Gather Your SuppliesFor this project you'll need a very limited number of items.
- Program to add text to a photo (there are many free options we'll point out in that step)
- Lollipops/Candy Pops/Suckers or other candies on a stick
- Your child
- A printer to print your photos or your favorite photo lab
- An Xacto/Hobby knife or pair of scissors
Take the PhotoBefore we can turn your photo into a great Valentine's Day card, we have to take the photo.
- Pick a Background/Location
Find a patch of green grass, grass with scattered leaves, use sidewalk chalk to draw hearts on the sidewalk, use a homemade "old master" style background, or even use a play area ball pit (if you can get permission). Whatever you use, make sure it creates an intentional background behind your child. You don't want to take your photos and then realize when they are developed that there is a trash can in the background of your photo.
- Pick an Outfit
Remember this will be a card given to other children so pick out an appropriate outfit for your child to wear in the photo. Red fits nicely with the Valentine's Day theme.
- Explain the Pose
Take some time to explain to your child the pose you need before you get ready to take the photo. It probably easiest to show them the example photo here rather than just tell your child as children are usually quite visual in nature.
- Check Your Camera Settings
For this shot you need to be very careful of your depth of field. This is so that your child's face and hand will be in focus. If you don't have a camera that allows you to manually set aperture/F-Stop you can use landscape mode to get a larger depth of field.
- Take the Shot
Pose your child with one hand outstretched towards you in a fist. A big smile is a good thing as well. Take the photo from fairly close to the child. Also, if you can, shoot looking downward at your child for this shot at the same angle that your child is holding his/her arm. This will help make the fist larger in comparison to the child. It isn't necessary, but it adds a nice whimsical touch to the photo.
Add the Words and HeartsThere are several options for adding text and hearts to your photo. If you have Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS you can download many free heart brush sets (like this one from About.com Graphic Software) from sites across the web, or use the built in shape brushes. Many other photo editing programs also include basic shapes such as hearts. Almost all of these programs work in the same basic way:
- Select the text tool
- Select the font
- Select the color
- Select the size
- Type the text
If you do not have a photo editing program that allows you to add text to a photo there are some free options. Online sites like Picnik and Shutterfly offer the ability to add text to a photo OR add a Valentine's Day frame around your photo. If you cannot add text then a frame is a great option for this project.
Print the PhotosFor this project, 4x6 or 5x7 prints work best. I used a 4x6 print.
You can print the photos yourself or send them to your favorite photo lab. Many local 1 hour printers offer coupons on a regular basis for a handful of free prints around the holidays. You may be able to get your photos cards printed free or at a very low rate this way. Even if you don't find a coupon, 4x6 prints are generally under 25 cents each.
Cut the Holes for the Candy Pop StickTechnically, they aren't really holes. We'll be cutting small slits in the photo for the lollypop handle to slide through.
Place the photo on a nonslip surface that is suitable for cutting. Use the Xacto/craft knife to make a small slit at the top and bottom of your child's hand in the photo. By cutting slits instead of holes the photo will not buckle as much and the cuts will be less noticeable. Each slit should be about 3/4" long the diameter of the lollypop stick. This allows the stick to slide through the photo without bending the photo drastically.
Add the LollipopsNow all you have left to do is carefully slide the candy stick through the slits and pass out the cards at your child's Valentine's Day party.