Countdown to Valentine’s Day: Day 13!

A few posts ago, I challenged y’all to go beyond the traditional Valentine’s gifts like the ones that can be found amidst the blur of red in the aisles at Wal-Mart & give something that requires a little effort. I mentioned that I would try to do a little tutorial on the Valentine’s Day card I gave my husband last year. And because he’s so cool, he said it’d be fine.

But, before we start, I should give you a little background info. I am a huge fan of handmade cards. I got my first handmade card from my husband just days after we first met. It was immediately clear that this was a guy with good looks, artistic ability, and creative genius. (And did I mention good looks?) It was a better combination than I ever thought possible. At that point, I knew I could not let him get away from me. And after all this time, he’s still got it. He’s impressed me time after time, so I’ve had to learn how to get creative, too.

This little card I made last year has a matchbook on the front that can be opened up to reveal some little heart matches. I burned the bottom edge of the card for added effect. If you’ve never made a handmade card in your life or even if you’re a card-making maniac, your Valentine will love this card. Trust me.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Matchbook Valentine:

  • a piece of cardstock (approximately 8.5″ x 5.5″)in the color of your choice, folded in half to make the card
  • some real matches & a candle
  • small pieces of cardstock in each of the following colors: tan, brown, red & black
  • a small heart punch
  • scissors (& a paper cutter if you have one)
  • glue
  • a stapler

The first step is to take your folded card & burn the edge. If you are not good with matches or have ever had to call the fire department to your home, I recommend you skip this step. Otherwise, do this by your kitchen sink with a frying pan & a slightly damp paper towel. Light a candle, then quickly sweep the bottom edge of front of the card across the flame. Only let it burn a little bit, then place it on the bottom of the pan & dab out the fire with the damp paper towel. Repeat this step until you have the burnt edge effect across the bottom of the card. You may want to practice this on another piece of paper first.

Next, you’re ready to make the parts of the matchbook. For the book, cut a piece of the tan cardstock to approximately 5-1/2″ x 1-3/4″.

Fold up the bottom edge about 3/4″ up to make the bottom edge of the matchbook. Fold over the top edge of the matchbook to where it will slightly overlap the bottom. Score the paper before folding if you want to make it extra neat.

Now, cut 5 match sticks out of the brown cardstock to about 2″ x 1/4″.

Punch 6 hearts out of red cardstock. If you do not have a small heart punch, you can cut these out by hand.

Next, cut the “striking strip” of the matchbook out of a piece of black cardstock. (approx. 2″x 1/4″). Using a little glue, construct the matches & glue them in place. Glue on the black strip. Then staple the bottom fold under the black strip.

Lastly, glue one last heart to the front of the matchbook & stick your little creation on the front of the card.

The only part left is the message inside. For this part, you’re on your own, people. There are countless messages you could write inside to keep with the theme. If you need a boost to get your creative juices flowing, here are a few suggestions:

“we’re a perfect match”


“you light my fire”


“our love was a friendship that caught on fire”

(okay that last one made me laugh. I just googled & found it.)

Now you can get started. But let me warn you about the effects of handmade cards. They have been known to bring on tears, elation, shock, & various other emotions that you should be prepared to deal with. Only do this if you really want to impress someone.

This post is linked up at A Soft Place to Land & Today’s Creative Blog. Click over there to see some more fun stuff!monogram