An Easy, Gorgeous Last-Min Valentine’s Day Craft

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Oh hey! It’s just about Valentine’s Day. Not sure how the heck that happened (weren’t we just ringing in the New Year?), but here we are, and true to the current situation, it’s looking a little different. We were required to turn in our class Valentines a week early, so they’d have plenty of time in “quarantine” before being distributed. So if you’re following a similar protocol, this post might not be helpful in the least. (Ha, sorry…) BUT, if you’re just looking for a fun project to celebrate the holiday, or you’ve got folks in your bubble who would appreciate a tiny homemade work of art — or maybe you just wanna little inspo to bookmark for next year? — this post is for you.

Easy Valentine’s Day Craft: 1 Cool Collage Art Project, Dozens Of Valentines

This is the second year we’ve made these Collage Art Valentines (peep last year’s here), and they’re such a hit, both with the recipients and on Instagram, that I thought I’d share them here, too. It almost seems silly making an entire post out of it, but the gist is this: you craft one large collage — the more crowded you make the layers, the more interesting the end result — and then you cut that single collage into a buttload (technical term) of little Valentines.

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

It literally couldn’t be simpler, and the Valentines truly end up like little works of art. Totally appropriate for a range of ages, too. Last year I cut out all the paper pieces and let Lana add paint and collage the pieces as she wished; this year we skipped the paint and opted instead for a rainbow theme and just reallllly loaded on the paper elements. I traced and cut the finished Valentines, but if you have older kiddos, they could likely do this whole project solo, soup to nuts. (Not gonna lie, I stepped back during the collage phase and totally let Lana do her thing, but I could have gotten pretty into it, myself.)

Overall, one of my favorite crafts to-date — and a tradition we’ll likely keep up for years to come. Below, the step-by-step instructions (if you can even call them that), along with a few tips.

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

How To Make Easy Collage Art Valentines

What You’ll Need:

  • Dropcloth or some kind of protective tablecloth (optional, but makes me feel a little more at ease when there’s so much glue involved)
  • Colored tagboard (recommended) or cardboard + large sheets of construction paper
  • Paint, glitter, other decorative stuff (optional)
  • Paper or paper scraps, optionally cut into heart shapes — can be construction paper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, tissue paper, paper doilies, stickers, you name it
  • White glue, thinned with just a little water
  • Paint brush
  • Heart cookie cutter + permanent marker (optional)

Instructions:

1. Get your large piece of tagboard or cardboard. The larger this piece, the more Valentines you’ll end up with, but there will also be more surface area to cover. (Last year we did a large piece and got more than 50; this year we scaled back in size and got about 30, but it will depend on your cookie cutter, too.)

Tip: depending on how much you layer on top of this piece, it might end up on the thick side (read: harder to cut). We used cardboard this year, and I can attest that it was not only harder to cut, but the cuts weren’t as sharp/smooth. I would avoid using standard paper as the base since it needs to be something substantial enough to hold up to the wet glue without curling up or getting too soggy.

2. Color your base. If your tagboard or base item is already the color you want — hooray! If not, glue a layer of large sheets of construction paper over the top. We used a mix of large scrap construction paper pieces in various colors since Lana wanted a “rainbow” theme.

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

3. Collage time! Decorate the heck outta the thing using all your paper scraps and the thinned glue (and paint, glitter, whatever else you might be using). The more crowded you make the collage, the more interesting each individual Valentine will be. Depending on your kiddo’s age (and attention span), they can either help gather and cut the scraps, or you can prep the scraps as you go and just let them have at it with the placement/glue. You could even prep them in advance, or buy pre-cut paper shapes.

Tip: the effect of tissue paper over construction paper always ends up pretty cool and is an easy way to cover up any exposed spots fast.

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

4. Touch it up. Once your collage is as busy as you’d like, go over any little loose edges or stubborn flaps with a bit more glue. This isn’t papier mache — it’s not like the whole thing has to be completely covered in glue, but it’ll be easier to cut later if everything is well adhered. Let dry thoroughly.

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

5. Trace your shapes. When collage is dry, use a cookie cutter and the marker to trace hearts over the collage (I find it easier to trace the outside of the cookie cutter). You can get as picky here with the placement as you want, but the goal is to try to get as many Valentines out of this thing as possible.

Tip: No cookie cutter? Make your own shape to trace using an extra piece of tagboard or cardboard — or skip the shape all together and cut the whole thing into squares, rectangles or triangles. (Bonus — you’ll have no wasted scraps!)

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

6. Cut it into little Valentines! Like I said above, the difficulty of this step will depend on the thickness of your finished project (which is largely reliant on the thickness of your base layer), but I was able to do a decent job even using thicker cardboard and a standard pair of scissors.

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

And that’s it! See — hardly worth the detailed description, but Pinterest and the goog-bots like it when we do it that way.

We plan on using this same concept for holiday ornaments, bookmarks, and just plain ol’ gifts (think how pretty it could be to simply frame a few of these little guys!).

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.
My best friend sent us this picture of how he’s displaying this year’s finished piece. So cute.

Happy crafting, gang! Oh, and if you make these, tag us at @themomedit and @thepigandquill so we can see and share your creations.

Sending big Valentines hugs, friends.
Em

Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!

Oh, hey, pinners…

We craft 1 large collage -- the more crowded the layers, the more interesting -- then cut that collage into a buttload (technical term) of li'l Valentines.

7 COMMENTS

    • Awesome, it’s actually a pretty fun project for any time of year — hope you enjoy! (And I love the print, too — I told him as much and he said he found it at T.J. Maxx!)

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