installment of Make A Thingwhere we make handmade gifts for people. Or ourselves. Who doesn’t need something special in their life? Join in on the DIY fun and avoid the unnecessary consumerism of the world (and I promise you’ll save a few dollars while you’re at it).

Header by Rory Midhani

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So, Valentine’s Day, huh? A good day to give someone a thoughtful thing you’ve made, even if your Valentine this year happens to be your best friend or your cat. Oh, what’s that you say? You don’t need Hallmark culture to tell you when you need to be a hopeless romantic and do something nice for your partner? You’re wrong. You still need to do something nice, material or otherwise. Let’s make Valentine’s Day cards and resist the terrible urge to pick up grocery store chocolates, flowers, and singing stuffed animals.

There are a lot of beautiful Valentine tutorials out there. I’ll highlight those after my tutorial, I promise. This one is less I-Want-To-Marry-You-And-Have-Lots-Of-Sex-And-Babies and more of an understated You’re-Pretty-Cool-And-Maybe-I-Love-You, which is sometimes what you should go for. Your sweetheart is going to be impressed.

Watercolor Paper Cut Valentine

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I am not very good at cutting things symmetrically but it’s adds to the charm, maybe?

Supplies Needed: Two sheets of watercolor paper, watercolor paints, paint brushes, exacto knife, double-sided tape or glue (ruler and scissors are optional)

Level of Difficulty: Significantly less painful than watching the movie Valentine’s Day

This was a lot more blue than it seems in this picture.

This was a lot more blue than it seems in this picture.

1. Paint an abstract design with watercolors. Make sure you start with damp paper so the colors blend better (I spritzed mine with a spray bottle, but painting it with a clean wet brush would work, too). Use whatever colors suit your delicate tastes and sensitive feelings. The point is that this will only show up in small parts so don’t stress about it too much. Good rule of thumb: use your Valentine’s favorite colors. This seems obvious, but really, there’s something to be said for paying attention. Set this piece of paper aside to dry.

Home Depot paint stirrer: Putting the "lesbian" in lesbian crafts since 2013.

Home Depot paint stirrer: Putting the “lesbian” in lesbian crafts since 2013.

2. Trim your card down to size. Apparently even with two artists/crafters in my house, there’s no fucking rulers. Use a straight edge of some sort. Home Depot paint sticks will do in a pinch. Make sure your card is an exact inch measurement, such as 4″x6″ or 5″7″.

Completely necessary tutorial picture.

Completely necessary tutorial picture.

3. Cut a heart template. I trimmed my heart to be under an inch to make the next few steps easier.

Lesbian paint stirrer failed me, iPhone box rescued the situation.

Lesbian paint stirrer failed me, iPhone box rescued the situation.

4. Trace a 1″x1″ square grid onto the inside left part of your card. You will align your heart template inside of the 1″ squares to make sure everything is lined up and pretty. This is going to be covered up, so don’t be too precious about how nice it looks. You can erase later. I used the very technical straight edge of my iPhone box for this step, as you can see.

Look at that full heart, I'm just living on the edge over here.

Look at that full heart, I’m just living on the edge over here.

5. Trace the left edge of your heart template inside of the squares. You will only be cutting out half, so no need to waste time tracing it all. I got a little crazy (I’m a serious party animal, duh) and cut out a full heart as a little accent. Do this or do not do this. It is entirely up to you and your heart cutting preferences.

This is my favorite picture of the entire tutorial. I peaked early.

This is my favorite picture of the entire tutorial. I peaked early.

6. Okay, get to it. Cut the heart halves with your exacto knife. Go slow. Take deep breaths. Maybe listen to soothing music. Don’t try to hurry and fuck it up. Can you hurry love? No, you’ll just have to wait. You gotta trust and give it time, no matter how long it takes.

7. What were we talking about before I started singing the Supremes? Oh, yes. Cut cut cut. You’re done with that? Erase your pencil smudges so they don’t show when you fold your heart out.

Hearts folded out: check. Trimmed: check.

Hearts folded out: check. Trimmed: check.

8. Fold out all of your little hearts and lay your card flat. Trim your incredibly painted watercolor artwork to size.

9. Attach your watercolored paper to the inside left of your card with double sided tape or glue.

Original.

Original.

10. Write something nice on the inside.

11. Give it to your Valentine and wait for them to be so impressed with your talent and devotion to them.

DIY Valentine Tutorial Round-Up

Here are some handmade Valentine’s Day cards I wouldn’t mind receiving, with difficulty levels ranging from Print This Out On Nice Paper to Weave A P

1. Tutorial for the cutest printable foodie-themed Valentines.

via {minieco}

via {minieco}

2. Gorgeous woven heart card tutorial.

3. Can you tell I’m a sucker for paper cut cards? This card is so adorable!

4. My lady and I are suckers for owls. This is an easy printable that would be perfect for kids, too.

That’s it for this small round up. Any cards that you’re copying or lusting after this Valentine’s Day?

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Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of Autostraddle.com and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in her free time.

Hansen has written 189 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. once i figure out where i left the exacto knife and have the time to go slow and maybe find someone to do them with me (should not be trusted with knives alone.), i am definitely going to make these. they’re so lovely!
    (that owl valentine is absolutely adorable.)

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