Have a Heart

I was a big Valentine's Day card sender as a child. Mostly to my parents, teachers, local newsreaders (the late, great Mike Neville, titan of Look North) and children's TV presenters (namely Freddy Marks of Rod, Jane and Freddy fame, also now sadly no longer with us). Now I really am showing my age.

My childhood Valentine's cards were a pure expression of love and appreciation from a child's perspective, always handmade and hopefully received with a smile. As I write this, it's National Send a Card to a Friend Day so the perfect time to consider sending a loved one a card this Valentine's Day...not so much a romantic gesture, perhaps, but a small, tangible token of love and appreciation. Here are some ideas of simple (I promise!) handmade heart-themed cards you could have a go at.

Watercolour heart on turquoise background

Watercolour heart
If you have some watercolour paper, that's brilliant, but any paper or card will do. Draw your heart using water first, then drop the paint in and tease it to the edges of the heart shape. Allow to dry, then cut out, leaving a border and stick to a folded card or postcard. Top tip: watercolour paint dries lighter so you may need to add another layer of pigment for a bolder effect.

Coffee heart

Coffee heart
No watercolour paint? No problem! Brew up a small amount of black coffee and paint a simple sepia heart. Perfect for the coffee lover in your life! Top tip: keep the coffee strong for a glossy, caramel effect.

Fineliner pattern heart

Patterned heart
Using a fineliner or even a humble biro, start at the middle and work your way out with patterned details to create a unique design. Have a look at for pattern inspiration from the couple behind the zentangle method. It can be as simple or complex as you like. Top tip: wait until you've finished your design to cut your heart shape me, it's easier!

Red folded paper hearts

Heart butterflies
You can use any small scraps of paper or card for this idea. Paper is easier to cut but card will give you a more defined effect. It's easier to fold in half, cut half a heart shape then open out but I like the uneven nature of cutting a wonky heart first then folding afterwards. Your call!

If you don't have any coloured card, you can use colouring pencils on white card or seek out snippets from recycled packaging. Craft glue is perfect for sticking them down but a glue stick will work if you press it firmly for a good few seconds. This card is a bit more delicate for the post and probably best-suited to hand delivery. Top tip: there are various theories about this but an odd number of hearts is visually much more appealing than an even number! 


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