Friday, February 7, 2014

Froggy Valentines with Free Printable

For some reason I can't explain, I decided to get all Pinterest-y with the boys' valentines.  It's sheer lunacy, in my opinion, to suddenly decide a mere 7 days away from Valentine's Day to whip up handmade valentines instead of just running down to Target and snatching up a couple boxes of the nearest cardboard Star Wars cards complete with mini light sabers.  Really, that would have been the smart thing to do.

I've never claimed to be the brightest crayon in the box.

So, away to Target we went.  NOT to pick up the pre-made boxes of valentines, but instead to find inspiration for ones I could make.  As my bad luck would have it, my store was already pretty picked over in the valentines section and a lot of the little favors and stickers and stuff were gone.  Except for a whole bunch of pirate erasers.  Pirates just weren't tripping my trigger though.

Then I saw these:

Individually wrapped stretchy frogs?  SOLD, sister.  I bought two bags of these little guys because I had about 36 valentines to make and it never hurts for a Boy Mom to have a few extra stretchy frogs around the house.  You know, for emergencies.

Moving on.

Basically what I did was to take inspiration from two other valentines I found online and merge them into one.  I loved the mason jar look from Jessica's Love Bug valentines and I also liked these Froggy Valentines, but the template from Jessica's were already worded specifically for bugs and the froggy ones were cut from a Silhouette machine.  Yeah, I don't have one of those.

Wop wop wop......sad face.

A quick Google search found me an image of a mason jar I liked and then I just started tweaking it in Photoshop Elements to add some color and the fonts and wording I liked.  When all was said and done, I ended up with this:

This image is sized to fit on a 4x6 canvas, so I put three of them on a 8.5x11 paper for for efficient printing.  If you would like to have this printing sheet as a FREE DOWNLOAD, I have made it available for your use HERE.   Just print on some white cardstock, cut 'em out and the majority of the work is done already.  

If you want to get a little fancy, grab some glitter and add a little sparkle to the mason jar lid.  This tip comes directly from this post - "Tips for Making Love Bug Valentines" from The Mom Creative.

I pulled this little tube of glitter out of my crafting stash and enlisted some slave labor enthusiastic help from my four year old.  Of course, he was actually helping me make his brother's valentines, but that didn't seem to matter that much to him.  Just as Jessica suggested in her post, I put a little line of the glitter along the lid of the mason jar and then just let Micah handle the smearing it around.

After the glitter had dried, I dumped out all the little stretchy frogs and just straightened them a bit in their little froggy bags.  (Ewwww....."froggy bags."  That sounds gross.)  Then it was just a matter of stapling them onto the mason jar.

When all was said and done, I had a pile of really cool valentines for my Kindergartener to address and sign when he gets home from school.  I'm going to have him write the name of the recipient on the front under the frog and then sign his name on the back.

I think he's really going to like them!

Thanks again to Jessica and to this unknown Flickr user for the inspiration for creating these!  I hope you find them useful and feel free to let me know in the comments if you decide to give 'em a whirl.  I'd love to hear about it!

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