I miss the elementary school version of Valentine's Day. I loved it as a kid, I loved it as a teacher, and I loved it as a parent. I loved making and receiving cards, eating lots of candy (especially conversation hearts!), and doing all sorts of valentine-themed crafting.
As a bit of a throwback, I made these valentine holders for my two loves, Steve and Trevor. This was the first time I've ever sewn craft foam, something I will definitely be doing again. It's a great way to introduce young crafters to hand sewing. Affiliate links below.
Conversation Heart Valentine Holders
Create a heart template using scratch paper. It should be big enough to hold cards and whatever else you'll be putting inside. Trace the template onto a sheet of craft foam, then cut out the heart. Repeat this step so that you have two hearts.
Using conversation hearts as inspiration, think of a message for your valentine holder. You can write the message directly onto the heart with a red pen, or try this trick to make sure you get the spacing even. Write the message on a piece of binder paper, then center the paper onto the heart. Trace over the message with a pencil, pressing firmly. This will make grooves in the craft foam, which you can then trace with the red pen.
Cut a long strand of embroidery floss. The amount you need depends on the size of your heart, how close you want your stitches to be, and how long you want the hanger to be. I used about 6 feet of floss. I sewed with it doubled up (two 6-strand pieces) but that is optional.
Tie a knot at the end of the floss. Line up the two pieces of foam and start sewing approximately where your message starts. Don't stitch too high or you won't be able to put stuff into your valentine holder! Conversely, if you stitch too low, your stuff will fall out. Aim for the middle.
Hide the knot inside the holder, then use a whipstitch to sew down one side toward the point. I went down the left and up the right, but you can do the opposite if you want.
When you get to the point, do another whipstitch and re-enter the previous hole. Then continue up the other side.
If you've never sewn craft foam before, let me tell you - it is a dream. Every beginner should learn stitches on craft foam. It's sturdy enough that you don't need to hold it taut like fabric and the needle glides through it with little pressure.
You're finished sewing when you reach the point opposite where you started. Don't cut the floss yet! To make the hanger, stretch out the amount of floss you want. Put the needle into the very first place you started, but do not pull the floss tight. Bury a knot inside the hanger, then cut off any extra floss.
Your valentine hanger is ready to fill with cards, candy, stickers, small toys, and other goodies!
Those Peanuts valentines peeking out are leftover from my teaching days (16+ years ago). I went poking on Amazon to see if they still make them, which led me down a path of all sorts of Peanuts-themed valentine stuff. Enjoy!