I started by perusing the dollar bins at Target last week. I happened to find some flip-frogs ($1 for 8) for Ian and some Valentine's bubbles ($3 for 24) for Blythe. I ran to Hobby Lobby for paper, but because it wasn't on sale, I waited until this week (why pay twice as much when you can just wait a week?!)
I did a quick pinterest search for inspiration and then went to work designing the cards.
Here's a glimpse of the supplies I started with (card stock, scrapbook paper, baker's twine, glue, scissors, and the frogs and bubbles):
Next, I printed out the cards I designed and had my Silhouette cut them out. These cards were pretty simple so you could easily design them in a word processing program and just use a paper cutter to cut them out. I had my machine cut out little hearts to run the string through, but a whole punch would also work.
Next, I used some bakers twine to tie the bubbles and frogs to the cards. To "jazz" them up a bit, I cut the patterned scrapbook paper into slightly larger rectangles and glued them to the back of the cards. Here is the finished product:
Here are some close-ups of each of them:
They were quick, cheap (24 Valentines for under $8!), easy, and NOT candy! Most importantly, the kids love them and are really excited to give them to their classmates.