19 DIY Valentines That Are Way More Heartfelt Than Anything You'll Find at the Store

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When my sister and I were kids, our mother wouldn’t buy cool cards for us to give out at school on Valentine's Day. Instead, she insisted we make our own. Make them! The indignity of giving construction-paper hearts with crayon drawings and hand-written messages to classmates who were handing out store-bought, die-cut cartoon characters, well, it left its mark.

Fast-forward some years, and now my pity is all for the children whose effort-challenged parents do just pick up packs of paper-thin drugstore valentines. Yes, the holiday is contrived, but we’re not kids anymore, so if we’re going to participate, let’s do it for real. Making our own valentines shows our friends, our partners, our sisters, our grandparents that we think they’re worth the effort. What’s more, it’s fun. (And don’t underestimate the gratification that comes from people saying “You made this?”)

If nothing else, we can all do our part to tweak a little of the commercialism out of any major holiday, yes? Now let’s embrace our 8-year-old selves as we scroll through these 19 DIY valentine ideas — and then let’s get crafting.

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