Car themed Valentines

I wanted to make Valentines with the girls that would incorporate several different fun activities. That way, we could work on them a bit each day.

Don’t you just love tutorials on blogs with step-by-step instructions and tons of great pictures? Me, too! But this isn’t one of them. Maybe I’ll do that some day, but for now, I’m keeping busy enough doing these fun things with a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old, while trying to keep a young baby happy, so trying to get all of the perfect photos would have made the process drag out longer than I was willing to! Besides that, it’s no fun for the kids if I’m constantly telling them to stop, so I can get a picture of the next bit, and I’m not good enough to juggle getting several shots while they are busy without getting paint on my camera!

I started with a giant sheet of white craft paper. I bought a roll at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon, and it has been one of the best purchases ever! It is so versatile, and it was inexpensive enough that I don’t mind laying it down to protect the table for other projects. I took a piece big enough to cover one whole end of the table and squirted white and red tempera paint on it, then let them go to town with paintbrushes. They saw that red and white make pink, and had a blast making swirls and splats. (Side note: spell check does not like “splats,” but I think it is a very useful word! Now I’m feeling all defiant, and I’m going to try to sneak it in to several more posts!) Some parts near my older daughter’s careful strokes were nice and marbled, and others near Bunny’s energetic flailings were just solid pink, but it was fun! My girls cannot get enough paint, so it was quite thick. I laid some pieces of plain white paper on top, then peeled them right off. We got some fun, more subtle imprints that way. You can see them to the sides of the main piece below.

After the pink swirly paint dried, I put some black tempera paint on a paper plate and gave them each some cars to drive through the paint and all over the pink. This is what we got:

The trick is to find some toy cars with a distinct pattern on the wheel. Most of the little matchbox cars in our collection have only plain wheels, so I had to pull out the three vehicles I could find with some kind of tread on the tire.

The big dump truck was the favorite, since it made the most obvious tire tracks and was easiest to hold onto. I thought cleanup would be awful, but it wasn’t bad at all! I may have to turn them loose on the patio with cars and washable paint one of these days.

They were very proud of their art work up to this point.

And Mr. Monkey was a doll, happily occupied in his swing for a while, doing his very important job of looking oh-so-cute!

The next day, we turned that big mess into Valentine’s. I started by cutting several hearts out of the pink swirly tire track madness. I gave each girl a few white index cards and some heart and kiss stamps and let them go to town. I also made some paper cars. You could go very fancy and make much nicer ones, but I was going for letting the girls do as much as possible, and I wanted my parts to go quickly. They put stickers on the wheels and glued the wheels to the cars. I wasn’t planning on faces on the cars, but the girls insisted.

I wrote a few car-themed Valentine’s Day messages on the stamped index cards. We glued the hearts, cars and sentiments to the front of some folded over white cardstock. We also added some dots of glue and a sprinkle of glitter. Because with little girls like mine, there is NEVER enough sparkle! 

I think it would be really easy to make these much more polished. I envision something similar folded over and stapled to the top of a little plastic baggie with a toy car inside as a great boy Valentine. (Note: Spell check does not like “baggie,” either! What is up with that?)

I hope this gives you some inspiration and fun ideas for your own twist, and I’d love to see them! Leave a link in the comments if you do something similar, so we can all share.




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