The annual Hilltown Families Handmade Valentine Swap is a tradition I’ve participated in several times now, in which children, adults, and families living in the “Hidden Hills” of the Berkshires make and receive homemade Valentines.
I first joined the fold in the “adult” category, before Juli was born; but it’s become a favorite art project for us to work on together.
Last year, we made magic wands and flowers with heart-shaped petals using Avery labels, foam hearts, wooden craft sticks, and ribbon.
We took a cue from Avery (the company’s blog and weekly inspo eblast is a great one) again this year: As it happens, 3/4″ diameter round labels (dots) are the same size as the bottom of a Hershey’s Kiss, and Avery offers a printable template to turn your Kisses into home-made conversation hearts.
We had some perfectly sized Valentine stamps in-house, though, and chose to manually stamp our labels instead of using the template. The stamps were a gift, but similar to these, and I found a red ink-pad via 2000 Plus office supplies.
Three Kisses in a baggie looks a little bit like a heart, and a festive enough with some Valentine-ribbon. I found both the Kisses and the ribbon in bulk on Amazon.
Then, we paired them with Juli’s handmade Valentine cards to mail to her list of recipients (10 other kids of varying ages, living in towns across western Massachusetts). She chose to make a different card for every person this year, as opposed to assembly-line style (which also has its merits).
Juli started receiving her handmade Valentines the first week in February, but I hoarded them until our traditional heart-shaped pizza feast on Valentines Day to see the spoils. As usual, it’s a great haul, including some newspaper art, an original pen-and-ink illustration, a clay coaster I’m using right now, and a sassy flamingo.