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Feb 072013
 February 7, 2013  Posted by  DIY, Family, Valentine's Day

There’s something nostalgic about trading store-bought Valentines with cute pictures and candy-heart messages. They’re also cheap, and if that’s the way you want to go, we’re OK with that.

But if you can’t find the “just-right” box of cards or you want to add a little personalization to your greetings, the Living on the Cheap Pinterest page has tons of ideas for cheap and easy homemade Valentines that will make your heart happy. Most of them are also perfect for last-minute card exchanges, so if you haven’t started yet, don’t fret.

3-D Photo Valentines

Kudos to the first person who thought of this homemade Valentine idea. We found it at 24-7-365.

Take a photo of your child with arm stretched toward the camera, hand fisted as if holding something. With some simple editing software (PicMonkey is great), you can add text to the image like, “I’m a sucker for you, Valentine.” Run the photos to a one-hour photo shop (you can even do this online and just pick them up later). Buy a bag of lollipops. Using a craft knife, carefully cut a small slit at the top and at the bottom of the hand of each photo. Insert the lollipop.

For more photo Valentine ideas, see Valentines Day Crafts Using Photos.

More Lollipop Valentines

Another take on the lollipop idea are these cute little heart-flower Valentines we found on Disney’s Spoonful website. Simple construction paper, a glue stick (or double-sided tape) and a bag of suckers make for quick Valentines any kid will appreciate. See our Pins for more lollipop Valentines.

Tip for cutting out symmetrical hearts: Draw half a heart on folded paper, cut out and unfold. You can use this as a template for all your lollipop Valentines.


Cootie-Catcher Valentines

Anyone who has a third- or fourth-grader will immediately recognize how brilliant this idea is. Cootie catchers (aka fortune-tellers) are all the rage in elementary school. You can make your own or use a free printable template like this one from Design Mom. We’ve pinned several versions and most include folding instructions.

Free Printable Valentines

Thanks to the Internet, you can make your own nostalgic Valentines for trading. You’ll need a printer with full tanks of ink and some cardstock for these. We thought these free printable “vintage-look” cards from Pumpkins and Posies were especially adorable.

These are just a few of the ideas for cheap and easy Valentines we’ve come across. There are lots of others on our Cheap Valentine’s Day board, and you’ll find more frugal ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day here at Living on the Cheap.

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Carolyn Erickson

Carolyn Erickson is a freelance writer with expertise in business-to-consumer writing and editorial. During her career, she's helped companies like Time Warner Internet, Ethan Allen, Gold's Gym, Stanley Steemer, Empire Vision Centers and others reach local customers with their marketing messages. Her writing has received awards from the Kansas Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women. Most recently, Carolyn has parlayed her experience in digital media as the owner of Wichita on the Cheap into helping small businesses and non-profit organizations establish an Internet and social media presence – on the cheap, of course.

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