The Best of Our Valentine's Day Cards with Clip-Art and Templates
Play secret admirer with our handmade Valentine's Day cards. Use templates and clip-art for pop-up hearts, punny sayings, and romantic illustrations.
In Valentine's Days past, you once dutifully crafted hundreds of handmade cards as a student in school. And while you may not have classmates to impress anymore, it's still a cherished tradition. When it comes time to show how much you love and appreciate your significant other (or a beloved friend or family member), a card says it beautifully, especially when its personalized to the recipient. We're making it even easier for you by providing the templates, clip-art, and heart-shaped inspiration you need for a card that'll truly melt your beloved's heart.
No matter what kind of Valentine you want to create—3-D or otherwise—here's a list of supplies to have on hand: card stock, scrapbook paper, and envelopes; plus, pens and pencils, scissors, ruler, craft knife, self-healing cutting mat, double-sided tape, hole punch, and bone folder. If you're planning to mail the card, measure the envelope first and size the card accordingly (usually about 1/4 inch smaller all around). For the cleanest results, cut the paper with a craft knife on a self-healing mat (cut straight lines along a ruler). Some cards need the additional backing to conceal cuts or add weight: Create a border by cutting the back piece slightly larger than the base, and layer patterned and solid papers.
Without further ado, we offer an idea to revel in Valentine's Day the old-fashioned way: create personal cards such as these eye-popping pop-ups. Pull a string, lift a tab, and watch hearts go all aflutter.
Take Valentine's Day to a new dimension with paper-honeycomb pop-up cards that elicit real awwws. Just fold plain card stock in half, and glue on embellishments like cutout petals and pipe-cleaner stems. Then draw on extra details (like the eyelashes), pen a cheeky note, and adhere a honeycomb ball or fitting shape in the crease to complete your heart-swelling message.
Shop Now: Recollections Card-Stock Paper (used for cards), 8.5" by 11", in Roses, $6 for 50 sheets, michaels.com; Oh Happy Day Honeycomb Mini Balls, 2", in Red, $7 for 10, shop.ohhappyday.com; Creatology Chenille Pipe Cleaners, in Kelly Green, $1 for 25; and Recollections Card-Stock Paper, 8.5" by 11", in Feathered Greens, $6 for 50 sheets, michaels.com; Sakura Gelly Roll Classic 08 Pen, in White $8.75 for 3, amazon.com; Oh Happy Day Honeycomb Teardrop, 5" tall, in Gold, $2.75, shop.ohhappyday.com; Everbilt #12 100-Percent Cotton Twine Rope, in White, $3 for 420 ft., homedepot.com; Oh Happy Day Honeycomb Mini Ball, 2", in Sunshine Yellow, $7 for 10, shop.ohhappyday.com; Sharpie Oil-Based Medium-Point Paint Marker, in White, $5, michaels.com; Oh Happy Day Honeycomb Mini Ball, 2", in Black, $7 for 10, shop.ohhappyday.com; Just Artifacts Tissue-Paper Honeycomb Ball, 4", in Red, 75¢, justartifacts.net.
Up and at 'Em Cards
When you have a valentine who makes your heart go pitter-patter, return the favor. These pop-up cards are fun for both kids and the young-at-you-know-what to make, since they call for basic scissor skills to send balloons bobbing, flowers blooming, and lips smooching. Cut short rips of construction paper and crimp them; glue one end to the card and a shape (like our lips) to the other. Or try the step method, right, used for our tulip and balloon designs. Then declare your love in 3-D.
Specifically, fold paper in half to make the card. Cut pairs of slits into folded edge, 1/4 inch apart. Open the card and push the sections between slits forward to form steps; glue paper shapes onto them.
Shop Now: Paper Presentation Matte Cover Paper, 8 1/2" by 11", in Coral, Lily, and Light Pink, $8 each for 25 sheets, paperpresentation.com; Paper Presentation Matte Text Paper, 8 1/2" by 11", in Verde and Rouge, from $4 for 25 sheets, paperpresentation.com; Paper Presentation Matte A9 Envelopes, in Coral and Light Pink, $17 for 50, paperpresentation.com.
An airplane chased by a lovey-dovey contrail, a heart-shaped lock with skeleton key, two little lovebirds sitting on a wire—these garland-style cards simply require ribbon, cord, or twine. Mixing patterned and solid-color papers helps create contrast and adds visual interest.
These cards require cutting along a fold, or making doubles to sandwich cord between. For lovebirds, position the template so that the beak's point is right at the paper's folded edge. For heart lock, cut two lock bases, one lock front, and two keys. Sandwich the cord's ends between the duplicates, and secure with double-sided tape. For the airplane, cut two fuselages and six heart clouds. Sandwich ribbon between the duplicates, and tape.
3-D Valentine's Day Accordion Cards
What better way to communicate your love to your main squeeze than with an accordion-fold card? A quick print, cut, and crease is all it takes to make a card with a trio of hearts, a big "LOVE," or sweet old XOXOs.
To make one, print a template on card stock, cut, and trace onto the paper for the folded piece. (If making one card, print directly on desired paper.) Fold along score marks. Then unfold, cut out, and refold. Position the folded piece inside base card so it pops. Secure with double-sided tape.
Pipe-Cleaner Kiss Valentine's Day Cards
Make cute smooches out of bumpy pipe cleaners to adorn Valentine's Day cards. First, cut two bumps' worth of pipe cleaner. Fold the piece in half, between the bumps. Pinch the center of one bump to form the top lip. Close the mouth by twisting the open ends together, then attach the lips to card stock with craft glue. Using a pen marker, write a heartfelt message to your valentine.
A crush can be more powerful than a locomotive. It can also be as sweet as a hand-delivered note, or as cheerily optimistic as an upturned mailbox flag. These clip-art illustrations require a few simple cuts and a couple of pieces of tape. The little envelope acts as a card within a card, containing a secret love note or special gift card.
Print the desired illustration on card stock. For the hand, cut with scissors, making sure to snip between the thumb and index finger. For the mailbox, print the flag on red card stock, and cut out. With a craft knife, cut along the "U" of the door and three sides of the flag base on the mailbox. Punch a hole, and secure the flag with paper fastener. For the train, snip flaps off the envelopes, and tape the envelopes to the flat beds.
Sign of Love Card
Concentric Hearts Card
Calligraphy Heart Cards
Print our clip art designs onto card stock for sophisticated Valentine's Day cards that are full of love.
Shop Now: Recollections Essentials Card Stock Paper, $19.99, michaels.com.
The cards, pictured here, are already dressed for the occasion. Write greetings on glassine envelopes with a no-smudge marker, or use an ink-jet printer.
Using a word-processing program, type four messages; size each to fit onto a glassine envelope, and stagger them a few inches apart on the page. Print onto a sheet of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. On the printout, center one envelope over each message. Using removable tape, affix the top and bottom edges of each envelope to printout. Using the manual feed on your printer, insert envelope-taped printout, and reprint; remove tape. Repeat this process to make additional envelopes as needed. Insert one playing card into each envelope, and seal with a heart sticker.
Antique-Style Puzzle Purse Valentine
As early as the 1790s, sweethearts exchanged "puzzle purses." A poem runs along the edges, starting outside the folded square. The text, embellished with designs, is revealed as the card is opened. By folding back the panels—one at a time, in sequential order—a romantic message is conveyed either through the verses of a poem or symbolic images of love.