a LOVEly Valentine {Art for Kids}

I did this art project with my 5 year old/Kindergarten class.  It’s really simple, but the kids enjoy it because they get to be a little messy. In the photos below, I used my almost 3 year old daughter as my little assistant to show you just how to create this simple project.

For this project, we are inspired by Robert Indiana’s iconic work, LOVE, which was first created as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art.  It’s been made into a sculpture which has been recreated in multiple versions and a variety of colors, and is on display around the world.






I made cut-out letters (L, O, V, E) from the cardboard of a cereal box (also can use foam paper) and taped them on a white canvas (or piece of construction paper). Make sure you use gentle tape like painters tape, otherwise your white paper may rip (canvas is safe with scotch tape) when you peel the letters off later on.


Have your artist finger-paint with red, pink, purple and peach Washable tempera paints (we used acrylic paint here, which is stickier and messier on the hands and is harder to wash off later), until the whole paper is full of color.



It’s really important to make sure that paint is applied along the edges of each letter. If too many white spaces are left by the edges, the letters won’t look like letters when you lift off the stencils later.


After the paint dried, I peeled away the letters and BAM! There you have it, a beautiful work of art.



-White construction paper (or color of your choice)

-Washable tempera paint, in variety of colors

-Foam paper or cardboard (like a cereal box) for your letter stencils (L, O, V, E)

-Scissors (to cut out stencil letters)

-Gentle tape

This photo above was taken of one of my art student’s art works, when I was teaching. We used construction paper and bright tempera paints.

If you like this art project, then you’ll be sure to love 6 more Valentine projects for kids (that I created) over HERE!

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  1. Hello everybody. I’m pretty new to 3d printing and I have a lot of questions on the topic, so I hope you will not get mad at me for asking here at least couple of them. I think before I’ll get seriously into modelling I should focus on the software itself, and that’s what I’d like to ask you about. Mainly, should I look for the most simple/crudest software I can find or would it be better to look for something more complex? I’m worried that I’ll get some unwanted habits while working on less complex software. Currently I’m trying out some online software called SelfCAD (I didn’t have to download anything). I’ve read some good opinions about it, but maybe you could share yours as well? Second question is about the software as well: should I search for software that would let me design and slice it in it, or should I use a different program for each? The one I’m suing allows me to do both i it. Does it even make a difference? Weirdly, I couldn’t find the answer to that, as it seems like most sites want to focus on the very basics (like what is 3d printing and so on), and while the answers to those questions are fine, it seems like no one wants to go into the details (it looks like some of them even plagiarise each other! I swear I’ve read the same answers to the same questions on at least 3 different blogs) but I’m getting off-topic… The last question is about 3d pens. Would it be possible to somehow convert whatever I draw with a 3d pen to a 3d model in a CAD software? For example, if I’ll draw a horse with 3d pen, would it be possible to get its design in a program? I’m not sure how that could even work, but the very idea sounds interesting to me. Anyway, I think I’ll stop here just in case no one will ever answer me and all of this writing will be for nothing. I apologise that I’m using your content to ask questions, but I hope you can relate and assist a newbie like me. Anyway, thank you for posting. I did learn something from this and that’s always appreciated. Thank you, and I hope to hear back from you very soon :)

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  4. Could you just put the painters tape directly on the canvas for the stencil without using the cardboard?

    • If that’s what works for you, then sure, go for it :) But, I did this project with 4 different classrooms and that would have been mighty tedious, trying to arrange painter’s tape into the form of letters on each child’s canvas/paper. I actually think it could be time consuming on even one project, since the letter “O” is round and may be a pain to create with tape. I like the stencils because I do the work once and I’m done, and can reuse them for years to come.
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  5. I love this! Thank you!!

  6. I LOVE this idea! I had my 4 yr old do this craft this morning and am using them for Valentine’s Day presents for grandmothers. I used white canvas instead of paper so that these keepsakes will last for many years to come! Thanks for sharing!

    • Yay Jennifer, that’s so great.. thanks! And WONDERFUL idea using canvas. I was actually just thinking this morning that I need to create a Valentine’s project with my almost 3 year old and that THIS project is easy enough for her. I’ve got canvases laying around and will definitely be using those instead of paper. Thanks for the comment :)

  7. How did you tape the letters onto the paper?

  8. How large were the foam letters and what size paper did you use?

    • @SKay, uuhhhhh…..hmm….i’m pretty sure the paper was 8 1/2″ x 11″ and I’m just guessing that the letters are around 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ …but you can just eyeball it. depends how close you want your letters to be and how much of a border you want around the edges of the paper.


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