“Easier than storebought” valentines day kids cards

I saw this post, from the awesome Asha @Parenthacks, about how it is not slacking to buy storebought cards for kids class valentines.  And while I totally agree, I had to share this, which was our card from last year.  I submit that this is even EASIER than store bought cards, because nothing is more hellish in our family than getting my kid to sign valentines cards over and over again, but he does love to draw.   The idea is expanded below, but basically you get your kid to draw 1 card (or a few versions if desired) with a picture and appropriate text, and sign it.  Then you just scan it, shrink it, and print it multiple times on card stock!  Voila, all the cards are ‘hand signed’!   The version below also includes candy, but you can of course do anything you like, and candy is not required.

From 2012:

So Sunday evening, after a marathon session of watching Series 2 of Doctor Who with the Boy (who between that and Harry Potter is becoming quite the Anglophile), we had the sudden realization that Tuesday was Valentines Day… oops!  I guess we need a bunch of cards for the classmates!

Yesterday after school we sat down to come up with Vday cards, and the Boy (first grade) has been obsessed with the idea of Valentine’s Monsters.  Well, he’s a boy, so monsters just come with the territory.  He had a blast designing his own cards, and with a little help from mom & Photoshop, here are the results!

How to make your own easy and personal homemade monster cards:

  1. Have the kid design his own monster on a full sheet of paper.  We used pencil for the lines and colored with light colored markers. Have the monster hold his hand out, so that you can add your own real-life lollipop. (The Boy insisted on 3 different designs)
  2. Write a pithy saying.   The boy decided on “Have a Yummy Valentine’s Day” for one, and “I’m watching you, Valentine” for the one with all the eyes.  OK, a little stalker-y, but he’s 6.  This isn’t supposed to be Hallmark!  He wrote out the saying, and signed the cards.
  3. Scan the drawing and the words.  If you have photoshop or something similar, you can make the scanned drawing look a little cleaner by adjusting the Levels.  (Slide the left most slider slightly to the right, and the rightmost slider to the left, to remove shadows from the scan and darken the lines.)
  4. Use a photo editing program to shrink down both pieces so you can fit approximately 8 cards on a page.  We used the same words with 2 of the monsters, to save time, since his writing isn’t exactly speedy.
  5. Print on cardstock, and cut apart.
  6. Use an exacto knife to cut two slits near the hand, and slide the lollipop through.
These are personal, and having the signature already on them saves time for slow writing and easily bored first graders.  He just addressed them on the back to his classmates prior to threading through the sucker.  They are also great for sending to the grandparents, minus the candy!
[project originally published 2/2012]