How to Create a Valentine Heart Garland Craft With Your Kids

Looking for a way to brighten someone’s heart or to celebrate the holiday of love with your family?

Want to show your kids that Valentine’s Day is about caring for others—not about gifts and candy?

Spread the joy of Valentine’s Day with a colorful heart garland to decorate a special celebration.

It’s easy to make with your family, and is a great way to show your kids that you don’t have to go on a spending spree to say, “I love you.”

In this article I’ll explain how to make a 3-D valentine heart garland to decorate for a special meal to show your kids how to express their love through some crafting fun.

Make a 3-D valentine heart garland to decorate for a special valentine meal to show your kids how to express love through crafting fun.

Why Make a Heart Garland?

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation for people you love—and I think as parents, celebrating Valentine’s Day with your kids is as sweet as it gets.

These days, we’re bombarded with commercial messages from dawn till dusk insisting that love is always a heart-shaped box of candy or an expensive night on the town. It’s a tough message to escape. And school celebrations are all about the sugar…

An hour or two crafting with your kids followed by a shared family meal is a marvelous way to spend a few hours together and help your children put Valentine’s Day in perspective.

Valentine’s Day holds a special place in my heart. My lovely husband proposed on this day many years ago. We thought a family picnic with some colorful heart-shaped garlands we made ourselves would heartily celebrate the occasion.

It’s a fun way for your family to celebrate together, too.

kids holding garland

Make a colorful garland to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids.

Check out how to make a three-dimensional heart garland using nothing more than paper, scissors and glue. Then hang it up to set the scene for a festive family meal.

You Will Need 

  • Paper—pick your favorite colors!
  • Card stock or thin cardboard to make a template
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

    supplies needed

    You probably have all of the supplies you need right at home.

Preparation Time

About an hour or so of crafting time (That is, all of us sitting around the table crafting, cutting and chatting. I prepare the picnic food in advance.)

Activity Time

Two hours to hang your hearts and enjoy your picnic

Location

Your favorite park (weather permitting) or the family table

#1: Make a Symmetrical Shape

When making garlands, use symmetrical shapes. They are by far the easiest. We chose a heart for Valentine’s Day, but you can choose any shape you like.

Quick option: To make a heart-shaped garland, print this PDF on card stock and skip to #3.

heart template

Print this PDF template on card stock to make your own heart garland.

Custom option: To make a garland out of other shapes, follow the instructions below.

First make a sample of your shape.

kids cutting hearts

Cut out a sample of your shape. Make sure it’s symmetrical!

The easiest way to do this is to fold a piece of paper in half and cut out half of the shape. When you unfold the paper, the two sides will be perfectly symmetrical.

Cut your shape freehand or trace something. Dishes make excellent circles. Cookie cutters work well, too. Or use a ruler to draw straight lines.

#2: Make a Template for Your Garland

When you’ve got it cut out just the way you like it, use the shape to make a template for your garland.

The template will include a rectangular tab down the center of your shape. That’s what will make the garland three-dimensional.

finished heart

The finished shape will have an extra rectangle down the middle.

To make a template, fold your shape back in half and place it on a piece of card stock or thin cardboard.

drawing heart on cardboard

Trace your shape onto cardboard and add a tab along the side (down the midline of the shape).

Slide the shape over so the folded edge lies parallel to the edge of the cardboard, about 1/2″ (1.25 cm) away.

Trace your shape onto the card stock and use a straight edge to draw lines from the top and bottom of the fold to the edge of the card stock.

Cut out the cardboard template.

#3: Heart Production Line

Continue here whether you’re using the PDF template or one you made yourself.

Fold several pieces of colorful paper in half.

Place the flat edge of the template along the fold and trace around the other sides.

Make two of each color for every link in your heart garland.

cutting the paper

Use a template and cut the paper while it’s folded in half to make uniform shapes.

Cut them out along the lines you traced.

Go crazy and cut out as many hearts as you want! The more hearts you cut out, the longer your garland will be.

#4: Glue Your Hearts Together

Fold along the rectangle that separates the two halves of your shape. Bend the fold both directions so the heart can be opened either way.

Unfold your shapes and reform them into U-shaped half-hearts.

Match them into pairs and put glue on the rectangular tabs (the bottoms of the “U’s”).

Press two together firmly on the seam between the hearts to attach them.

gluing hearts together

Glue two U-shaped halves together to form a complete 3-D shape. Then glue the shapes together at the widest point to form a chain.

Once you’ve got a pile of 3-D hearts, you can begin to connect them.

Put a bit of glue along the widest point of the hearts, pick out your color combinations, and stick them together in a colorful chain. You and your children will have lots of fun.

colorful garland

The colorful result. How long will the kids’ garlands be?

When you’re happy with the length of your garland, it’s ready to hang!

#5: Share the Love

While you’re cutting and pasting together, talk to your kids about the true spirit of Valentine’s Day.


Watch this video to see what kids think about the adventure called love. Then ask your kids the same questions.

Ask them their thoughts about love and different ways to show someone that you care.

#6: Decorate and Celebrate

Now it’s time to admire your creation and celebrate the holiday of love together over a special meal. It’s also an opportune time to demonstrate that celebrations don’t have to be expensive.

heart sandwiches

Use a cookie cutter to turn ordinary into extraordinary.

Dress up a simple, inexpensive meal with heart-shaped food. With a cookie cutter you can transform even the plainest sandwich into a special valentine treat. Sliced strawberries are nature’s own valentine hearts. Transform a teabag into a cup of love by pasting a heart over the paper tab. There are lots of other festive valentine foods on Pinterest.

table with food and garland

Go overboard with heart garlands and heart-shaped food!

And of course, adorn your table, walls or picnic blanket with a colorful garland of hearts that your kids will be proud of!

It was so much fun! I love the quote from Plato: “Life should be lived as play.” I couldn’t agree more.

I hope you have just as much fun celebrating Valentine’s Day with your family as I did with mine.

We had a great time putting this project together and hope you and your family have a lovely Valentine’s Day too.

Some Final Thoughts

Valentine’s Day is not just a celebration for couples—it’s a celebration of love, which makes it the perfect time to celebrate your love for your family.

Through this project, we were able to celebrate by making the garland together, and then enjoying a nice afternoon tea.

smiling kids

The smiles say it all.

It was some really positive family time and a gorgeous reminder of how lucky we are when we love and are loved in return.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What do you think? How does your family celebrate Valentine’s Day? Where will you hang your heart garlands? I’d love to see them! Please share comments and pictures below.

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About the Author, Jane Aubrey

Crafting ought to be my middle name. For me, nothing beats crafting for an easy, relaxing, calm and sociable means of entertaining my children. Check out my projects at Fun With Jane. Other posts by »


  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks, Jane! The garland is so colorful and festive! Both my kids’ birthdays are coming up, so I see some garlands in other shapes in my future.

  • Amanda Shaw

    One word: GORGEOUS. I love that it’s so simple, too—no crazy craft store shopping spree required. I’ll do this with my kiddos on Valentine’s Day!

  • Guest

    Thanks Amanda! we had all the craft paper at home already so this was a very cost effective activity to do with the kids! I hope you have fun making it :-) from Jane

  • http://www.fineartmom.com/ Crystal Foth

    I love this garland! So simple – yet creative – what a great way to brighten up a room!! I think I’d leave it up well after Valentines. :)

  • Pingback: Share the Love! Craft your way to Valentines Day! – Fun With Jane

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