I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Published February 2nd 2011
No matter your skill level or artistic ability, there's nothing quite as heartfelt as a homemade card to express your love on Valentine's Day. And you needn't rush out in cold or unpleasant weather to purchase unnecessary supplies. In fact, using personal tokens from your own shared experiences, such as photographs, ticket stubs, pressed flowers, old ribbons, and other mementos can make the most basic Valentines extra special.
If your prefer something more basic, almost any card can be made special when embellished. Check out this lovely card for inspiration when considering collage or cut paper techniques, such as those made so popular in scrap-booking.
Paper doilies are still as charming now as they were when you were in primary school, especially when used in such crafty new ways. Dig through your pantry or desk for unusual papers, foils, doilies, and more.
Those with a sewing machine handy can try all sorts of lavish designs by sewing paper. It's an unexpected and unique way to quickly dress up a cute little love note. For even more ideas, consider sewing a little something fragrant inside, like lavender, or hard candies like conversation hearts.
If you need to help out the little ones and want to think of something truly special this year for classroom giving, consider recycling old crayons by melting them into heart-shaped molds to make Valentines that are as colorful as they are practical.
Those talented in knitting and sewing will adore making tiny hearts out of yarn and recycled or repurposed fabrics, which may also be made into floral-scented sachets and used to freshen lingerie drawers or hung in closets all year long.
For a greater challenge, and one that is surely worth the effort, try your hand at a cleverly folded card like these lovely square designs. Once folded flat, the removal of each flap can reveal your affection layer by layer.
Finally, for those interested in a cleanly designed, nifty Valentine on the fly, try Wordle, a website where in just minutes you can make a wonderful Valentine-inspired design from your own original writing, or even your favorite love poem.