Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clean & Easy Valentine Crafts

Considering the fact that it has taken me almost 4 years to get pictures of our extended family on the wall, and since I was on a roll, I decided I would work on the kids valentines this week.

First of all, I hate rip-me-apart Dora the Explorer crap valentines. Second of all, I'm way too cheap to make over-the-top crafty Valentine's for 45 kids this year.

So inspired by last year's cards,

I perused my photo files and decided to tinker around in Google's free photo software, Picasa. It was fun, clean, and my end cost was around 12 cents per valentine. Cheap mothers unite...

I can't recommend Picasa enough. There are 2 available options to download (both FREE). One is a photo software for your computer that allows you to crop, add text, tint, skewer, whatever...and it's perfect for those that aren't savvy enough on photoshop and/or don't want to spend the money.

The second Picasa download allows you to upload your photos online. Anyone who has lost their photos from a computer crash can appreciate that (that would be me....twice).

Lastly, Picasa is awesome if you love to blog! It makes adding pictures a bagillion times easier than the stupid standard blogger photo system.

Nuff said. Here's me waxing creative for once.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of The Buddha Baby. He used to give me kisses on demand, but I think I'm in overdraft (SEE EXHIBIT: Talk to the hand). I saved 2 copies of this print then merged them as a collage in Picasa. I added the text after making it a collage. After printing them up as a 4X6 print, I cut them in half and inserted a Valentine treat. Here's the end product.

This next one is for my middle child. Once again, I created a collage but added a thicker red border around it. We made 2 different Valentine rhymes for variety, and had fun making it a little on the grody side.

Cut them apart, insert a wrapped treat (and make sure to tape it on the back) and you have this:

For Rainbow Girl, I took a picture and tinted the whole thing green. This one turned out okay, but was probably a bit of a stretch. I added characters and symbols to make her more alien-like, but in the end, I think the picture was too dark. I will admit Photoshoppers would have dominated this project better than I...but the kid likes it so we're all happy!

Here's the image sent to the printer:

We punched a hole and added black pipe-cleaners to make her an alien...and here is our end product.

For more Valentine inspirations, visit these blogs:

"Cute Valentines"
Loved this healthy (and simple) valentine inspiration here.
Here's a short YouTube video about Picasa.

Happy Loveliness!
Mrs. Olsen


Allen Family said...

Damn Gina!
'nuff said.

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

They are all darling and fun. And I feel crappy because I just bought Nerds valentines. Maybe next year . . .

I used to love Picasa, but I think I have too many photos. It stopped working for me a couple of years ago. I would open it and it would just grind and grind and then freeze up, like it couldn't sort through all my images. I keep meaning to make the jump to Photoshop but haven't done it yet. (Not savvy enough by half.)

Anyway--cute kids and awesome valentines!

Ms. Fish said...

You kill turkeys AND craft?? Is there anything you can't do??

Super creative Mrs. Olsen!!

Kelly Family said...

I wish I could spend more time in your are a cool lady with interesting things to share. Since I can't hang with you, I'll visit with you virtually by reading your blog. Love your style.

LGH said...

Amber, these WIN the Valentine prize For Sure! Very creative, and so very personal. Loved them....lucky recipients.

Holly said...

Yes, Amber, these were the best and cutest Valentines EVER. I hope I'm on top of things enough to do something similar next year. Love you!