Creative Reuse Holidays & Celebrations

Six Ways to Upcycle Valentines

Show some love to the Earth this week by keeping Valentine cards out of the trash. At the very least, Valentines printed on paper or card stock (and free of foil, glitter, felt, etc.) can be placed into municipal recycling bins that accept mixed paper (most do). At best, they can be saved and used in a bunch of fun ways that can teach children about repurposing and upcycling, such as cutting then up to make gift tags, or reworked into creative Valentines for next year, with pieces glued on colored paper (or several pieces glued for a “collage Valentine”). Here are four more ideas for upcycling Valentines:


  1. Put them in a shredder (or tear them in bits by hand) and make colorful packing material, for padding a gift box or when mailing something.
  2. If you have a lot of pink and red ones, cut hearts out of them and make a wreath, like the one shown here at the Family Focus blog (use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or stencil if you find it hard to draw one before cutting). I’m guessing their wreath was put together thanks to the magic of glue, and some ribbon to hang it. Notice they’ve also added some glitter glue around the edges of some of the hearts.
  3. Those kids’ Valentines that are about the size of a business card? Cut slots in their sides and make a really cool stacking/building activity out of them, as shown here. The author, blogger Dyan Robson, also shows simple puzzles and lacing cards made from them (and really tiny paper airplanes) which she uses in busy bags for her kids, great alternatives to phone/video games when having to wait at a doctor’s office, etc.
  4. Place the cards (or images cut from the cards) between two identically-sized sheets of clear contact paper to make keepsake Valentine placemats.

If you’re not the crafty type, there are artisans and scrapbookers out there that might love to have your leftover Valentines (no matter how old the Valentines are!), so give them to a creative reuse center, like Untrash Creative Reuse! Mail to: Untrash Creative Reuse, P.O. Box 853022, Richardson, TX 75085, or fill out the form at to arrange for a drop-off or pick-up!


Got any more ideas for what to do with “old” Valentines? Please share below! Or post any other comments or questions!