Remember giving out Valentine’s Day cards in grade school, bringing delight and misery to your fellow youngsters. Creative adults have been keeping the practice alive by letting their friends and loved ones know they “Choo-Choo-Choose” them with handmade cards. Who doesn’t like receiving something cool, personalized and handmade?
If you’re an artsy type who regularly makes tactile print work, you may already have a handle on this kind of project. But if you haven’t done anything creative since you were eating Elmer’s Glue, here are some helpful tips:
Feel around your friends list first. Whether you prefer keeping your gifting list to a minimum or a broad group of friends, make sure you’re making cards for those who will truly appreciate them.
Puns are great. Hard to imagine humor not being essential to good holiday cards, especially punny one-liners, so make your verses playful. “You’ve got a pizza my heart” will always trump “Roses are red, violets are blue . . .”
Use themes. One year, I made friends’ hearts swoon with film-themed cards, from In The Mood For Love to Blue Velvet. Use something that reflects your interests and aesthetic: rock-music legends, food, cats, memes—you name it.
Copies are okay. Just because this is a fun project doesn’t mean it won’t be time-consuming. If you’ve got a large number to make, create four or five distinct designs and print copies of each for every pal—just personalize the message inside.
Any medium is fine. If you don’t have painting, drawing or inking skills, bust out the old magazines and scissors to make a vibrant collage.
Yes, they can be racy. If you and your boo are at that point, go ahead and make that scandalous V-Day card.
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers film and previously contributed to the OCW’s long-running fashion column, Trendzilla. Don’t ask her what her favorite movie is unless you want to hear her lengthy defense of Showgirls.