Handmade Valentine’s Day Card Tutorial

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

It’s already February 12th, which means Valentine’s Day is already creeping up on us. Again. Though it was a year ago, it seems like only yesterday that Hernán and I decided to go to the Mexican place in a strip mall to avoid the Valentine’s Day crowds. We run into the same dilemma every year: we don’t make a reservation, so we end up trying to guess where the other Valentine’s love birds won’t be going, and we go there. This generally leads us to a place with a less than ideal atmosphere and/or subpar food, but nevertheless we’re satisfied because we’ve made an attempt to celebrate the occasion.

Another Valentine’s Day tradition for us is the exchanging of cards. Granted, this exchange is one-sided {Hernán’s not a “card” kinda guy}, but after he reads how easy it is to make a handmade Valentine’s Day card, I fully expect a card this year. {I’m being serious, Hernán!}

These particular handmade Valentine’s Day cards are incredibly easy to make. And, really, you could apply this technique to any material: a business card, a heart-shaped piece of paper, a journal page — anything! All you need is the following:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

    • Scissors
    • An old toothbrush
    • A blank card or piece of paper
    • A piece of junk mail or a page torn out of a magazine, cut to be a little bigger than your card
    • Acrylic or watercolor paint
    • A teensy bit of tape {not required}

Once you have assembled these supplies, you’ll lay the card on the magazine page and fold + crease the sides of the magazine page in so they are “hugging” the card. It will look like this:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Once you’ve made your fold lines, remove the card, take a ruler, and measure lines that are 1″ apart, like this:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Fold along the first inch line, like so:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

And just start arbitrarily cutting hearts along the fold:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Here’s what the first line will look like when you are finished:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

After you have completed the first line, fold it smooth again, then fold in the second line. Repeat. Do the same with the third and fourth lines. You’ll end up with something that looks like this:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Congratulations! You’ve made a stencil. Now, affix your card to the stencil by hugging in those original fold lines {the first ones you made, before you began cutting the hearts}. Take a teensy bit of tape and use it to tape down the flaps in the back — this isn’t required, but I like to make sure my stencil isn’t going anywhere.

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Flip over your card, and you’ll see that the front now looks like this:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Now it’s time to get your paint ready! I have chosen red and orange as the colors for my hearts.

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

Note that if your paint looks globby like that, you may need to dip your toothbrush in water before you dip it in the paint. You want your paint to be heavy enough that it’s opaque, but you want it to be liquid enough to be “fleckable”.

Next, take your index finger and start strumming the bristles of the toothbrush to make the paint fleck all over the card. I fleck from front to back and side to side to get different throws of paint.

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

If you have a metallic ink handy, you can fleck it on to finish up. I used some of my Winsor & Newton gold with an old, rigid paintbrush to add some new color and texture:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

At this point, your card will look like this:

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

I’m not a patient person, so at this stage in the game, I whipped out my hairbrush {which sees more paint than it does hair, unfortunately} and dried the paint in a matter of seconds. The fun part is lifting off the stencil and seeing the fruit of your labor!

Handmade Valentine's Day Card | The Postman's Knock

It has often been said that stencils made from magazines are like cast-iron pans: they get better with each use. Okay, that first part was a lie — no one has said that — but it’s the truth. As you layer more paint on your stencil, it will get sturdier and sturdier. Maybe someday it will even have the texture of plastic. Regardless, using a toothbrush is just a suggestion! You can sponge your paint on, paint it on, or even draw within the stencil.

I’ve got one more thing to show you before you go; since it’s Valentine’s Day, I like to send out mail to my friends just to let them know I am thinking of them. So often we pigeon-hole Valentine’s Day into a holiday to celebrate romantic love, when really it should be an excuse to celebrate all kinds of love. Accordingly, I sent out a couple of packets yesterday, and today I sent a birthday card to my grandfather plus a small note to my friend. I told you I was going to use that Dédalo bag to make an envelope out of à la my Magnolia Bakery envelope! I’m starting to choose which stores I shop at just for their bags.

Handmade Birthday Card + Envelope | The Postman's Knock

Tomorrow I’m planning on sending my Valentine’s Day cards out — I hope this has inspired you to make some of your own! Once you create your stencil, your handmade Valentine’s Day cards will take less than two minutes to create. All in all, this is about a 10-minute project. With so little time required and such common household materials, you don’t have an excuse not to make one!

Happy flecking — oh, and happy Valentine’s Day!

XO, Lindsey | The Postman's Knock

Comments

    • says

      I think so, too! A lot of people really don’t like this holiday because they don’t have a significant other — but the holiday itself is a celebration of love, which is found in friendships as well as love for the self. As part of a celebration of self-love, I treated myself to some Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice to have tomorrow. It’s my favorite. :) So, I hope that whether people have a significant other or not that they take Valentine’s Day to consider and appreciate all the love they have in their lives. And maybe kick back a few glasses of Martinelli’s.

  1. says

    Some amazing stuff you have shared here for making a Valentine card. I was planning to make one by myself — it’s my bad luck that I didn’t find this tutorial before. Anyway, thank you!

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