It’s not too late to give a handmade valentine to all your loved ones–especially not when you can pull the supplies right out of your recycling bin or front yard!
Need inspiration? No problem! Check out the list of my all-time favorite eco-friendly handmade valentines, and get inspired to share the love:
1. Seed paper valentine. The best part of these valentines are that they’re plantable, so there’s no waste! And don’t think that this project is only for Valentine’s Day–I think it would make a perfectly sweet gift for Mother’s Day or your favorite gardener’s birthday, too.
2. Fabric heart. This sewn valentine has a secret pocket to keep your love notes safe.
3. Custom-sized envelope tutorial. Don’t despair if your handmade valentine won’t fit into a store-bought envelope. Making your own custom-sized envelope is easy!
4. Folded heart card. There’s plenty of room for a lovely love letter inside this card. Be creative with the papers that you upcycle for your folded hearts–wouldn’t sheet music look lovely?
5. Toilet paper tube butterfly. These valentines are nice and big so that preschoolers can draw all over them.
6. Manila folder valentine with a bunting embellishment. If you’re the office worker type I bet you’ve got some of these lying around!
7. Button and popsicle stick valentines. Be warned: the kids are probably going to want to spend at least as much time playing with the buttons as they are making valentines with them…
8. Cross-stitched hand warmers. These are more work than your average valentine, but still small enough to be able to mass-produce, and your recipients will think of you every time they use your valentine to keep their hands nice and toasty.
9. Embellished treat bags. Perhaps you have some treat bags left over from a previous party. Just a quick paint job makes them Valentine-themed, and then they’re useful again!
10. Yarn-wrapped cardboard heart. This project is a great way to help even the littlest littles make their own valentines. Let them wrap the cardboard heart willy-nilly, then tie on a gift tag with a ribbon.
11. “Cute As A Button” valentine. Got a bunch of buttons? Know somebody who’s just as cute as a button? It’s the perfect combination!
12. Crystal valentines. These take a while to grow, but they’re educational and fun, and nobody else will be giving away a valentine like them.
13. Toilet paper tube heart stamp. Use this DIY upcycled stamp to embellish plain paper for an instant valentine.
14. Felt heart pin. Felt, whether it’s natural wool felt or recycled Eco-fi felt, doesn’t need to be hemmed, making this project a LOT quicker. Don’t have felt on hand? Try fleece!
15. Newspaper heart valentines. You’d never know by looking at it, but newspaper takes paint like a champ and looks really gorgeous afterward. Try it and see!
16. Origami hearts. This is the quickest and easiest valentine on this list! For a super simple valentine, simply size up your starting strip of paper, fold the origami heart, and sign your name on the back.
17. Fingerprint heart card. I’ve been really into upcycling old photos lately, and I think this project would be an awesome way to use up a cute old photo of your valentine.
18. Friendship necklaces. Instead of the plastic foam that the tutorial calls for, simply substitute cardboard or even stiff felt.
19. Mason jar lid valentines. You don’t even have to attach these to a Mason jar full of treats–but you could!
20. A printable fortune teller. Print this on the back of anything letter-sized, whether it’s old artwork or stash scrapbook paper.
21. Puzzle piece valentine. These valentines work best with the larger size of preschool puzzle pieces. If you make valentines out of small puzzle pieces, just put each valentine in its own small envelope so that the pieces don’t get lost.
22. Fingerprint heart friendship rocks. Give kindness rocks a new twist by turning them into valentines!
23. Map roses. Make these in bulk, then use washi tape to add a gift tag to each stem.
24. Puzzle heart. Here’s another puzzle piece valentine! Instead of simply cutting the photo into a puzzle piece shape, why not decoupage it directly onto an old puzzle piece? For bonus points, glue a magnet on the back!
25. Puzzle piece and popsicle stick valentine. Oh, my goodness, I am finding so many good puzzle piece valentines! This one is a good way to upcycle lots of old puzzle pieces at once.
26. Toilet paper roll valentine. Here’s a fun gift container that’s perfect for a small toy or piece of packaged candy.
27. Coloring bookmark valentine. Use up all those ribbon scraps or yarn bits for these valentine bookmarks that recipients will love to color themselves.
28. Paper airplane. This paper airplane valentine is a free printable, but it doesn’t need to be. I know you know how to make a paper airplane! Just add cute paper and a stamped message.
29. Puppy love valentine. Little ones can make these valentines while practicing their cutting and coloring skills–AND there are googly eyes involved!
30. Thumbprint heart glass magnets. Here’s something a little different for the valentine mailbox. The glue takes a while to set, but the magnets themselves are quick and easy to make.
Have a great eco-friendly valentine idea of your own? Tell me about it in the comments below!