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DIY Valentine: Air Mail Express

The finished product: little airplanes sent via "Air Mail Express."

As promised in the previous blog for Candy-free Valentine's, here is one more candy-free, fun treat for your kid's school valentine, "Air Mail Express"

I really liked all of the treats illustrated in the previous blog, but I wanted something else. After rambling around Oriental Trading Company and, I came across a bag of 72 foam airplanes for around $8.50 (free shipping).

That's 50 more than I need, but I can always use the rest for party favors or donate them to the local after school program.

You can see the parts of the planes and the assembled product here.

I'd seen some cute ideas for valentine's that are just pieces of paper marked with instructions for making a paper airplane, like this one from Country Living Magazine (which really is cute and fun -- and cheap to print at home!). Most of the other ones said things like "You make my heart SOAR" and other such pun-filled quotes that would be wasted on my son's adorable pre-K friends. Plus, I have zero stationery at my house and almost no printer paper left, which meant I was required to be creative.

Enter the box of small envelopes that has been sitting on our bookshelf for a solid 2.5 years. You may also have these lying around. They're too small to fit your bills or letters into without oddly folding your paperwork into a sad state of origami. Why do we have these?! Remembering the cute "Air Mail" slogan I'd seen earlier, I decided to open up Microsoft Word, enlist the help of the envelope template and ClipArt and got to work. Inside of 15 minutes, I had worked out which fonts, sizes, and colors to use, found a "stamp" in ClipArt, and printed up my FREE envelopes.

You can see that my printer made a black line on the side of the envelopes, but I feel that lends them more to looking like they have gone through the actual mail and went with it.

The 22 planes I needed cost a total of $.12 each and the envelopes were already on-hand (free). I'm pleased with how they turned out and my son is, too.

What sort of valentine's are you giving out this year? Let us know in the comments below.