Get ready for a green Valentine’s with eco-friendly cards you craft from…whatever

We realize it's only the middle of January, but if time zooms by as quickly for you as it does for us, Valentine's Day is not too far off. And if you want to avoid buying cards this year, why not take a day soon to sit down and make those cards.

Whether you want to give only one special masterpiece to your love or craft enough for a room full of preschoolers, making them can be as simple as cutting heart shapes out of paper you'd otherwise toss, and writing messages related to being green–Will you be my eco-Valentine?, I love you from the bottom of my organic heart, You're as sweet as local honey (assuming you and the recipient have a sense of humor!)


One of the most fun approaches for kids is simply to put out lots of papers, pens, paints, stamps, used postage stamps, scissors, glue etc. and let 'em go. They'll come up with all sorts of fun, creative cards. 

Don't think that handmade cards have to look like traditional greeting cards. Here's one Lynn made for her husband out of a hangar and some other stuff she had lying around. Don't be afraid to take found objects, clothing, etc. and re-purpose into meaningful greetings. (Can you tell Lynn likes wordplay?)

                                                                   

If you want to get a little fancier, replicate this Valentine Lynn made. It's simple, unique, fun to make and uses up junk mail, old magazine pages or slick newspaper ads. Kids will really get into making these. Create an assembly line if you're doing lots.

What you need:

Page(s) from newspaper, magazine, catalogue, newsprint is best
Colorful junk mail, magazines, newspaper ads
Glue stick
Scissors

Directions:


1. Cut 3 heart shapes from a piece of newspaper, book page etc. Easiest way is to fold the pages in half and cut one half a heart, unfold and voila!

2. Cut long strips from your magazine, junk mail or newspaper ads. Thickness doesn't matter. Strips don't even need to be even. 

3. Cut strips into shorter lengths.

4. Begin gluing strips around what will be the back of the card. Leave spaces between. Glue all the way around the heart.

5. Cut strips that are a little longer than the first layer and glue behind the first layer in the spaces inbetween. They'll overlap and that's fine.

6. Repeat with a third layer if you like. 

7. Once you have as many layers of the strips as you like, flip card over to front. Take a second heart and fold it in half, then staple it on the fold line in two places, to the front.

8. Flip the card over again and glue one heart over the back of the card covering staples and the messy part where the strips are glued.

9. Stamp, write or glue words to the heart that stands up.

Lynn made a giant version of this card and stuffed it with paper. Shhh, she's planning to give to her grandkids just for fun.


Tell us about your eco-friendly Valentines, step one in celebrating green this Valentine's Day.

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are a mother-daughter team and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at www.CelebrateGreen.net.

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