Fun, creative alternatives to store-bought Valentines

The tradition of the written valentine has been around since the 1400’s, with mass produced versions available to purchase and send as early as the 1800’s.  Different styles have been popular through the years, including these flowery, Victorian-style valentines (from

to the more whimsical style of the1940’s and 1950’s.  Here are some examples from
Valentines from the 1950’s and 60’s became super cute, with clever play-on-words and brighter colours.   The next few examples come from

These days, Disney and movie characters adorn boxes of drug store Valentines, but they lack the charm of the Valentines of yesterday.  Dismayed by the commercialism of yet another holiday, a few years ago I started creating personalized and unique Valentines for my kids to give out at school.  You can do the same for minimal cost and effort.

My personalized Valentines include photos (no surprise there) and some simple text.  The tool that I use to create my cards is Photoshop, but you could use iPhoto or even a document editor like Word and add clipart and text to a photo that way.  There are also probably several smart phone apps that would do the trick if that is what you have available.

Here are my kids Valentines from the first year that I began this project.

A simple idea – kids plus yummy treat!

The next year Valentine’s Day fell just after a trip to Jamaica, and so I was inspired to use images from the trip.

Alas, my son has now decided that he is too old for Valentines, and so last year I created something fun with my daughter using images captured on the beach.

This year I have worked on a couple of ideas that I will use once our Valentine’s Day photo shoot is completed.  Here they are using images from my photo library.

So don’t feel stuck with boring box-store Valentines, get out your camera and be creative.  And please share your results, I always love to see what other people come up with!

All photos by Anita Woo.


About anitawoo

A photographer & mom with a passion for capturing life's moments with my camera.
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