A Handmade Valentine Book & Class Cards / by Leslie

I made this Valentine book for my husband before we got married. Apparently, it worked. I remember looking for a card for him and just a single card didn't seem to be enough. This handmade book gave me plenty of room to say "I love you" in a lot of different ways. I included two envelopes in the back, one for a handwritten love letter and another for a mixed CD.

Here's what you will need: various types of paper: patterened and translucent, tape, glue, thread and needle, pens or markers, scissors, stickers or paper valentines, valentine cards, envelopes, spiral binding machine (you can have this service done at a copy shop), blank CD, computer to make the CD, CD labels.

Be creative! First you will need to decide on a page size. Because I was including a CD in an envelope, it needed to be at least that big. If you don't have a CD it could be smaller. The pages don't have to all be the same size either, some were half a page to play peek-a-boo with the next page, some pages were translucent, so you could play with layering different elements together and you could even cut shapes out of the paper and make those into pages. 

After you have a page size, start piecing your pages together. Remember that you will need a front and back for all your pages, so if you make individual pages you will have to glue them together to have a front and back. Use layering and texture to help you put things together. This kind of a book doesn't need to necessarily tell a story, so order doesn't matter that much, but pay attention to what kinds of colors and patterns look good together.

Once you have all your pages laid out and in order, take them to a copy shop to be spiral bound together. I just did a simple ring binding, so the book would lay flat. I am learning about book binding now, so I think if I do this project again I would experiment with hand sewing the binding.

Valentine's is a great holiday to get out our supplies and put a little time, and love, into our cards. It doesn't need to be complicated, but putting a few interesting elements together can make a real impact. For this next project, I made twenty to give out to all the kids at our play group Valentine's party. 

I had a few paintings that Milo had done in colors that were perfect for Valentines, red, pinks and blues. I cut hearts out of the paintings and paired each unique heart with a square of patterned paper and a couple buttons. It was fun and easy for Milo to help me glue them on the pieces of red paper.

Hope you are inspired to make your own Valentine's this year!