DIY Valentine Cards Using Photographs ~ Instructions for how to make valentine cards using your own photography. An easy craft for children to make too!
When Valentine’s Day came around every year I had a lot of fun helping my daughters make their own rather than buy them ready made from the store. Each year we would come up with a different crafty idea. This is one idea that is so simple because it uses photographs! I guess it’s the teacher in me that preferred to have my children make their valentine cards to give to their classmates because I saw it as a fun kind of homework activity.
The problem was that both daughters made and signed a card for everyone in their class and a few extra for special friends outside of class. That meant they were preparing about thirty valentine cards. This was particularly a problem when they were young because it was a lot of work for their limited writing and penmanship skills.
So we always started them on the early side and used a chunking strategy for completing them. We set a goal to get so many done each session rather than have a marathon card making and signing session the day before they were due.
In my experience as an elementary school teacher I have to admit that Valentine’s Day was a pretty big and exciting event for my students. I might even say that it was more exciting than Halloween. I am not sure why but I always approached this special day from the perspective that we were celebrating friendship, kindness and caring and not focusing on the ‘lovey-dovey stuff’.
I remember one year one of students took the time to make her version of a handmade valentine for each student in the class. She didn’t make fancy crafty looking valentine cards but rather wrote a paragraph consisting of about eight sentences telling each student why they were so nice and what positive qualities they each had. For this nine-year old girl the message was more important than the card itself.
In my teaching experience I also saw the student who was about the same age who did nothing at all to prepare the valentine cards for the class. It was pretty obvious that an adult purchased the cards and signed them all on behalf of the child. I have to say I am not sure what the learning or the fun was in this instance.
I also taught photography to my students and they loved it! Mobile devices like iPads and iPods made it very easy for my students to photograph all kinds of things related to their learning. They also loved and became quite skilled at editing their own photographs using some really easy to use apps.
I have one more anecdote to share before I get to the materials and instructions for these DIY Valentine Cards Using Photographs. Jennifer the talented blogger behind Rambling Renovators recently shared this cute little story. Her very young daughter had received a camera for Christmas. In typical fashion of a blogger this little girl proceeded to collect props for a ‘photo shoot’ as part of her playtime with her new Christmas gift! Even a six year old can be a budding photographer!
You might be wondering why I am sharing these different stories. I guess I wanted to say that photography has taken on a whole new perspective and is so easy and accessible for all ages. Thanks to mobile devices and tablets with built in cameras as well as so many easy to use apps for editing photos, photography has never been easier. Inexperienced adults and young children can have a lot of fun with it and create some pretty amazing photographs.
I have created some DIY valentine cards using photographs that are so easy to make. I intentionally used my iPhone to take the photographs instead of my expensive Nikon camera. I also edited the images with Snapseed, which is so easy to use and has amazing results. It was also the go-to app for my students in the classroom. This is how the valentine cards turned out! I think they look amazing…
What will be your props? That is totally up to you. I purchased some inexpensive items at the dollar store and the candy conversation hearts at Wal-Mart. You may even already have some items in your stash the house.
I made the photography a bit easier by simply spreading out the heart shapes in a collage style and taking a few photographs from a top-down perspective. Here are the actual photographs that I took with my iPhone.
Here is a photograph of some candy Conversation Hearts. My daughter loves these candies so I had to hide them from her till I was done using them.
Here are some felt hearts…
Then I edited them using Snapseed. Here’s a photograph I took of the acrylic hearts but ended up with two different looking photographs because I used different photo editing features.
So not only can you have fun taking the photographs, but you can also create your different photographs by applying different editing features.
You can choose to fill in your own message inside of a blank card or glue in the message insert that I have provided for you in two different PDF printable formats. This is an option I provided if you are making these cards with a child. This option makes it a bit easier to complete a whole class set of valentine cards. I made two different versions for you depending on the age and penmanship skills of your child.
Have I convinced you yet to have fun creating your own DIY valentine cards using photographs? Here are the easy to follow instructions…
Materials for DIY Valentine Cards Using Photographs
- heart shapes (candy, acrylic, felt, paper)
- Snapseed photo editing app (or one that you prefer)
- white paper (11” x 8 ½ “)
- blank cards and envelopes
- glue stick or spray glue
- inside of card PDF printable message template
Instructions for DIY Valentine Cards Using Photographs
Take several photographs from a top-down perspective of heart shapes spread out closely in a random fashion.
Edit photographs. Have fun with this part! Experiment with the different features and see what unique photographic work of art you come up with!
Print photographs using a color printer. I found that the sizes were different if I printed directly from Snapseed, Photos on my iPhone and if I emailed the images to my Gmail account and saved them to my desktop. I had to cut the images in half so they fit the blank card.
Mount the photograph to the front of each card with a glue stick or spray glue.
Step 5 (optional)
Glue the message template inside the card.
That’s it! It is a lot of fun taking photographs and it is even more fun using these photographs to make simple but unique and very pretty DIY valentine cards.
Taking pictures has never been so easy thanks to digital photography! Why not use your great photography to make gorgeous cards!
Although I encourage you to use your own valentine props to make your own photography, I give you permission to use the photographs used in this post. I just ask that you give credit and spread the word where this idea and the photographs originally came from.
Here is a pinnable image for sharing and for future reference…
If you love Valentine’s Day DIY and crafts as much as I do you also might want to check these previously written posts too…