handmade valentine swap ideas and tips

now that this is my fourth year of putting together the handmade valentine swap, i've accumulated some tips and tricks when it comes to sending and receiving valentines. keep reading for ideas!

(all photos are from the #handmadeval feed on instagram, an ever-growing database of awesome valentine pictures! check it out frequently to see what's new, and please post YOUR pictures too.)

what do i send? 

this one's easy. it's a valentine exchange so just send a valentine card! i've seen people get uber-creative with it and send garlands, pins, candy, confetti and all sorts of other fun valentine items -- but really, all you need to send is a handmade card. glue some heart cardstock onto a folded card and you're good to go!

what do i write? 

we ask all senders to include a little message to their recipients, just to make things a little more personal. these people are your (temporary) pen pals, so treat them like a friend! write them a short note wishing them a happy valentines day, and that's it. i've also seen people write lengthy messages filled with information about themselves, their families, their hobbies, their pets -- it's a pretty fun opportunity to get to know someone new. your choice as to how much you share!

some people write their note on a post-it and stick it inside the card, so the recipient can remove the post-it and reuse the card. that's fine too!

do i wait for the deadline? 

send your cards ASAP! i tell people their cards need to be in the mail no later than february 7 just so there's a hard and fast deadline, but the earlier you send the better. (especially if you're sending overseas.) hopefully that way, everyone will receive their valentine before february 14.

what if i don't get cards from my entire swap group? 

sadly, this happens every year -- one or two poor souls decide to flake out and don't send valentines to their group. THIS MAKES ME SOOO SAD. please please send out your valentines!!! and if you happen to end up in the unlucky group with a flaky person, i am truly sorry and i'm really bummed about it.

that's it! i hope you have fun making, sending and receiving your valentines this year -- and as always, email me at stationeria(at)gmail.com with any questions. happy valentine crafting!

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