Every year on Valentine’s Day, people send one billion cards, buy 35 million heart-shaped chocolates, deliver 220 million roses and devour eight million conversation hearts. Still, it can be challenging to declare your love when it’s hard to find the right words. With that said, be innovative this Valentine’s Day. Print out some Valentine’s Day photo booth props, create a glamorous backdrop and snap away. After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words!
1. Paper Heart Balloons
- Helium-Quality Balloons
- Tissue Paper
- Mod Podge
- Foam Brush
- Baker’s Twine/Ribbon
- Heart Template
- Wash Cloth
Step 1: Print and cut out the heart template.
Step 2: Trace the heart template onto the tissue paper. Then cut it out.
Step 3: Use a foam brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to one side of the heart.
Step 4: Carefully lay the heart onto a pre-blown helium balloon.
Step 5: Flatten the heart out with your fingers. You’ll be able to get most of the air bubbles out, but the heart won’t be perfectly smooth.
Step 6: Remove any excess Mod Podge with a wash cloth. If you use your fingers, the balloon might smudge.
Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6 to add a second heart to the backside of the balloon. Then tie your balloon with baker’s twine or a standard curly ribbon.
2. Hanging Wax Hearts
- Heart Template
- Waxed Paper
- Kraft Paper
- Handheld Pencil Sharpener/Knife
- Silk Thread
Step 1: Pull off a 12-by-16 in. piece of wax paper.
Step 2: Fold the wax paper in half, hot-dog style.
Step 3: Use a handheld pencil sharpener or knife to make crayon shavings. Place them evenly across one-half of the wax paper.
Step 4: Fold the clean half of the wax paper over the crayon shavings. To hold the shavings in place, crimp the three open sides with a ½ in. fold.
Step 5: Place Kraft paper on your ironing surface, then lay down your wax paper.
Step 6: Cover your wax paper with another piece of Kraft paper. Turn your iron to medium heat and run it over your wax paper.
Step 7: Once the shavings have melted, let the wax paper cool. Then print, trace and cut out hearts of various sizes.
Step 8: String each heart with a silk thread. Then hang it.
3. Post-It Note Heart
- Neon Pink and Orange Post-It Notes
- White Foam Board, 2-by-3 ft.
Step 1: Place the Post-It sticky-side up. The sticky tab should be at the top. Fold the bottom upwards and press it into the middle of the tab. You’ll be left with 1/8 in. at the top.
Step 2: Fold 74 pink notes and 130 orange notes. Then apply a folded orange note flush to the bottom left corner of the foam board. Continue to apply notes until you reach the top of the board.
Step 3: For the next column, apply notes in the reverse direction until your reach the top of the board. Then repeat steps 2-3.
4. XO’s Backdrop
- Double-Sided Tape
- Blank Wall
Steps 1: Cut out your X’s and O’s. You can use any kind of paper. To make your O’s, you can use the bottom of round containers (coffee cans, mop buckets or cups) lying around your house. Use a ruler to make sure that your X’s are similar in size to your O’s. Make 22 O’s and 23 X’s. Your background will be 5 ft. wide and 4 ft. tall.
Step 2: Once your letters are cut out, begin taping them to the wall. Make sure the top row is above the head of the tallest person you’ll be photographing and that the letters carry on outside of the frame. Continue until all of your letters are on the wall.
5. Paper Heart Chains
- Red/Pink Construction Paper
Step 1: Cut construction paper into 1 in. wide strips.
Step 2: Fold the paper in half. It should be a V-shape.
Step 3: Take the ends of the paper and fold inward.
Step 4: To make a chain, slip the bottom of the strip of paper between the heart’s arches and staple.
6. Giant Fringe Love Letters
- Duct Tape
- Shredder Scissors
- Box Cutter
- Crepe Paper
- 4 Large Boxes
Step 1: Measure a 22-by-30 in. square on each box to draw your “love” letters. Then individually draw each letter onto the box’s largest space, inside the slats, with a t-ruler.
Step 2: Use a box cutter to cut out each letter. Make sure that you apply enough pressure to cut through both sides of the box. This way you won’t have to cut out each letter again.
Step 3: Now measure the sides of your letters. The sides give each letter depth or a 3D quality. Figure out how many sides there are on each letter and make that many pieces in the same length with a width of 7 in. Cut each piece out.
Step 4: Tape all of your pieces together. Use small pieces of clear duct tape to put the sides together.
Step 5: Cover the back, inside and sides of each letter with crepe paper, which can be stretched to double its length. For the top and bottom of each letter, tuck the paper down into the sides for a seamless look.
Step 6: Measure and cut the fringe pieces out for the front of each letter. Start at the bottom of each letter and glue the fringe piece by piece going up the letter. Make sure that each piece of paper covers the gap from the fringe underneath.
7. Feather Heart
- Foam Cake Form, 4 in. tall and 12 in. diameter
- Sharpie Marker
- Heated Foam Cutter/Knife
- 3 Feather Boas
- Hot Glue Gun
- Hot Glue Sticks
Step 1: Sketch a heart onto your foam cake form. Hate clean-up? Cut it out with a heat foam cutter like the Ironton Electric Hot Knife Styrene Foam Cutter ($24.99 at Northern Tool + Equipment). In a pinch, use a knife.
Step 2: Hot glue the feather boas onto the Styrofoam heart.
8. Giant Balloon Heart
- Balloons (Red, Pink, Pearl, Rose, Wild Berry, Coral, White Clear, Light Pink and Neon Pink)
- Balloon Pump
- Low-Temperature Glue Gun/Glue Dots
- Hot Glue
- Gaffers Tape
- Artificial Flowers
Step 1: Cut the cardboard into ½ inch strips. You’ll need a variety of lengths to create the curves of the heart.
Step 2: Start in the center of the heart by creating an “L.” Then continue gluing pieces together. Keep the cardboard flat by rotating where you glue each piece (over then under).
Step 3: Once your heart shape is complete, begin to add the biggest balloons to the cardboard with gaffers tape. Use a variety of sizes and colors.
Step 4: Use a low-temperature glue gun or glue dots to add smaller balloons. Continue adding balloons until you can’t see the cardboard. You’ll end up layering balloons on top of other balloons.
Step 5: Now tie artificial flowers to the heart form using wires, or dab a little hot glue on them and stick them to the balloons.
Step 6: Attach strings to the top two sides of the heart and hang it.
9. Cupcake Liner Pins
- Cupcake Liners
- Pinking Shears
- Double-Sided Tape
- Heart Punch
- Plain Card Stock
- Safety Pin
Step 1: Trim the edges of each cupcake liner with pinking shears. First, fold two cupcake liners in half and trim ¼ of an inch from them. Open them. Then trim ¾ in. from a smaller or larger cupcake liner.
Step 2: Scrunch the middle of each cupcake liner. Then flatten the middle out with your fingertips.
Step 3: Layer the cupcake liners. Secure each one with double-sided tape.
Step 4: Punch a heart from card stock. Coat it with glue and sprinkle it with glitter. Shake the excess glitter off. Once the heart is dry, attach it to the middle of the layered cupcake liners.
Step 5: Cut two ribbons and glue them to the back of the cupcake liners. Notch the ends of the ribbons. Put a safety pin through the liners and wear them on your shirt for your Valentine’s Day photo op.
10. Scalloped Background
- 3 Rolls of Wrapping Paper, 30-by-60 inches.
- Martha Stewart Circle Cutter Tool ($17.24 at Amazon)
- Removable Glue Dots
- Blank Wall
Step 1: Use your circle cutter tool to cut out 5 ½ inch circles. Use all of each roll’s wrapping paper. Your background should be approximately 4 ½ ft. wide and 3 ft. tall.
Step 2: Dab glue on the back of a circle and stick it to the wall. Then continue adding circles to form rows. Use a measuring tape to make sure your rows stay level. Your backdrop should also be high, low and wide enough to accommodate your subjects. If you want your scallops to look like they’re going downward, start at the bottom. If you want them to look like they’re going upwards, start at the top.