Get a Head Start on Homemade Valentines

Getting a head start on homemade Valentines cards.As a crafty mom, I love to make things with my kids and celebrate the holidays in special ways, but my schedule doesn't always allow the time I'd like. For Valentine's Day, our tradition is to make homemade Valentines for cousins, friends and grandparents. Valentine's Day can sneak up on us, leaving our special crafting time a little chaotic and unprepared. This year, however, will be different. We're going to get a head start on our homemade Valentines, use our time wisely, and savor those memories in the making. Here's how:

1. Prepare materials in advance - In our family, homemade Valentines require red and pink construction paper, sequins, glitter, patterned paper, glue sticks, scissors, and tons of markers. One way to get a head start on making Valentines is to ensure your supply cabinet is stocked ahead of time with all the right materials, then pack them all together in one convenient place, along with envelopes, stamps, and the names of all card recipients.

2. Pre-make blank cards - Making homemade Valentines is a lot easier for my little ones when they can focus on the fun decorating parts, and not have to worry about assembling or folding the paper just right. If you're crafting with young kids, construct pre-made blank cards in advance, to save time on crafting day and ensure all your Valentines still look like actual cards (I've learned from experience).

3. Recycle previous cards
- If you're still displaying last year's Christmas decorations (no need to be ashamed), kill two birds with one stone by accumulating all the holiday cards you received and getting a head start on your Valentines Day cards. Sort your pile, separating out the cards you don't mind cutting apart. Look for decorative, shiny, glittery, patterned or colored parts of your recycled Christmas cards, and cut out hearts and letter shapes (to spell "Love," "Be Mine," or other phrases).

4. Make use of lazy days - The best way to get a head start on homemade Valentines is to make use of your downtime, and not wait until February 13th to begin. If you're stuck indoors one wet afternoon, watching TV marathons, or lounging in your pajamas on a Saturday morning, meet your kids at the dining table and start cutting out hearts or addressing envelopes.

Getting a head start on your Valentine's Day crafting isn't just a way to save time and manage chaos before the big day. Think of it as a way of extending the holiday, building anticipation, and making even more memories as a family. Happy crafting!
Content by Becca Swanson.