Monday, February 14, 2011

The Cutest Little Valentines EVER!

You all know that I love to save money and use coupons, but I bet you didn't know that I am practically Martha Stewart aside from all of that, did you?  I LOVE all things decor and crafting, therefore every holiday becomes an excuse for me to spend way too much time and energy on handmaking every.single.thing. unleash my inner Martha. 

This year, J really "understands" holidays [if you can call Valentine's Day that] and "gets" that they are special days.  He is so precious with his excitement over each and every holiday, and I like to make them extra special for him because I am SuperMom like that. :]  I wanted to create something memorable for us to do that would really help him understand Valentine's Day, so when I spotted this, I knew I could soooo do my own. 

"Read more" for the tutorial and step-by-step pictures!

I wasn't crazy about my three-year-old boy blowing a kiss at just anyone besides me yet like the girl in the above inspiration picture, and I knew that he probably wouldn't cooperate for such a photo [it was hard enough just getting him to hold his hand properly].  We practiced his pose in this picture for weeks a few minutes and it took several takes to get it just the way I wanted. 

After getting the picture just right [or as close as possible, anyway], I uploaded it into [an awesome photo editing website for those not familiar] and changed the tone, cropped it, and resized it a bit.  Then, I used MS Paint [yes, MS Paint!  That awesome little tool that comes on every Windows computer and is never used by adults.] to create the right side of the card.  I simply painted a small rectangle of space with red paint, used Google Image Search to find the little hearts at the top, copied and pasted them on, and then typed out the text.  I saved the MS Paint Image, uploaded it into Foto Flexer with the original picture of J, lined up the pictures, and merged them together to make one photo. I uploaded the merged picture to, ordered fifty prints of it, and picked them up less than an hour later. I super sweetened this by using a brand spanking new Walgreens photo account to get fifty prints for free, which made the cards FREE.  

The actual process of putting these cards together was a little time-consuming, but oh so worth it in the end.  My awesome hubby proved his love to me by helping me [with the things I trusted him to do... he is NO Martha Stewart], which you will see below:

I know, I owe him big time. 
I didn't actually catch him in the action of helping with
the cards, but here he is cutting ribbon for the cookie bags we made. :] 

We had quite an assembly line going, and we got some conversation time in, which is never a bad thing. :]  I punched a hole in each card, right between J's thumb & index finger, using a plain ol' hole punch that we had lying around, while Mr. FFU placed a sucker in each hole that I punched.  He then handed each card back to me for proofing and quality assurance to place a tiny piece of tape on each card, securing the sucker to the card. 

Like I said before, I got the photos for free from Walgreens! I only had to buy the suckers, which were $1/bag at the Dollar Tree.  I bought 3 bags with 20 suckers each in them, making the total cost for this project $3! That's the same price as most store-bought, crappy, generic cards!  And these are soooo much more amazing!  I really didn't NEED to buy three bags, but since I got fifty cards for free, and I only needed about twenty for his class, I used the other thirty for family, my homies at work, and his baby/toddler book.

I also baked cookies for everyone, and placed them all in cello bags, tied with ribbon.  As you can see in the picture above, Adam was super extra amazingly awesome and helped me cut the ribbon!  I wanted to use three different colors [red, pink, and white], so I needed fifty cuts of each color.  He balked at first, but eventually came around [after grumbling something about someone being an overachiever...].  I placed the cookies in individual clear cello bags and tied them all up using the ribbon.  I also placed little tags on each bag [but only for the school version, sorry to my work homies.... they were extra time-consuming and I knew you guys just wanted the cookie, anyway] using solid-colored tags, also hole-punched:

Can you guess what those tags are made of?  They were FREE red & pink paint chips that I stole stealthily obtained by being a super curious shopper.  You know those annoying little paper things that are all over the paint department in every home improvement store in America?  These are the bigger individual ones [not the ones that are bigger with 3 or more colors on them, just the single colors].  I simply cut a tiny strip off the top that said that paint shade, hole punched, and tied them right on.  If it's free, it's for me.  This girl can find a use for A-NY-THING.

The cookie bags, combined with the adorable cards made for an unforgettable Valentine's Day treat.  Call me a crafting snob, but nothing J brought home from school today came close to the awesomeness of his treats.  :] 
Here is a colored version of the card for you guys:
Please excuse the clarity/glare/crookedness of this picture.  I took it with my phone since my camera batteries died mid-craft.  Still awesome, right?

What did YOU make for Valentine's Day?


  1. I LOVED my card, BTW!!! I think you did an amazing job with these, proving once again, you are a GREAT mom!!! I love you!!
    Love, Mama (AKA: Gina)

  2. You are sooo amazing!! Maybe you can give me mommy lessons if and when my husband decides to knock me up... LOL! The cookies were FANTASTIC by the way... you are suppoised to bring me another one..... still waiting ~Kerri

  3. your awesome Heather Guh/Cro!