8 Fun Upcycled Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

Crinkled Paper Background with a painted heart. Text reads "8 Fun Upcycled Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids"


As a mom, I know my kids will be exposed to mainstream culture through television, school, other adult influences, etc. And I would never want to rob them of the fun and magic that can sometimes accompany this culture, especially when it comes to popular holidays celebrated in the US.  So this February, I am thinking about the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday and all it’s usual commercialism and trying to decide how I want to teach my pre-school and pre-K learners about the holiday. My plan? To talk in simple terms about how we can show love without buying a bunch of stuff. And one way they can still use the love language of gifts is by creating homemade gifts from repurposed items in the home.  Whether you are here for the mindfulness of the activities or just looking for something to do with your kids this year, I hope you’ll enjoy this compilation of upcycled Valentine’s Day crafts for kids. 

Crafts Using Cardboard Tubes

Collect your toilet paper or paper towel rolls for these cute upcycled Valentine’s Day crafts for kids.

Three DIY treat poppers for Valentines Day on a table

Valentine’s Day Treat Poppers

This adorable craft makes a great gift to pass along to friends. The idea from Happy Mothering uses toilet paper rolls to serve as a container for small trinkets or candies.  The rolls is then covered with tissue paper and tied with string or ribbons.  I encourage you to think about making the trinkets inside as eco-friendly as possible (unwrapped candy, foil-wrapped candy, eco-friendly stickers, etc.). Reusing old tissue paper would be a great way to take this craft to the next level, too.

heart printed valentines tree craft for kids cardboard tube

Stamped Heart Tree 

Kids will love the opportunity to use cardboard tubes to paint their Valentine’s Day themed tree.  What little doesn’t love the opportunity to play with paint? This is my favorite tree-themed idea from Crafts on Sea because it uses the upcycled material, but also because it has such a neat look! Your little doesn’t have to be able to draw to produce these beautiful hearts, either, which makes it great for even your little toddlers to join the fun!


Valentine’s Owls

Well if these aren’t the cutest little owls! The original post by Joyfully Jansen uses these as a cute little way to give a treat, which is a fun idea, but I think they’re so adorable that you could leave them just as they are! Save your cardboard rolls and get to making them! 


Oh, and if you don’t have google eyes, I learned another cute little trick recently!  You can use empty pill packs! Just put a small piece of black construction paper, a bead, a button, or a piece of sequin where the pill used to be.  Glue a piece of paper to the back (cardstock, if you have it) and cut them apart! BAM! Google eyes! 

Valentine’s Day Crafts Repurposing Jars

If you have littles that can handle glass jars or if you are able to work one-on-one with your littles, these craft ideas are super cute and make awesome gifts.  My children LOVE making gifts for people they love and it’s nice to be able to help them create truly adorable gifts! 

Heart Luminaries. Heart crafts for kids. Valentines crafts for kids.


Heart Decoupage Jars

You can use babyfood jars, Oui yogurt jars, and other small jars to make this adorable craft from Learning and Exploring through Play.  This is also another great opportunity to repurpose some old tissue paper, too! 


Littles can help apply glue and stick on the hearts to make adorable decor.  The placement of the hearts doesn’t matter– it can be scantly covered or completely eclipsed by hearts.  The glow will penetrate the thin paper and look lovely.

glass jar filled with colored hearts and hand-written questions

Dinner Conversation Hearts

For older kids with a good handle on scissors, this activity from Sandy Toes and Popsicles provides a great option for a Valentine’s Day. You can scaffold for those who can’t cut out hearts on their own by printing out hearts on colored printer paper or allow them to trace a heart template.  For older kids, you can teach them to fold paper in half and cut half the heart to get a symmetrical shape.  

Then you can brainstorm topics together and help the little ones by transcribing their thoughts onto the hearts.

This would be a great opportunity to use up small scraps of construction paper from other projects! And of course, a fantastic way to reuse a small jar like one from jelly or pasta sauce.

Valentine’s Day Crafts From Materials Around the House

This next list of upcycled Valentine’s Day crafts for kids uses a variety of different materials.   Each can be a great way to repurpose something that would otherwise end up in the trash. They may be more of a challenge if you constantly declutter your home, but for those of us who save everything because we “might need that one day,” it might just BE that day! 

Valentine's Day Kids Craft Puzzle Wreath | Upcycle your old puzzle pieces for this crafty heart wreath craft idea! Perfect for kids to make as a diy mother's day gift #DIY #valentinesCraft #MothersDayCraft #KidsCraft

Puzzle Piece Heart Wreath

I love this idea from Raising Whasians, since my kids are always losing pieces of puzzles. What a great way to use them up! 

You can modify the size of the heart to suite the amount of pieces you have to work with.  Your littles can enjoy painting them any colors you have and like.  You can even have fun with the painting by giving them fun options for paint brushes. Is there anything else you can repurpose into a fun paint brush so your littles can experiment with texture? 

The author of the post uses hot glue to glue the pieces.  If you would like your littles  to help place the pieces, try using another glue like E6000.  It is still very strong without the worries about burns! You can also create a heart template if your little needs a little extra assistance making the heart shape.

Valentine Card Collector

I love this little love-letter gobbler from Michael’s! He is so cute! The website includes supplies you can purchase from Michael’s, but you can also adapt with what you have on hand! 

The supply list suggests that you use a small gift box.  However, when I saw this picture, I instantly thought this was a great opportunity to repurpose a tissue box! 

Heart shaped String Art Craft for Kids - perfect for Valentine's Day!! {Reality Daydream}

Heart String Art

This sophisticated little project from RealityDayDream can be modified for littles to enjoy if you have a scrap of wood and nails! Naturally, grown ups will need to either (1) create the heart shape out of nails or (2) be heavily involved in assisting your little tap in a few nails.  You can cut a heart from scrap paper to help you create the heart shape, if needed.

Then, once the nails are in place, your little can use scrap string or yarn to wind around the nails.  This is a great opportunity to work on fine motor skills. Don’t worry about winding in a pattern, just allow your little to practice winding around the nails!

All of these upcycled Valentine’s Day crafts for kids are great options for more eco-friendly Valentine’s Day crafts with your littles because they use repurposed materials. Even your tots can benefit from age-appropriate dialogues with you about upcycling materials.  Some talking points may include: 

  • Trash from our garbage can ends up at a place called a landfill.  The landfills are running out of space and can make the ground, air, and water around them yucky! So it is best to put as little as possible in the garbage can.
  • When we use this material, we keep it from ending up in the trash.
  • Instead, we upcycle or repurpose it. Can you think of other items we can reuse in our home?

Happy crafting and learning, Eco Warriors! 

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