Valentine's Day is a holiday that we celebrate every year on February 14th by giving letters and perhaps presents to the one(s) we love. Making your own cards is a great craft for kids.

The day is named for Saint Valentine, a Christian who lived almost 1800 years ago, during the time of the ancient Roman emperor Claudius. Saint Valentine was executed because he refused to convert to Roman beliefs.

While there are thousands of cards to choose from in stores, one of the great pleasures of Valentine's Day is to make -- and receive -- cards. Knowing that someone cares enough to make a card specially for you is perhaps more meaningful than any message written in that card!

In this article you can find inspiration to make different kinds of cards that are both traditional and innovative. Regardless, you will make them special!

  • Rebus Valentine: This card is both clever and fun and will be perfect for a valentine who likes riddles.
  • Thumbelina Valentine: No, this does not have anything to do with the fairytale, but it does have a lot to do with your thumb.
  • Special Valentines: Every valentine is special, but some are so special that they'll know what you're trying to say, even when you don't say a word!
  • Birch Bark Valentine: Nature is the source of some of the most beautiful things in the world, so why not use natural materials to make a beautiful valentine?
  • Valentine Holder: Are you one of the lucky ones who receives many valentines? Keep them all in one special place with this holder.
  • Secret Heart Valentine: Put a heart in a box and give it to someone you love!

How do you best say "I love you" without just coming out and saying it? Find out with the Rebus Valentine project next.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Rebus Valentine

A rebus Valentine's Day card.
A rebus Valentine's Day card.

For this Valentine's Day, send your card with a message in rebus writing, and challenge your friends to figure out the meanings of the picture sentences. It's a great holiday craft for kids and is sure to be appreciated much.

What You'll Need:

Paper

Markers or crayons

First figure out your valentine message. Rebus writing uses pictures, objects, or symbols that have names that sound like the words you want to express.

To write a rebus message, first write your valentine greeting on scrap paper. Then figure out pictures and letters you can use to come up with the sounds for each word. There are many different ways to represent any word.

Use your creativity to come up with fun and original pictures for each word of your message, and then put your friends to the test!

For example, "You are the apple of my eye" can be written using a picture of a ewe for the word "you," the letter "R" for the word "are," a picture of an apple for "apple," the letter "M" + a picture of an eye for "my," and a picture of an eye for "eye."

"I like you!" can be written: picture of an eye for "I," the letter "L" + a picture of a bike - the letter "B" for "like," and the letter "U" for "you." "Be mine!" can be written: picture of a bee for "be," and the letter "M" + the number "9" - the letter "N" for "mine."

There are many ways to say to someone that he or she is special. The next project is about making a card that is so personal that no one else can make one like it.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Thumbelina Valentines

Thumbelina Valentine's Day card
Thumbelina Valentine's Day card

Thumbelina valentines are an easy kids' holiday craft with very a unique outcome. Make guaranteed one-of-a-kind valentines with your thumb.

What You'll Need:

White construction paper

Washable colored stamp pads

Sponges

Markers

Waterproof pen

What could show your love more on Valentine's Day than a valentine only you could make? Use the most unique part of your body, your thumb, and give your valentine a heart-shaped thumb print message.

Fold a piece of white construction paper in quarters to make a greeting card. Think of how many thumb print hearts you want to include on the front of your card, or experiment as you go.

To make a thumb print heart, press your clean thumb firmly on a stamp pad. Then press your thumb on the paper at a 45-degree angle. Let the print dry, then re-ink your thumb, and press it right next to the first thumb print so the bottoms overlap.

The second thumb print should be tilted in a 45-degree angle in the opposite direction.

If you want, draw an arrow through your heart, and write a valentine's message on the card. Or you could make several thumb print hearts, draw faces on them, and add speech balloons to write your messages in.

If you are not so good with words or just don't care for poetics, then go to our next project to find out about very special valentine symbols.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Special Valentines

Make a special valentine for your secret love. This easy kids' holiday craft is inspired by the way valentines were written way back in the Middle Ages.

What You'll Need:

Colored paper

Markers

Ribbon

Lace

Hard candies

Glue

When paper valentines were first sent in the 1400s, each valentine carried a code. If you sent your sweetheart a valentine with a ribbon on it, that meant "My heart is tied to you."

If the valentine had a fan on it, that meant "Open your heart to me." Lace and net are the same word in Latin, so a valentine with a ruffle of lace meant "You have caught my heart in a net."

Make your own cards with your own codes. Use colored paper, markers, ribbons, lace, hard candies, and anything else you can think up.

Do you think your valentine is sweet? Glue on hard candy as part of your design. You don't have to tell your valentine what your code means!

There are so many ways to tell your valentine that he or she is special. Try going for a walk to find inspiration in nature. Not sure where to start? Go to the next page to find out more.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Birch Bark Valentines

Birch Bark Valentine's Day card.
Birch Bark Valentine's Day card.

Make unusual valentines out of birch bark. This great holiday craft for kids takes you out in nature.

What You'll Need:

Thin birch bark (use only fallen or loose bark that is peeling off naturally)

Ink pen

Natural object

Scrap of ribbon

The paper birch is an unusual and delicate tree. Its waterproof white bark was used by Native Americans to make canoes. It can also be used like paper to make these valentines.

Find a paper birch tree with thin strips of bark that have fallen or is already peeling off. Tear off only what you will use. Be careful not to tear off living bark -- it could harm the tree!

Next, take a walk in a park, woodland, or other place where you can find early flowers, feathers, or evergreen twigs. With permission, collect a few natural treasures that you think are pretty.

Lay your treasures out at home and let them inspire a Valentine poem. Evergreen twigs may make you think of a friendship that is "ever green." Flowers may stand for a blossoming friendship.

When you have composed your poem, write it on a piece of birch bark. Roll the bark around the feathers, flowers, or whatever objects you have used in your verse. Tie the valentine with a ribbon and surprise someone on Valentine's Day -- or any day!

This was a very unusual valentine's card, but most cards are about the same shape and size. Why not go to the next page to find out how to make a nifty holder for all your Valentine's Day cards.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Valentine Holder

Be as creative as you want with your Valentine's Day card holder.
Be as creative as you want with your Valentine's Day card holder.

Make a valentine holder that looks like a miniature castle. This fun kids' holiday craft is only limited by the imagination.

What You'll Need:

Newspaper

Square tissue box(es)

Paper towel tubes

Scissors

Craft glue

Construction paper

Craft supplies (paint, paintbrush, glitter, stickers, ribbon, etc.)

Cover your work surface with newspaper. Arrange your box or boxes how you would like them to be. Cut the paper towel tubes to different lengths, and arrange them on your boxes.

For a castle, use a large tissue box for the main building, then put paper towel rolls on the ends for turrets. When you are happy with the arrangement, it's time to decorate your architecture!

Glue construction paper to cover the box(es) and the paper towel tubes. Replace your box(es) and paper towel tubes, and glue them together. Cut a slit in the top of the main box to place your Valentine's Day cards. Decorate your building with paint, glitter, stickers, ribbon -- whatever you want!

The last project is for that very special someone to whom you have already lost your heart. Make a box with a heart in it so they can keep it safe without anyone else ever knowing.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Secret Heart Valentine

A secret heart valentine is no ordinary Valentine's Day card.
A secret heart valentine is no ordinary Valentine's Day card.

Shhhh! It's a secret heart, valentine. The secret heart valentine is a kids' holiday craft that's extra fun because of the secret compartment that holds a sweet surprise.

What You'll Need:

Colored paper

Ruler

Scissors

Pencil

Glue

Marker

Hide a heart in a colorful open-out Valentine card.

Cut four paper squares (8x8 inches, 6x6 inches, 4x4 inches, and 1-3/4x1-3/4 inches) each in a different color. Cut the smallest square into a heart shape, and set the heart aside.

Draw pencil borders from end to end on each side of the three larger squares. Make 2-inch borders for the largest square, 1-1/2-inch borders for the middle square, and 1-inch borders for the smallest square.

Cut out the corners created on the squares by the intersecting border lines. Cutting out the corners will create a tab on each square side. With scissors, round off the corners of the tabs.

Fold the tabs inward along the pencil lines. Using a small drop of glue, paste the smallest square in the middle of the medium square, and the medium square in the middle of the largest square.

Glue the heart in the middle of the smallest square, and write a tiny message in it. Now close the smallest square by tucking each of the four semi-circular flaps under the other. Close the medium square and then the biggest square in the same way.

Your secret hidden heart is ready!

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS:

Thumbelina Valentines by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Special Valentines by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Birch Bark Valentines by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton