We are fast approaching that big ‘ol love day. And who doesn’t like to give (and receive) some love?!

I remember being back in elementary school waiting in anticipation for my little Valentine’s mailbox. It was so fun to receive all the teeny cards my classmates would make and/or write. I also found it humorous how many ways you can spell ‘Elaine’ (apparently)… “Elan”, “Elinea”, “Elane”, “Eleanor”, “Eileen”… ah, good times.

Chace (my four-year-old) is in daycare with about 20 other little munchkins. I thought it would be fun to help him make some Valentine’s that he could hand out. It was also a nice way to talk to him about – and show him – a good example of friendship.

… But has anyone noticed how girly Valentines are? Not that there is anything wrong with that (Seinfeld) but it’s fun to have a somewhat boyish Valentine for my little BOY to hand out. I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about handing out a card filled with cupids, hearts, cute doggies and jellybeans. He’s been known to exclaim (in dramatic four-year-old fashion) “oh no, not agaaaain!” when “Sophia the First” or “Strawberry Shortcake” comes on TV. He makes a bee-line for his lego at that point.

So, I came up with a ‘beary’ cute boyish idea instead… black bears, and bear paws. Raaarrrr!

I wanted to give a little treat that was peanut-free, and I was hoping to have some sort of boyish play-on-words, so when I thought of ‘Bear Paws’ (those cookies made by Dare), the rest fell into place.
I went with a bear that didn’t look too cute and cuddly – this is a boyish bear. Rarrrr. His expression cracks me up. 

The first thing I did was design the header cards. On the front I wrote “I’m so BEARY happy that we are friends” and of course, have the bear image. On the back I wrote “Happy Valentine’s Day” and then had a blank spot that said “from your friend,” and had room for Chace to write his name. Across the bottom I put “Mom and Dads: These are ‘Dare Bear Paws’ and are peanut free!” just in case there were any allergies in the home.

I set the cards as ‘four-up’ on a page to make the most out of each sheet. I included crop marks (for cutting) and score marks (for folding guides). If you’d like to make you own, you can download a copy of this file here. Enjoy!

The first assignment in my sweat sweet shop was to unwrap all of the bear paws. I thought they’d look better out of the packaging, and in clear cellophane bags. You must have your tongue out in concentration for this step.

While Chace was doing this, I used my trimmer/scorer to score the header cards. Scoring creates an indent or depression in the paper that allows the card to fold easily. This is not a necessary step but I find it helps make the finished project look clean and polished. I printed my header cards on 100lb cover stock so they were pretty thick. Scoring the paper helps them fold easier. You can use a bone scorer, or even the backside of a butter knife along the edge of a ruler to achieve the same effect.

After I scored the cards, I trimmed them down.

Once the header cards were trimmed, Chace started writing his name on each one.

After he completed this step, we put two bear paws in each bag. The bags that I used were from Michaels. They are 4″ wide by 9.5″ deep. They have about a 2″ gusset on the sides (to hold the cookies). We placed the bear paws back-to-back so that the ‘good side’ faced out each side of the bag.

After that, I rolled down the top of the bag and gave them a quick staple.

I had some help with this step too.

Then I placed the folded header on each bag and added one more staple.

And with that, we were done!

Chace is really excited to hand these out at school next week!

What about you? Any childhood Valentines’ memories? Any fun projects for the kids planned? I have a few other little ideas planned for the big day but I will keep those a secret for now. I don’t want my Valentine to have any hints :).