My daughter gets pretty excited about Valentine’s Day. Of course, there’s all the candy she’s going to get from the other kids in her class, but she also has a lot of fun choosing and preparing the Valentines she will give out. When Walmart challenged me to make DIY Valentine’s cards this year, I knew we had a chance to do something special together.
A while back, I found and bookmarked a tutorial for making scratch-off tickets. So when I was brainstorming how to make this year’s class cards extra cool, I figured we could apply the scratch-off idea to some interactive Valentines.
- FREE printable scratch-off Valentine card template
- Card stock
- Paper cutter or scissors
- 2″ wide clear packing tape
- Dish liquid
- Metallic craft paint
- Foam brush or paintbrush
- Prizes of your choosing (shown: mechanical pencils, erasers & sticker sheets)
I started by designing some cool Valentines with messages directing the recipient to scratch for a prize. You can get the FREE printable Valentine’s template here. There are four unique cards and messages to an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet. Print as many as you need. NOTE: I’d actually recommend printing one or two extra cards so you’ll be able to test your scratch-off paint mixture.
Cut out the cards. A paper cutter will make this part about a million times easier, but scissors work fine too, if that’s all you have on hand. I got this paper cutter — made of recycled plastic, no less — at Walmart for less than $12, and I know it will come in handy on a bunch of future projects.
On the cards for my daughter’s class, you can see that I typed the name of a prize in the middle of each heart. The prizes can be anything from different types of candy (M&Ms, organic lollipops, etc.) to small gifts (we did pencils, fancy erasers and sticker sheets) or anything else you want. On the printable template, I left the heart empty so you can write the name of your prize (or draw a picture of it, if your kid is feeling particularly creative). The more varied the prizes, the more fun the kids will have waiting to find out what they’ve “won.” Be sure to write the prizes on the cards BEFORE you move to the next step, which is the tape.
Put a piece of clear packing tape over the heart and the name of the prize. You don’t need to cover the rest of the card — just the heart. If you have transparent contact paper on hand, you can use that too.
Create a mixture of about one part dish liquid, two parts craft paint. Mix slowly and carefully, or the dish liquid will start to bubble and you’ll have a mess on your hands.
You can just make out the edges of the tape in the photos above, if you’re confused about where to put the tape.
NOTE: This is when those extra cards you printed will come in handy. I’d recommend you start by painting just one card and allowing the paint about an hour to dry. Then, try scratching off the paint with a coin. While I got my mixture right on the first try, this isn’t an exact science, so you may need to tweak your paint/dish liquid mixture a bit to get the best results.
Paint inside the heart outline in thin coats, on top of the tape. I found that the foam brush gave me better, more even coverage than the paintbrush. So I used a paintbrush for the first coat and to trace inside the lines, followed by the foam brush for the second, covering coat. The key here is to make sure that the name of the prize is fully covered. Do as many coats as you need, allowing some time for each coat to dry.
Paint all the cards and set them aside to dry for at least an hour, but it would be even better to let them dry overnight. However, if you’re doing them at the last minute, a blow dryer will help dry them faster
Really, that’s it! Your kid will have the coolest cards in class, and every child will get a “secret” prize or treat they’ll probably talk about for the rest of the day!
Each student in my daughter’s class will receive a card, a penny to scratch it off, and a small packet of candy. That way, even if some of them don’t have time to scratch the card for their prizes right then, they’ll have candy to keep them busy in the meantime. The “prize” is just a bonus that my daughter will give out after each child has a chance to scratch their card.
Not counting the paper trimmer and things we already had on hand, we spent just under $20 at Walmart to make cards for 19 kids, prizes and candy included. Not bad. Not bad at all.
DISCLOSURE: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.