Mothers Day gifts, Teacher Appreciation presents from recycled valentines

Little Miss took her neatly-labeled valentines to school and arrived home with reciprocal Valentine cards from friends. So now, what to do with these prized missives? Clean freaks will toss when she isn't looking. Sentimental (ahem, packrat) parents will urge saving. Artsy (messy) moms won't know what happens to valentines because they will filter into general room litter. None of these is very satisfying considering cost, work and love put into valentines. Here are five cheap, homemade crafts using recycled and repurposed children's valentines. Perfect to use as gift crafts for Easter, Teacher Appreciation Month, Mother's Day, Father's Day or Grandparent birthday gift.

Scrapbook/Journal: Give child a cheap notebook (picked up at back-to-school sales and squirreled away by practical mama). Provide scissors, tape, crayons and pencil. Label the page with school year and teacher. Show how her how to arrange valentines, collage-style. She might cut pretty bits from

each or line them up like gallery next to each friend's picture. Add stickers or decorations.

Pirate Treasure Box: If Johnny B Goode made a particularly nice valentine box for school, save and use to store special stuff--treasures, awards, collectibles, tchotchkis, trinkets, medals, feathers, rocks, keys, bits of a disused bird's nest---so dear to a boy's heart. Or decorate a box using valentines, old maps, scrap aluminum foil, colored plastic, pictures, recycled bin fodder to and magazines. Water down school glue and paint over decorations to to "laminate" or decoupage. He could use his box as a "mailbox" too.

Jewelry box: Repupose old pasteboard, metal or wooden boxes. If decorations are peeling, scrub them off, down to basic box shape. If box is wooden, sand down blemishes. If metal, clean rust and grime with scrubber or Mr. Clean white sponge. Dry thoroughly. Paint box or decoupage valentines on with thin glue. Glue on flowers, faux gems, sequins, ribbon or lace if desired. If clasp is broken, glue a button on the bottom of the opening and a loop of yarn to the top. Loop yarn over button to close.

Picture frame: Buy a wide-edge photo frame or cut your own. Measure opening to fit picture and cut from cereal box. Cut inner edge with decorative scissors. Paint frame or cover with plain covered fabric or wrapping paper. Cut pictures from valentines or magazines. Use decoupage method to decorate edge with cut valentines.

Bookmarks: Decorate cardboard strips cut from dry goods boxes. Paint with fabric paints. Decoupage valentines on bookmark and write message ("Grandma-You're my Valentine Year-Round", "Dad I'm always thinking of you.") Give as Mother's Day, Father's Day or Grandparents' Day gifts.

Any of these would make a lovely gift for a lonely senior friend or shut-in. Why not pay it forward in the upcoming Easter holiday? Find a lonely old person and share your time and talent. You can find more recycled crafts at my blog Green Crafts.


Follow Me on Pinterest

Follow by Email

Search This Blog

About Me

My photo

Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

Blog Archive