If you have a plant-loving Valentine in mind this year (or want to give a card to someone particularly prickly) this cactus card is ideal for you. Two hearts make up the cactus body and both sides are available for message-writing. Happy Valentine's Day to green-thumbs and grumps, alike!
To make your own cactus-inspired Valentine, you'll need card stock in sand (or terra cotta), green, red, yellow, and brown, a pencil, scissors, toothpicks, acrylic paint in green, craft glue, paper towels, wooden clothespins, and a pen.
It Starts with a Heart
With your pencil and green card stock, draw a heart about 3½-inches wide and tall. Draw close to the edge of your paper.
A Second Heart Sprouts Out
Draw another, smaller heart (about 1 ¼ inches high) so that it looks like it's growing out of the top of one of the first hearts humps. Using pencil makes sketching low-pressure.
Cut Out Your Cactus
Cut out the connected hearts in the green paper. Use that shape to trace a second double-hearted cactus shape.
Start on the Spines
Dip your toothpicks into your green acrylic paint and set them on a paper plate or paper towel to dry. Making these early on allows them to dry while you work.
Draw a Pot for Your Plant
On your terra cotta colored paper, draw a smallish square (2 ½ inches wide and tall) with a rounded bottom. Flair out the sides of square slightly from the base up, and drawn two tabs, or lips at the top to make a pot shape. Draw a round, flat oval at the top of the pot. The oval shape should match the curve at the bottom of your pot.
Cut the Pot Pieces
Cut out the oval piece in your pot. Reserve that for later. This small detail will give a little dimension to your Valentine. The details make all the difference.
Cut out a flat oval piece that spans the length of the pot's top. This will be your dirt. When layered, it already looks like a pot filled with soil.
Glue the Dirt to the Pot
Put a small amount of glue on the backside of the pot's lip. Place the brown oval of dirt onto the glue and pinch it in place. Flip the pot over to look at it from the front to make sure it looks good to you.
Glue the Cactus to the Dirt
Place a small amount of glue on in the middle of your brown oval. Place the point of the large heart in the glue and let it dry. From the back it should look something like this. (Not so cute, I know.) When your flip it around and look at it from the front, it should look much more plant-like!
The Final Layer
Use a small amount of glue on the terra cotta colored oval you cut off of your original pot. Adhere it to cactus layer, just above the dirt layer. This terra cotta piece will go right on top of the cactus because we're working on the backside of your Valentine for now.
Flip the Card Over
If you layered your pieces correctly, when you flip your card over you should see a terra cotta colored pot, some brown dirt, a cactus heart "growing" out of the dirt, and a thin line of terra cotta colored paper behind the cactus and dirt that looks like the back of the pot.
Add the Spines
If your toothpicks are not yet dry, use a hair dryer on them to speed up the process. Then dip the non-painted side of the toothpicks into craft glue and arrange them (on the backside of your card) around the edges of both hearts. From the front, it should look like spines growing out of the cactus.
Creating the Backside
Spread a thin layer of craft glue all over the backside of your cactus heart. Glue a few of your extra toothpicks on the backside of the pot for reinforcement.
Let the Heart Sandwich Dry
Sandwich the second double-heart piece of paper onto the first toothpick-and-glue-covered cactus hearts. Use clothespins to help you pinch the paper closed as the glue dries on your heart sandwich. Clothespins are a crafters best friend.
Make a Flower
With the red paper, cut out a small (about an inch wide and tall) scalloped circle to create a flower. Use any color you like if you don't have red paper.
Attach the Flower to the Cactus
Glue the red flower to the upper heart on the frontside of your card. The frontside is the side with the visible dirt.
Embellish your Flower
Cut out a tiny circle, measuring about 1/4 by 1/4 inch in yellow card stock and add glue it to the center of your red flower. Sometimes just a pop of color does the trick.
Make a Second Pot
Trace your cacti's pot onto a portion of terra cotta paper to make a second pot. This will be for the backside of your card. The back of your pot will not have any visible dirt in it, so the shape can stay in tact.
Glue the Back of the Pot
Apply glue to the back of the pot and place the mirror image against that. Use toothpicks to help you smear your craft glue.
Let the Pot Pieces Dry Completely
Let the paper sandwich dry completely. Pinch the paper together with your fingers, or use clothespins around the perimeter of the pot to help you.
Write Your Message
When the entire card is dry, write out a Valentine greeting on the front of the card. The backside can be used for an extended, personalized message, or left blank so that the recipient can be impressed by your awesome paper craft skills.
Give and Enjoy!
Give the cactus Valentine to your favorite garden lover, and they will stick with you for a long time. This cactus card never needs watering, by the way. Enjoy and happy Valentine's Day!