Our Best Valentine's Day Card DIY Ideas

folded paper hearts
Photo: Pernille Loof

For 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, friend, or family member, a card says it beautifully, especially when it's 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 Valentine's Day card. No matter what kind of love note you want to create (we're partial to this pleated iteration, with a love note penned on the back), the list of supplies doesn't vary much. You'll need card stock, scrapbook paper, and envelopes, as well as pens and pencils, scissors, a ruler, craft knife, cutting mat, tape, hole punch, and bone folder. With these items on hand, you'll be well on your way to making a Valentine's Day card that will truly melt your beloved's heart.

01 of 12

Envelope Hearts

folding heart envelopes multistep
Shanna Sullivan

Hearts are perhaps one of Valentine's Day's biggest motifs—so why not work them into your card? Here, paper is folded into the symbol of love with a loving message and sealed in floral-print envelopes—resulting in a heartfelt experience from open to close.

02 of 12

Mitten Cards

diy paper mitten cards
Lennart Weibull

Give a helping hand to your loved one on February 14 with these easy DIY valentines. Fold a piece of patterned wrapping paper in two, and use our template to cut out two opposing shapes. Turn the bottom inch of each "mitten" up into a contrasting cuff, then use double-sided tape to tack them down and stick the sides and bottoms of each mitten half together, wrong-sides in, leaving an opening up top. Fill with small candies, stickers, or heart notes, and commence the high-fives.

03 of 12

Honeycomb Pop-Up Cards

paper-honeycomb pop-up cards
Ryan Liebe

Take Valentine's Day to a new dimension with paper-honeycomb pop-up cards. 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.

04 of 12

3-D Cards

pop-up valentines day DIY cards
Kirsten Francis

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 beginner crafters, 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 to the other, like we did for the lips. Or try the step method used for the tulip and balloon designs.

Then declare your love in 3D: Start by folding 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.

05 of 12

Garland Cards

Valentine's Day garland-style cards
Ngoc Minh Ngo

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.

06 of 12

Accordion Cards

Ngoc Minh Ngo

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 you're making one card, print directly on desired paper. Fold along score marks, then unfold, cut out, and refold. Position the folded piece inside the base card so it pops. Secure with double-sided tape.

07 of 12

Pipe-Cleaner Kiss Cards

diy pipe cleaner lips valentines
Aaron Dyer

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.

08 of 12

Illustrated Cards

illustrated cards for Valentine's Day
Ngoc Minh Ngo

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.

09 of 12

Sign of Love Card


Declare your love by adding our stylish clip-art to card stock and embellishing with stamps, glitter, decorative tape, and craft punches. Don't forget to pen a loving note on the inside for further personalization!

10 of 12

Concentric Hearts Card


Here's a simply elegant idea: Customize our heart template with glitter and paper to make a card filled with love.

11 of 12

Playing-Card Valentines

la104506_0209_heartlcards_xl.jpg (skyword:394907)

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 x 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.

12 of 12

Puzzle Purse Card

vintage puzzle purse valentine
Katya de Grunwald

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.

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