Who says valentines are only for boyfriends and spouses? (Handout/TNS)


Remember in elementary school, giving everyone in your class a valentine? Even though those days are long gone, the idea of a simple token of love to friends and family is a good one. Who says valentines are only for love interests and spouses?

A valentine needn't be elaborate or expensive. In fact, it will have more meaning if it is handmade and personal. I have several friends I want to send one to this year, so another prerequisite is simplicity. My goal is to spend 15 minutes or less per valentine. Sounds like an impossible task, but not if each valentine is pared down to a simple tag shape.

Combine plain gift tags with a handful of different embellishments and let the fun begin. I decided to hang each competed tag on a chicken wire frame to act as inspiration and to make sure no two valentines were alike. Any craft store will carry everything you need, including heart stickers, heart die cuts, buttons, rhinestones and beads. And if you're not in love with your own handwriting, consider including rub-ons or stickers with heartfelt messages.

Because each tag is pint-sized (compared to a greeting card), you will be surprised at how quickly one can be completed...and it's fun! Honestly, once you get started you may not want to stop.

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When all of my valentine tags are complete, I will remove them from the frame, drop them into envelopes and send them off. Whether or not you are in a relationship, Valentine's Day affords the perfect opportunity to connect in a loving way with all of the special people in your life. It is the perfect time to celebrate special friendships and send a handmade valentine tag that is sure to be remembered long after any flowers or candy have disappeared.


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