Inside: Valentine’s Day craft to use your kids’ Valentine’s Day cards that they bring home from school. Don’t toss them, make this Valentine’s Day Placemat craft.
As a kid, I loved Valentine’s Day.
I loved collecting the valentines my classmates brought in to school. The My Little Pony cards. The Lisa Frank unicorn cards. And the cute little kitten cards.
The only problem was, they all had to go in the trash after the holiday. If they didn’t, they would end up piled on my desk, or tucked in a desk drawer, or shoved under my bed.
Valentine’s Day cards seem to multiply on February 15th and 16th.
So when my eldest came home with her first mailbox of valentines, we needed to come up with a plan. She was way too attached to her valentines for me to make her throw them out. She would have been devastated.
And now that I have three kids in school, they come home with roughly 70 little cards from their classmates. The clutter of all those cards on my table and floor and couch make me cringe.
There had to be a way to reuse all of their cards without throwing them away or cluttering my counters.
How to Reuse your Kid’s Valentines Cards to Make a Placemat
To combat the clutter of the cards–and my desire to have them gone–and my kids’ attachment to them, we’ve started a new Valentine’s Day tradition that my kids love.
I purchase clear contact paper and turn their valentine’s cards into placemats.
They get to look at their valentine’s day cards and ooh and ahh over the princess cards and the Star Wars cards they got, and I’m not constantly picking them up off my floor.
Valentine’s Day Placemat Directions:
1. Lay out your kid’s valentines in a rectangular shape, without exceeding the size of the contact paper you purchase. Some cuts to their collection may need to be made so the placemat isn’t gigantic….they may have to choose between keeping the Mulan or the Belle valentine.
2. Add in a small piece of paper with their name, year, and teacher’s name and stick it somewhere between the cards.
3. Measure out the contact paper, making sure you have a small border around the outside of all the cards.
4. Use the first sheet of contact paper as a guide, and cut an identical sized piece.
5. Peel off the backing of one piece of contact paper and lay it on the Valentine cards. I have found this is a two-person job, with one person holding two corners and one person holding the other two corners.
6. Firmly rub the contact paper on the valentines to make the contact paper stick.
7. Lift up the contact paper and flip it over, so it’s sticky side up. Replace any valentines that didn’t stick. This is also a good time to readjust any cards that aren’t straight.
8. Peel the backing off the second contact paper and lay it on top of the other sheet, lining up the corners.
9. Smooth out the contact paper with both hands to roll out any bubbles.
10. Trim the edges of the contact paper to make the edges line up.
Now all you have to do is convince your kids they don’t need to keep their placemats for the next half-decade. We still have my fifth-grade daughter’s Kindergarten placemat she excitedly eats on every February.
Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Books:
My family’s other favorite Valentine’s Day tradition is reading good books.
Here are a few of our family’s favorites:
Want another fun Valentine’s Day Craft? Teach your kids beginning sewing with this fun Valentine’s Day Sewing Craft:
Want even more ideas?
Spread Love on Valentine’s Day from Happy Science Mom
Valentine’s Ideas for Preschoolers and Toddlers from Fab Working Mom Life
Even more Valentine’s Day Ideas for Toddlers from Spit Up and Sit Ups