You’ve Touched My Heart! Tactile Heart Valentine Card Tutorial
We’re talking Valentine card preparations—but not adding signatures to your standard store-bought notes—accessible, tactile designing! While the finished product can still look creative and beautiful, our main aim is for them to be tactually interesting and enjoyable to create.
Not too long ago my daughter came home from school proudly showing me a piece of tactile art: multi-colored yarn affixed to color-contrasting cardstock. The yarn had been glued into the shape of a filled heart. Now that, I thought, would fit the bill for a simple, attractive, and tactually-appealing Valentine card.
If you’re up for the unfussy, minimalistic art, and your child isn’t averse to the tactile sensation of sticky fingers, here we go!
Gather the supplies:
-Yarn (any color will do)
-Color contrasting cardstock (You may want to purchase a blank card with an envelope, but “postcard” style works just as well!)
-A heart-shaped cookie cutter or another heart-shaped item can be used as a guide for shaping the yarn
-A shallow dish for the glue
Let’s get to work.
- Cut the cardstock down to the size you’d like.
- If you’re brailling a message (and I hope so!), now’s the time to braille at the top or bottom of the card.
- Arrange your items on a defined work station—a rimmed cookie sheet can work well. Remember to utilize task lighting and color contrast if helpful for your child.
- Together, pour the glue into a shallow dish. Arrange it in a specific location in the work station.
- Place a heart-shaped cookie cutter or other tactile heart in the center of the front of the card.
- Estimate the length of yarn needed by wrapping it around the cookie cutter or tactile heart. Trim the yarn.
- Submerge the yarn into the glue. Take the yarn out of the glue dish, and squeegee the excess glue off by pinching one end of the yarn and pulling fingers down the entire length of the yarn.
- An adult can hold the cookie cutter/ tactile heart in place while the child outlines it with the gluey yarn.
- Remove the cookie cutter/ tactile heart. The child can now add more yarn to the center of the heart in any desired pattern.
- Allow to dry.
- Give away!
Suppose it’s February 13th and you don’t have yarn or the energy to run down to the craft store. Get creative with tactile items you already own; the following can adhere within the outline of a tactile heart (made of dried glue, puffy paint, or thick paper):
- Wrapped candy
- Craft feathers
- Felt shapes
- Tactile stickers
- Tissue paper bits
- Leaves or petals
Some of these items will likely require stronger glue, such as a glue gun, to be firmly affixed. Young children can arrange the items and an adult can glue them down. Let your child know you’ll glue the items down with very hot glue; allow them to explore a glue gun and glue stick when cool.
For additional Valentine-related activities:
- Accessible Valentines for Your Child or Adult Who is Blind or Just Loves Braille!
- Create a Felt-Heart Card With Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired (With Optional Beginner Hand Sewing)