How to Make Custom, Thoughtful Valentine’s Day Cards

February 12, 2016

I have to preface this tutorial by saying that I’ve never been someone who gets overly excited about Valentine’s Day. 

Sure, it’s nice to have additional motivation to do something thoughtful for the people you love, but I’ve always wanted to have relationships with my friends, husband, and family where that was the norm for us every day of the year, not just on February 14. 

Plus, I’m allergic to chocolate, so that’s just unfortunate. 

But just because I don’t spend a fortune on candy, cards, and prix fixe meals doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the opportunity to find small, meaningful ways to show people I care about them. I’m a very crafty person constantly searching for creative outlets, and making cards is my favorite way to put a little extra thought and care into my gifts. 

I promise that even if you’re not artistically inclined, these cards are easy and don’t take much time at all. The ones I’m demonstrating today are all fairly simple, but of course feel free to use them as a jumping-off point and get more intricate. 

I had a lot of these craft supplies left over from my wedding, and by no means do you need all of them. But if you’d like to add them to your collection, you can find them at Paper Source or Michael’s or order them on Amazon. 

Let’s get started!


What You’ll Need

what you'll need


Cut-Out Shapes 

This is a super easy way to create visual interest. Start with a folded card (I used A2 size) and a flat card in a contrasting color. 

card and X-ACTO knife

Unfold the card. 

Using pencil, draw a heart or another shape on the bottom flap and carefully cut it out using the X-Acto knife. 

heart X-ACTO knife card

After the shape is cut-out, apply adhesive to the edges of your flat card and apply it to the inside of the folded card behind the cut-out. 

X-ACTO card heart cut-out

My heart didn’t come out perfect, but they’re handmade Valentine’sβ€”a little imperfection adds to the charm! πŸ˜‰



Stamps and ink pads are the easiest way to make custom cards. Just make sure you heavily saturate your stamp so that it doesn’t come out spotty and be sure to press it onto the card for a few seconds before carefully removing it. 

I got these stamps at Paper Source, collecting varying letters to spell out “love” in a not-too perfect, interesting way. 

love you more stamp

love letters stamp

love stamp


3D Elements 

As long as you have an envelope that can accommodate thicker cards, 3D elements are a really fun way to personalize a card. 

In this case, we’re using washi tape for texture and wooden hearts for pop.

You can frame adhered wooden hearts between two stripes of washi tape:

washi tape hearts

Or, in one of my favorite ways to use washi tape, you can also make a bouquet of balloons. 

To start, apply a strip of washi tape lightly to your cutting mat. 

washi tape cutting mat

Then, use your X-Acto knife to freehand and cut out balloon shapes. Adhere them in a bunch to a flat card. 

Using a gel pen, draw ribbons from each of the balloons into a bow. I used a white pen on a blush card, but you can definitely do more high-contrast ribbons. It’s totally up to you!

This is a great card to make if you don’t like hearts or any of the other traditional Valentine’s Day shapes. It would also, obviously, make a great birthday card!

balloon card


Craft Paint and Paint Pens

These will take longer to dry, so make sure you have a few hours before you need to stuff them in an envelope and present them to your valentine! 

This can be a visually interesting way to use a quote or saying that your Valentine loves. 

craft paint

I don’t have that much experience with calligraphy, but I find you can build out a pretty design if you start by writing the word or phrase you’re focusing on in loopy cursive and then adding tendrils and loops from there to eventually cover the space of the card. 

love card

love card complete

For craft paint, I find cursive to be best for writing words because it’s forgiving; you can connect each letter without having to worry about accidentally dropping a glob of crab paint between the spaces. 

IMG_5071 (1)


Finished Cards 

finished results

They may not be perfect, but they’ll be made by you, and that counts for much more.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Any traditions? What’s the best card you’ve ever received? 


{there may be amazon affiliate links above for products I adore}

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