It’s February, which means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I’ve always enjoyed Valentine’s Day–a whole day to shower our loved ones with affection (and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate).
Every year for Valentine’s Day we make cards for our family members. Usually this involves coloring hearts or painting a picture. Since we recently moved thousands of miles away from all of our family, though, I wanted to do something extra-special for them this Valentine’s Day. Something to show them that we were still thinking of them even though we are far away. And that’s when I remembered the “long distance hug”.
Inspired by this idea, I came up with this unique valentine to send to our far-away loves. Here’s the how-to if you’d like to send your own virtual hugs!
DIY Long Distance Hugs
I was making a large batch of these valentines, so the first thing I did was trace each boy’s hand onto cardstock to make a tracing template for the handprint cutouts.
Then I used my handprint templates to trace several hands on colored paper. I used cardstock, but construction paper or scrapbook paper would also work well. I folded each piece of cardstock in half so that every time I cut out a handprint I got 2 cutouts. For each valentine I used one “David handprint” and one “Jacob handprint”. I used red paper for the David handprints and Orange paper for the Jacob handprints. You could just as easily make a separate valentine from each child and use two of the same handprint for each “hug”.
Next, I folded each handprint into the ASL sign for “I love you” (just fold down the two fingers between the pinky and pointer finger). I glued the fingers in this position so they would stay in place.
To make the “arms” for the hug I decided to do an accordion fold using two colors of scrapbook paper. I cut out 1-inch strips of the paper and then taped three strips end-to-end so I would have pieces long enough to fold (the taped-together strips ended up being about 30 inches long).
Then I taped together two of the long strips of paper at right angles and began folding the strips together like an accordion.
When the folding was done, it looked like this:
*Note* If you are planning on mailing your “hugs” you may have to pay for extra postage if you make the accordion “arms” as they make for a bulky envelope. If you want something that will stay flat in an envelope you can use ribbon or string instead of the accordion arms.
The finished product was just as cute as the boys who made them!
For one final touch I also wrote each boy’s name and the year on the back of their handprint. Here’s what the valentines look like all stretched out:
Finally, I came up with a little poem to include with the hugs and glued the poems to some little note cards that I already had. The poem reads:
I send to you this special day
My hugs from very far away.
Wrap these hands around you tight
And feel my love for you, day and night.
My hands are folded just to show
How much I LOVE YOU as I grow.
Even though we are far apart
I carry you close to me in my heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Happy crafting, and happy Valentine’s Day!
If you like this project, you may also enjoy the apple stamp valentines that we made last year.