For a holiday about love, Valentine’s Day can be a pain to deal with during a busy work week. I used to be the mom that would wait until the last minute to buy Valentines Day Cards.
Forcing the kids to have to choose between a character that didn’t like or one that they liked a little bit less.
Then I would wait some more to sit the kids jot down everyones name from their class lists. Hoping they don’t mess too many up because I didn’t splurge on an accident proof kit.
I’m not sure what my aversion to Valentine’s Day activities. Maybe I had a bad experience as a kid. Maybe it’s the pile of candy the kids home with.
As a kid Valentine’s Day was stressful, it was Uber important to make sure you didn’t send a heart to the wrong person. Our kids have Snapchat and other messaging apps to make that mistake now.
Regular Valentine’s Day Cards are Boring
Maybe it’s because store bought Valentine’s Day cards are boring and unoriginal.
They all say the same thing. “Be Mine”, “I Dig You” or “You’re Super” often in the tone of the particular theme.
Are you into Minecraft and looking to spread the love with Minecraft themed cards? Your card could say something like, “I’m no creeper… I just want to be your Valentine.”
If one of my kids brings home a card that reads, “Make Valentines Day Great Again.” I will cry or throw up or slide it into the shredder.
Be a Boss at Valentine’s Day Card Giving
Don’t be the parent running to the nearest Target a few minutes before they close. You’ll be stuck with the crappy card leftovers.
Try making your own. I know what you are thinking, “I’m not the crafty type.” Neither am I.
“I don’t have time to make cards, I don’t have the material.”
I have some ideas that are faster than you think. And all you need for material is a camera and your kid.
Almost everyone has one in their pocket, not the kid. The camera.
If you do have a ton of time and love crafts, check out the gazzilion Valentine’s Day card making boards.
Use your Mobile Phone to Make Valentines Cards
If you lack the crafters gene, like myself, taking a pic of your kid is a great way to make custom Valentine’s Day cards. Dress him or her up in the cutest Valentines Day outfit, grab your phone and snap away on your camera phone.
Upload your favorites to Target, CVS or any other photography print center and wait.
One hour later, grab the pictures and a few bags of candy and relish in crossing that off your to do list.
Creative Photo Ideas for Valentine’s Day Cards
If you started planning more than a day in advance you could spruce up your Valentine’s Day photo card. I call this the Photo Card + Lollipop holder. I wish I took a picture of the final project when they were completed. But remember when I said I wasn’t a fine of having left overs.
All you need is a camera, lollipops, the prints, and a zacto knife. This one is a bit more hands on, but it’s way more fun for the kids to hand out. What’s not fun is staying up to cut the slits into each picture.
But since I managed to run this process twice with two kids and not cut myself, I’ll call it a win.
These photos are a hit. I wouldn’t recommend creating these cards more than once. Unless you were lucky enough to move across the country or change schools.
Here are some quick tips on how to get the lollipop holding affect for your Valentine’s Day photo cards.
- You want to get that creamy bokeh in the background so get the best lens you have and shoot at the smallest f stop. I used my Canon 50mm at 1.4 and my Tamron 30mm 1.8.
- Put your camera on a tripod. You will need to focus on getting your kid in the right position.
- If you can use natural light from the sun, instead of flash or artificial lighting.
Tip: You need to decide if you want the kid in focus or the lollipop hand. I tried both and prefer the kid in sharp focus.
Go All-In with a Valentine’s Inspired Photo Shoot
Several years back I offered Valentine’s Day mini sessions for families in my area. It was a lot of fun.
Ask around to see if any local photographers are available for a mini sessions or take them yourself.
There are some great Valentine’s Day inspired props on Etsy or you can make some yourself. The 99 cent store can be your best friend around the holiday.
You do have to plan ahead for this one… no procrastinators allowed.
We were running short on time one year, so I grabbed the camera, took some pictures, uploaded them to Target.com. I created the images and ordered them as photo prints. BAM! Valentine’s Day cards within a few hours and nobody has to sign their name.
It’s time to ditch the boring store bought Valentine’s card. And start creating custom cards that can fit with in the tightest of timelines.