Craft: Valentine's Day cards that stand out with 3-D elements
Eye-popping, personalized photo cards to make with your children.
The Associated Press
Worried that your Valentine's Day card will fall flat? Make them stand out, literally, by incorporating small lollipops or glow sticks.
If your child likes to ham it up for the camera, this is a great way to create a cute, personalized valentine. For the lollipop version, take a picture of your child with her hand in a fist and arm outstretched. After the picture is printed, cut small slits through the card at the top and bottom of the hand and slip the lollipop stick through the slits, so it appears as if she is holding the treat.
This idea has been making the rounds of craft and photography blogs for years — I first spotted an adorable version created by Alissa Eng at 24-7-365.blogspot.com in 2009. But it wasn't until I saw another 3-D valentine created by Megan Pyrah at Brassyapple.blogspot.com (search for "star wars") a few weeks ago that I was inspired to make my own version.
Pyrah printed a picture of a light saber hilt or handle from "Star Wars," and attached a thin glow stick to the card to resemble the beam of light. As the mother of a young Star Wars fan, I immediately decided to combine the two ideas. I had my son pose with a flashlight as his "hilt," cut a slit in the card and added a glow stick — the narrow, 8-inch kind sold as bracelets.
The chance to play Jedi knight was enough to convince him to pose for a few pictures, but if your child is being stubborn or camera shy, you still can create cute 3-D Valentines by having their favorite toys stand in as models. He actually ended up preferring a version I made featuring one of his Lego minifigures, and I borrowed my niece's Hello Kitty, figurine to come up with version for her.
Ideally, you'll want to use a toy that has movable limbs, so you position the arm to look like it is holding the lollipop or glow stick.
• your child or a small toy
• colored or white card stock (if using toys)
• a camera
• photo editing software
• sharp scissors or craft knife
• lollipops or thin glow sticks
1. If using a child as a model, have him or her stand in front of a blank wall. For lollipop cards, have the child hold his or her arm outstretched, making a fist. Take a picture.
2. If using a toy, use two pieces of cardstock to make a backdrop. Place one piece flat and the other leaning up against a wall. Position the toy on the paper with its arm outstretched. Take a picture.
3. Use photo editing software, crop your picture. If you crop the images to 4-by-6 inches, you can get them printed at any large drugstore. Or make them different sizes for printing at home on photo paper or card stock.
4. If desired, use photo editing software to remove the background from the image and replace it with something else. For the cards I created for my son and nephew, I downloaded an "outer space" image from the NASA website and used that for the background. You also can add a message or your child's name. For the lollipop version, consider "I'm sweet on you, Valentine." For the Star Wars version, try, "May the force be with you, Valentine."
5. Print pictures.
6. Use scissors or a craft knife to cut slits in the cards to insert the lollipops or glow sticks. If necessary, tape the sticks on the back of the card to secure.