"I love you this much" Keepsake Valentine Card Idea

I thought a personalized Valentine featuring my son would be the perfect gift for his grandparents this year. There is a popular Valentine craft circulating Pinterest that features 2 paper hands with an accordian paper strip between them that says "I love you this much" (check out the craft here). Feeling inspired, I thought I would put my own twist on it, using a picture of my son — and a real banner made up of string and hearts.

Materials needed:
  • camera, computer, printer
  • Tacky glue
  • string (for banner)
  • scissors
  • construction paper
  • doilies
  • pen or print-out of inscription
  • mod podge and brush (optional)
  • stickers & glitter (optional)

First I snapped a couple pictures of my little man posing for me stretching his arms out on each side of his body as far as he could. I then uploaded the pictures to my computer. I chose the best picture, opened it up in Photoshop, set the PPI to 300 (in Image Size) and traced and cut out the body with the lasso tool. I then created a new white fill layer and pasted on his cut-out body, turning off the visibility of the old layers. If you don't have PS you can print out the picture and cut around the body with scissors.
Print out the picture and cut it out, leaving a small white border around body. 

Next, I measured my child's "wingspan" on the paper (7 inches). I then typed up on my computer and printed out the phrase "I love you this much" making sure it measured the same. (I used mom's typewriter font) I typed the phrase multiple times just in case I messed up a letter.. (I'm not a big fan of having to go back and do things all over again!). I then very carefully cut each letter out in little heart shapes and lined them up in the order I wanted them.

I then flipped the entire phrase over horizontally (so that now the letters are lying face down, and the "I" letter is on the right side). I dabbed glue on the backside of each heart using scissors to press down the hearts so they "unstick" to the glue bottle tip (believe me you don't want to use your hand for this, it will get sticky and things will get messy real fast - take it from me I know!) Then I pressed the string down onto the glue, again using the scissors to push the string down into the glue. Leave enough tail on each side to tie into knot.

While the banner was left to dry, I then mounted and glued my son's body onto background paper that in some way represented "Valentine's Day" (I made 2 cards — one of the background papers was cut in a heart shape, the other one was a red piece of construction paper, see below). I then glued down the writing I wanted to include inside the card: "Happy Valentine's Day", and "Love, Carolyn and Bode". Of course you could handwrite whatever you want to say. Have your child decorate with stickers and glitter if you want. Put a layer of Mod Podge on if you like (if you don't know about Mod Podge you should! It is an incredible glue, sealer, and finish all in one. And it is water-based so pretty easy to clean up). I had my son help glue doilies to the back side to frame the cards. Doilies represent Valentine's Day to me (I seriously don't ever remember using them any other time other than this holiday) so I kind of feel they are an absolute must in Valentine crafting.

Card number one completed
After the card was decorated and mod podged, I attached the banner, tying knots at each end and putting a big glob of glue on each of the hands and pressing knots down. Don't worry the glue dries clear.

Banner up close

Card number two
We then sent off to grandparents! I think they will like this one!

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