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You Rule: Candy-Free Classroom Valentine Gifts

Happy Friday! Do you have snow? I know the south eastern states got a surprise visit from Mr. Winter last night, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Besides sledding, the boys and I will finish up these fun little Valentine gifts over the long weekend:

They were easy to make, and easy on the wallet! (I’m sure you have some of the supplies already. If not, make do with what you have on hand.)

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)





Clamp the yard stick against the miter saw and your work surface. Saw the yard stick into 4″ sections.

Sand the rough edges off the rulers to knock off any splinters.

Mix a dollop of latex paint with water. (My mixture is thin and runny like milk.)

Paint the glaze mixture onto the rulers. After one side has dried, flip it over to paint the opposite side.

When the rulers are dry, start a screw eye in the end of the ruler. Twist it the rest of the way in with pliers. (After 10 rulers, my hand was already starting to cramp without the pliers.)

Tie a ribbon through the screw eye and attach a tag letting your Valentine know that they RULE!

I got fancy schmancy with the tags and used my Silhouette craft cutter. Here’s the tutorial to share how I made those glitter two layer  tags?

And now, as promised, I’ll tell you about the conversation I had with my son which made me change my mind about keeping these Valentine’s candy-free. He told me that last year some of his classmates were mad that his Melted Crayon Heart Valentines didn’t have candy.

I asked him how that made him feel and he told me, sad. I also asked him if that was a good reason for them to be angry with him. He agreed that it wasn’t.

Regardless of how silly it sounds, I remember what it was like being in 3rd grade and having a classmate being angry at me. For Valentine’s Day this year, my sons will give out their “Your Rule” Valentines with these organic lollipops attached:

I found them at Whole Foods and they are dye-free! (As explained in this post about my dye sensitive kid.)

My youngest has already added his Valentine to his ever-growing population of key fobs on his backpack. Do your kids have a collection of keychains on their backpack? Is this a trend?

Hopefully their classmates will enjoy the rulers (and the lollipops, too.)

Am I the only parent who wishes that the candy expectation for Valentine’s Day wasn’t the norm? What happened to just a little card?

Disclosure: I have partnered with Lowe’s as a Lowe’s Creative Influencer. I was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to complete my project. The tutorial, photos and opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not told what to write. #LowesCreator


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  1. Juliana
    Juliana says:

    I found this blog post because I am looking for “candy-free” valentines. My daughter’s best friend from Kindergarten has Type I diabetes (formerly known as juvenile). We have had a few discussions about the amount of candy/sugar that come with school parties, and how harmful that would be to her friend (or over a month’s worth if she dosed it out). I see candy is a cheap and easy way to pass out a little love to classmates, but I am also worried about the message.

    Thanks for the great idea (AND the awesome step by step)… I think it is one of the top runners this year. Kudos to you for being sensitive to your son’s feelings!!

  2. Libby
    Libby says:

    Hi Brittany:

    I’ve been lurking and reading as I just found your site about 3 weeks ago. Where have I been all this time and missing so many great projects. I love the idea of the rulers, but I can’t get past the part that all of the rulers aren’t marked 1″-4″. I think I would have to work ahead and pick them up before schools tarts when they are on sale for 10 cents each – but I have to also say, I do love that they are just 4″ long – Of course I like anything miniaturized it seems. ha!

    My thinking on the candy issue is that I remember as a child that we would buy the box of cards, fill them out and give them to classmates – then as years went by and my nephews started school is about the time I noticed that among the many styles and types of Valentines cards for sale at the store was one or two that had lollipops to add to each card – and then lifesavers started branding theirs to do the same. So it’s two side. The companies that manufacture our goods are always looking for a way to draw more business to their brand/item and adding candy make their bigger and better. Then as consumers, we couldnt’ possibly let only one child in the classroom be the one to bring cards with candy! So by a couple years, then everyone is adding candy and before we know it, it’s the norm. ….and don’t get me wrong – I completely understand adding candy when my child may be the only that doesn’t!!! It’s just like many others things- it’s a slippery slope.

    Thank you for so many terrific ideas and the confidence that women can handle this stuff too!

  3. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    These are so cute & what a great idea as always Brittany! There’s just something wrong with kids expecting candy for different occasions as this. That’s the grandma in me speaking & this is another whole subject matter. I would think the mothers appreciate this more than the kids.

  4. julie cluff
    julie cluff says:

    Brittany, This is such a great idea. I didn’t know you could screw eyehooks in without drilling a hole first. I’m having fun with valentine cards too. Who can resist hearts and pinks and reds? Will definitely have to start working on tags. So cute!

  5. Christie in TN
    Christie in TN says:

    Brittany, these are so cute and how wonderful that you were able to spend special time with your son’s in making them! This is going on my favorite list as “Things to do” with my grandchildren. Thanks and enjoy your snow, I live in east TN where it snowed like the dickins for 2 hrs and then quit. The sun is melting what little we had right now but we’re hoping for more before winter’s over.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] 7) You Rule Valentine (lollipop is optional) from Pretty Handy Girl. […]

  2. […] You Rule Valentines from Pretty Handy Girl […]

  3. […] work as well.  They would also work with a ruler or measuring tape!  (Like, for example, the awesome ruler Valentines I spotted the other day at Pretty Handy Girl!)  [download the free […]

  4. […] that really needs to be photographed. Case in point, last week I wanted to photograph my “You Rule Valentines“, but we had 4 days of gloomy weather! 1,2,3,4! I shook my fist at the heavens and told that […]

  5. […] If you prefer to hand out candy-free treats for Valentine's Day, Brittany at Pretty Handy Girl offers up this clever idea. Chopping an inexpensive yard stick into smaller pieces makes this a budget-friendly project (each yard stick yields 9 Valentines), even if you need to make lots and lots of them to have enough to go around. You could also add a lanyard hook or keyring to each on to make it easy to attach to a backpack or set of keys! [how to make ruler Valentine gifts] […]

  6. […] On friday, I shared my tutorial for making You Rule Candy-Free Valentines. […]

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