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DIY Train Track Valentines

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014

If you’re looking for an unusual — and unusually pretty — train valentine for your child, these DIY train track valentines might be just the thing! And they’re easy to make: all you need are cards (or thick paper) and markers.

DIY Train Track Valentines from Play Trains!

This post was originally published on February 11th, 2013. It contains links to Amazon.com. If you click on one, we will receive a small commission — at no additional cost to you — on anything you buy at Amazon for a certain length of time afterwards. Read our disclosure policy for more details.

 

Even though the Little Engineer had already picked out these great train valentines to hand out at preschool on Valentine’s Day, I’d been wanting to make some sort of homemade train valentines.  At least one for him, if nothing else.

But until today, that’s where my inspiration stopped and started.  After gathering a ton of train valentines on my Pinterest board for them, it seemed like everything (especially every bad train pun) had already been done.

Then, on Saturday evening, the Little Engineer and I were making valentine mailboxes for Thomas and Percy, to continue playing with the book inspiration for our valentine train layout, Valentine’s Day in Vicarstown.  It was late in the day, so I mostly was just squirting glitter glue in random colors and shapes on the shoebox in front of me.  But one thing I did take the time to do were some train tracks.

DIY Train Track Valentines from Play Trains!

I really liked the rainbow railroad ties, especially because they reminded me of a drawing activity we like to do together. Off and on, we go through phases where we draw a lot of train layouts on paper. Early on, the Little Engineer showed an interest in playing around with the color of the ties.

I remember how proud I was the first time he took the marker from me and drew in recognizable railroad ties along the rails I’d already drawn. Between the visual appeal and the sentimental value, I knew I finally had the inspiration I’d been looking for.

The next morning, I found a blank card and grabbed my Sharpies.  With a silver Sharpie, I drew the rails. (If you don’t have a silver marker, you can use a gray one. And of course any type of marker could work here.)

DIY Train Track Valentines from Play Trains!

Then I drew in the railroad ties in all different colors. The easiest way to draw them without drawing over the rails is to start with a dot on the outside of one rail, draw a dash between that rail and the next, and then another dot on the outside of the other rail, all in a line. The trickiest part is getting the spacing between the railroad ties right.  I always put them closer together than I intend to.

DIY Train Track Valentines from Play Trains!

Because I had decided to connect my track heart up to tracks going in other directions, I made the heart itself red and pink to make sure it stood out.

That’s it.  It took maybe ten minutes to draw, including figuring out what I wanted to do.

The Little Engineer was quite inspired himself, and drew his own version to give to me (or rather to my current alter ego, Alma Bunny, to go along with his near constant portrayal of Poppy Cat this week), complete with railroad ties.

DIY Train Track Valentines from Play Trains!

We wrote messages to each other on the inside of our cards.  The one he gave me has a map to Downton Abbey, where Poppy Cat has invited me to tea for Valentine’s Day.  (Didn’t you know that all passenger trains go to Downton Abbey for tea time?  We’re still not sure how he latched onto that as a the perfect place to go to have tea, but we’ve been going on Big Engine to Downton Abbey for months now.)

Then we put them in addressed envelops with heart stickers for stamps and played Mail.  The Little Engineer must like the valentine I gave him, because he won’t even let me read it to him.  He wants to hold it, and read it, himself.

After playing that for a while, I returned to the table to make a rainbow track heart card more like my original idea.  I added a bad pun, and gave it to the Little En — I mean, Poppy Cat to play more Mail with.

DIY Train Track Valentines from Play Trains!

Unfortunately, I’m out of white blank cards, which would have looked better.  The Little Engineer was also disappointed by not getting a white card, so I guess I need to restock.

 

Train Books and Gifts for Valentine’s Day:

 

The Little Engine That Could’s  Valentine’s Day Surprise

Thomas in Town: Valentine’s Day in Vicarstown

Thomas’ Valentine Party

NameTrain Heart

 

More train activities and ideas for Valentine’s Day:

Train-Themed Valentine's Day Activities and Ideas from Play Trains!

Building a Valentine’s Day in Vicarstown Book-inspired Wooden Train Layout

You’ll find lots of ideas for decorating a wooden train layout for Valentine’s Day in this literacy activity, inspired by the Thomas & Friends book, Valentine’s Day in Vicarstown.

Train Valentines Round-up

Looking for train valentines for your little engineer to hand out? I had a hard time getting train valentines the first year I looked for them, so I tracked down as many as I possibly could to share here. Here are some great train Valentine’s Day cards available online, and a list of free printable train valentines as well.

Easy DIY Felt Heart Freight for Wooden Trains

With their fuzzy yet solid feel, these easy-to-make felt hearts are wonderful valentine freight for toy trains and great counters for counting activities.

DIY Engineer Stripe Heart Pendants

These make beautiful gifts for train lovers (or the mothers of train-loving kids) for Valentine’s Day — or any other special day!

Valentine Counting Activity with Thomas and Friends

Another fun activity inspired by Valentine’s Day in Vicarstown. The Little Engineer still asks to play this one a year later.

DIY Felt Valentine Train Play Set

A pretty and engaging felt train play set that’s quick and easy to make for Valentine’s Day.

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Jessica PetersenJessica Petersen is a full-time track building assistant to her three-year-old son, the Little Engineer.  She shares activities, adventures, and other fun for kids who love trains at Play Trains!  When not playing with the Little Engineer, she is usually writing children's books.  You can connect with Jessica on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.

12 Comments

  1. LOVE THIS IDEA!! I just found your site and I’m so happy because I have a son who loves trains as well. I’m going to make him a train track Valentine this year! I’ll be back to check out more of your ideas.

    • I always love to hear when another mom with a train lover finds the blog! It makes me so happy. I’d love to see a picture of your valentine when it’s done. :) Welcome!

  2. That is such a pretty Valentine. And I just love that your little enginer made one for you too! Thanks so much for sharing on We Made That!

    • I should have known he’d want to make one too, considering how much he likes drawing in the railroad ties, but I wasn’t thinking about that and it was a really pleasant surprise.

  3. i am so glad you left a comment on my blog, so that I could find your amazing site!! I’m so so loving all your train posts, such cute ideas you have got!! I’ll be back to check out more of your ideas.
    Roopa recently posted…Sewing on Plastic CanvasMy Profile

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you stopped by and found something inspiring…I’m really enjoying your blog as well!

  4. My grandson would have loved these cards! I am going to have to save this for next year when he is ready to hand out cards to his friends. He is also a HUGE train lover!!
    Deborah recently posted…Painting with mittensMy Profile

  5. Oh, that is so cute!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!
    Carrie recently posted…Christmas in Kenya in FebruaryMy Profile

  6. Oh my goodness, Jessica – these are absolutely adorable!!!

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