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baby gift

A Sign for Your Valentine - a diy papercut room placard

I’ve been thinking a lot about how different each of my children are, and how essential it is to celebrate these differences. This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to incorporate their personalities into their gifts. These placards, upon their bedroom door or hanging on their bulletin board, will remind them, every day, how unique they are in this family and in this world. Plus, these signs beat the current “keep out” and “no brothers or sisters allowed” signs, which I’m hoping they’ll replace.
The kids’ amazing strengths express themselves daily, much to my own joy. My daughter regularly leaps down the hall or through the kitchen to say good morning, or good evening, or welcome home! with such pure happiness and energy in her body, face and voice, it is contagious.My oldest son reacts to life with such empathy and tenderness, it brings tears to my eyes. How do I let that sweet heart of his out into this scary world? His tender heart, especially, I want to guard with all the uber-mommy protectiveness I can muster.
Then, there is my middle guy, whose wide, big eyes hold lifetimes of being and knowing. He’s the silent type that doesn’t share a whole lot, but you have this feeling, he knows . . . he just knows, that soulful boy.
These signs would obviously work as a special, handmade gift for just about anything. Add any words or little design you want to throw in there. Think about a baby’s name and birthdate trumpeted by a cute little elephant. Or, “get well soon” would be a lovely sentiment with a little floral motif. You can use the back of the sign as a card with signatures and a special note or the like. I think I will add a Valentine’s Day message for each of the kiddos to these, as well.

These valentines are part of my a year of handmade series, where I committed to giving only handmade gifts this year. Click on the button below to see the gallery of all the gifts I have made this year and the associated tutorials, patterns, etc.

Here is the room placard diy:
a color palette, including two complimentary fabrics, two 18" lengths of ribbon and thread
two pieces of paperboard (cracker box, cereal box) 5×7 each
sewing machinedouble sided tape
paper cutter or scissors
computer and printer
a special message for your loved one
Select your palettes, the print used for the letters should be small. The print in the heart/design can be bigger.
Cut two pieces of paperboard to desired size. Mine are 5×7".
Print your message on regular printer paper. I used the Nueva font at 96 point. Tape your message to the paperboard, leaving a 1/2 inch margin all the way around and room for your design.
Cut the letters out of the paper and paperboard with a sharp craft knife.
Draw a heart or other design in the corner and cut out with the craft knife.

Pair with your fabrics.

Next, attach the ribbons. I used approximately 18" of ribbon. Take the other piece of paperboard which will form the back of the placard. Place tape approximately half an inch in from each side.
Place the ribbons, slightly overlapping, on to the tape.
Sew the ribbon to the paperboard. Stitch in a rectangle, down one side, across both pieces of ribbon, back up the other ribbon and across both of them once more.
The attached ribbon should look like this:
Form a loop with the ribbon and repeat on the other side (I ended up trimming a couple inches off). My loop is approximately 16" total.

Trim and place the fabric down on the bottom piece of paperboard. I used double stick tape to help it stay in place.

Sandwich the fabric in between both pieces of paperboard such that the fabric shows up where you want it to. Trim the fabric further, as necessary.
Carefully stitch the sandwich together. I went around the rectangle with a straight stitch first, using the sewing foot as my guide to stitch at about 1/8".

Using the foot as my guide, I went around the placard again with a zig-zag stitch.


Many happy valentines wishes to you and yours! Oh, cutting out the message took about an hour or so – that was definitely the worst part, but not as bad as you might think. The sewing was a breeze.

xo anne

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