The DIY Candy Filled Valentine’s Day Card.

I’m not exactly a Valentine’s Day fan – I’m more skull & crossbones than hearts & teddybears. But I am a fan of go big or go home, so please enjoy this ridiculously huge, candy filled homemade Valentine’s Day card tutorial. 

Karen Bertelsen peeking from behind a huge Valentine's Day card.

Skip right to the instructions.

It’s hard to pass by a bulk bin filled with the shining foil wrappers of Hershey’s Valentine’s kisses. They’re the only thing grocery store fluorescent lighting can actually make look good. On a whim I shovelled what I thought was about $10 worth (but ended up being $25 worth) of them into my cart and started planning. 

I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them.  All I knew was that only good could come from $25 worth of kisses.  (Unless they’re kisses from a scabby, cocaine addicted prostitute.  Only bad can come from that.)

A couple of days later, sure enough, I knew their purpose.

A giant, DIY, candy filled Valentine’s Day card.  Even though I don’t like Valentine’s Day and frankly had no one to give the card to.

Karen Bertelsen in vintage 50's dress sitting on antique caned settee with siamese cat.


The actual card is two pieces of Dollar store foam core board and some construction paper. 


Woman with short platinum hair opening a huge Valentine's Day card made with Hershey's Kisses.


The inside, a great big heart of Hershey’s kisses which through the magic of technology (a hot glue gun) can be plucked off the card and eaten.


Want to make the most ridiculous Valentine’s Day card in the world?  Here’s what you need.

Hershey's kisses arranged on foam core board in the shape of a heart.


3 lbs Hershey’s Kisses ($25-$30 depending on whether they’re on sale)

2 pieces of foam core board

Construction paper (2 sheets of black, 1 sheet of white)

Hot Glue and gun 


1.  Lay Hershey’s kisses onto foam core board in the shape of a heart.  I chose to let the red fade into the pink at the bottom. Just fool around with it.

2.  Once you’re happy with the look, lift each kiss up, put a very small dab of hot glue* on the bottom of the foil and stick it back in place on the board.  Continue until all the kisses are glued down.

Hot gluing red and pink Hershey's kisses to board to make huge candy filled Valentine's Day card.


3.  Cut a 6″ wide strip of white construction paper lengthwise.  This will be the spine of your card.

4.  Lay your card heart side down with your other piece of foam core 2″ to the right of it. If you’d like the back of your card to be black like mine, glue a piece of black construction paper onto the back of the foam core on the left. (the one with the chocolates on the other side of it).




5.  Glue your strip of construction paper on both side of the foam core to form your spine. You need the 2″ space between the foam core boards to allow room for the candy inside.



6.  Decorate the front of your card with anything you want. I chose to cut out a black heart from construction paper.



7.  You can also write on the heart with a white marker.  Here are a few ideas.


card-words-3 card-words-2 card-words-1


I mean, I’d never use any of those cheesy sayings, but Valentine’s Day seems to bring out the cheese.  Actually, I wish it would literally bring out the cheese because I for one would applaud any man who showed up at my door with a $75 block of cheese as opposed to a $75 bunch of red roses on Valentine’s Day.  I would applaud him, grab the cheese, shove him away, then shut the door. Because it’s my cheese and I don’t feel like sharing.


Red heart made with foil wrapped chocolates on white background.


The total cost of this card is around $30 if you get your chocolates on sale.  Which is probably about what you’d spend on a card and a small gift or box of chocolate anyway and THIS one is much more fun. Plus you can make it a custom Valentine. Write anything you want in it or on it.

If you think this is just a little too big, you’re wrong. BUT, I’m willing to bend here a little bit so if you’d like to make this card smaller, you could do it half the size with half the amount of chocolates and therefore half the amount of money.

These are two DIY gifts that I think would work really well for Valentine’s Day. 

DIY Valentine's Gift Ideas

Is this a completely ridiculous Valentine’s Day card?  Yes.  Yes it is.  But Valentine’s Day in general is ridiculous and as far as I’m concerned, any man who went to the trouble of making this for me as opposed to buying me overpriced fragrant roses knows the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, not her nose.

Unless she’s a scabby cocaine addict of course.

But for future reference? I’d still prefer the gift of cheese.

The DIY Candy Filled Valentine\'s Day Card.


  1. Sandra says:

    I hadn’t left yet, and that was the fastest I’d walked that route, thanks :)

  2. Sandra says:

    I would expect that you can eat whatever you want to, since you’re always on the go. So, yes, we need to know what you DO, too!

    Love the card. Your dress. The gardening journal. Okay, now I can get up and go for a walk. Oh wait, I didn’t read the email you sent today – just clicked on the link to this one.


    • Karen says:

      ha! Well in case you haven’t started walking yet if you’re going for exercise remember to walk FAST. 4 mph if you can. ~ karen!

  3. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You look absolutely ravishing darling..and so does Cleo..oh yeah..the valentine is cool too..

  4. Trish says:

    Pinterest GOLD!!! Although I’m purposely not pinning this so I can keep it a secret for myself (and the millions of readers you have-everyone ssshhh!!!).

    Do you think it would be too much for a 4 year old that is only allowed one piece of candy on the weekend??? hmmm dilemmas.

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Trish … in case waiting seven days for a piece of candy is too hard for a 4 year-old, how about doing just the outline of Karen’s heart? In other words, not “filling it in”.

  5. Janet says:

    Like everyone else, your arms and back look great and that dress suits you to a tee, not to mention those awesome retro looking heels! But enough about you….what is that book you are writing in? Is it a daily calendar? I adore books, journals, sketch books, etc. and I want one!

  6. Jamieson says:

    You’re gonna need additional postage when you mail this to me.

  7. I shared the idea with Zoie and she says ‘It’s cool but I don’t want to do it.’

    you can lead a horse…

  8. Melissa says:

    What a cute dress, and an awesome hide ( the one on the floor, but your skin is pretty great too)…..

    I’d love if you would do a tutorial on how you get pictures of yourself. I’m assuming your using a timer? Or you have secret invisible photography staff that follows you around?

  9. Tres says:

    I have to say you are one sexy woman (and that’s coming from a gay man). Cheers to you and your hotness.

  10. Bonnie says:

    It amazes me how I look forward to your new blogs. I haven’t done any of the projects that you have…yet. but I really want to do the glowing yard globes–the first project that got me hooked on your blog; and, I would like to have chickens again. Maybe someday.

    My honey would love a card full of kisses; I may have to make that for him. But, he would really love a card full of cheetos. I don’t think he would appreciate the glue on them, thought, and they would not make as pretty a heart. Guess I’ll stick to kisses.

  11. Linda S. in NE says:

    New haircut? By the way, you were made to wear dresses!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Linda. And actually it’s a very old haircut. :) I’m getting it recut and bleached to within an inch of its life on Saturday. I love dresses. They’re my outfit of choice (casual ones) all summer long. People at the community garden think I’m nuts I’m sure. But they’re way easier to throw on and work in than shorts and a tee shirt. ~ karen!

  12. Cynthia says:

    “As for dinner the other night I had a beet and feta cheese salad, duckbreast with duck leg confit with Jerusalem artichokes. Creme brule for dessert.”


    Yep, workout routine too please. Though I guess that would need to be a separate post. Donnknow! Depends on Robert. :)

  13. Jody says:

    I love Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe stories. He starts off telling a story about one thing and then the story becomes about something completely different. Your story started off about a brilliant idea for a huge V’Day card and then morphed into a story/comments about your arms and what you eat. I love it. And your arms and shoulders too.

  14. Angela says:

    While hearing what you eat would be interesting, I really want to know about your workout routine!! Please share Karen! Love ya from Virginia!

  15. Carey says:

    Definite all around awesomeness!

  16. Lynn Johannson says:

    Yes, you definitely look smashing in that amazing outfit and evidently those photography classes paid off although your gift of composition has always showed and continually astounds me and the project is very fun BUT I WANT YOUR LOVESEAT!!!!!! (My addiction to cane has begun to overwhelm my house. Sigh.)

  17. Nancy says:

    How much for the cat? <3

  18. Jeanie burch says:

    I am so totally doing this – but definitely on a smaller scale. Off to buy Hershey kisses. thanks for the idea.

  19. brenda says:

    You look MAAAAAHVELOUS!!!!

    Yes, I def have a girl crush, and a caned settee crush.

  20. Rondina says:

    I really thought you were going tor the steel cut oats. That was disappointing.

  21. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Love that dress…and such a cute card. BTW, you look wonderful my dear. Show off that back and those arms.

  22. jainegayer says:

    Love the card idea! I’m afraid I would eat most of the kisses before I glued them on.
    Combining vintage dresses and ultra cool shoes is fun and looks great on you.

  23. Wendi says:

    Seriously, your blog is one of my new favorites! Such lovely pictures!

    I do have a weird question: What is the giant book you are writing in in the second to last photo?

    • Karen says:

      Oh, lol! That’s a gardening journal from Lee Valley. So I can keep a record of what I grew, when I planted it, etc. etc. Welcome to my site! ~ karen

      • Wendi says:

        Cool, thanks! My mom is a gardener – I got her the moleskin gardening journal for Christmas and she loves it. Maybe for Christmas next year I can get that for her. She would love it!

  24. Diana says:

    Love the dress .. Love the idea .. but unfortunately my DH is diabetic.. So I will have to think up another idea for him..

  25. Mary Werner says:

    I used to make birthday and congrats cards this way using different candy bars to spell out my sentiment which was a short wish or whatever since candy bars have names that beg for a story to be told. Everyone, even those that didn’t eat chocolate candy loved getting these and their friends got to enjoy the candy IF they carefully opened the end up and left the hot glued bar wrapper in place! It is a fun project for the whole office to do together as the more the merrier in making up a wish using the names of the candy. Just be sure to have a big pot of coffee going so everyone can play along and enjoy – it gets so funny and usually dirty, too. Your valentine post is great but I wonder about the blackheart and maybe it’s a nod to your true feelings about it.

    • Karen says:

      Oh I don’t like Valentine’s Day at all. Never have. But the black heart is because I don’t like to do things too typically. A red heart would have been too cliche and cutesy that’s all. :) ~ karen!

  26. Donna says:

    Great Idea! And I HAVE to have that dress! Details, please!

    • Karen says:

      It’s vintage from an antique store I’m afraid. :( ~ karen!

      • Donna says:

        You have the gift. Dollar stores, vintage clothing stores, etc. I walk into one, and there’s crickets. Everything on the racks is rubbish and looks like even Grandma got rid of it because it’s so horrid. One of these days…..

  27. JMC says:

    Twenty-somethingth on the ‘how good you look in that dress’ comments. Although I will not be making this card the OCD element of gluing down all those kisses appeals to me.

  28. Louise says:

    Hey Karen, where’s the black eye you mentioned in your “behind the scenes” newsletter? You said you gave it to yourself from using an automatic cleansing brush and I’m dying to see what that looks like. Because it means that you’re clumsier than me. ;) (Sign up, you guys, for fun, EXTRA info!)

    • Karen says:

      I tried to get a picture of it, but because of the lighting in my bathroom it wasn’t showing up great. The actual black eye ran from around the inside corner of my eye to the middle so in photos it just looked like a shadow. I’ll see if I can fool around with the contrasts in photoshop to make it show up. ~ karen!

  29. Elen Grey says:

    I read this post about 1:30 this morning, but I was too comfy to sit up and smartphone a comment. The composition of that first image is verra cool. Verra, verra. Love the dress. Love the shoes. Love your big black valentine heart.

    Don’t think I didn’t notice those Cubit’s seed packets in the final shot. I did order those beets. And the leeks. And some carrots. And… :-D

  30. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous dress and shoes not to mention the wearer

    • Karen says:

      Aw. Thank you Michelle. Betty bought me the shoes. She buys all my shoes, lol. Watched the show last night and loved it! (Michelle is a director on Masterchef Canada!) ~ karen

  31. Su says:

    Oh my gosh you look amazing!!! LOVE the dress and the shoes??? super, super cute!! :)

    love the idea… probably will just give the guy the bag of kisses and eat half myself, but still love the idea…

  32. Tigersmom says:

    That dress is so amazing.

  33. Louise says:

    DAMN, Girl! You do look good! I’m jealous!
    I notice that you have plenty of Kisses left over; you clever girl! Maybe you can eat those so that you don’t destroy your very creative card before Valentine’s Day.

  34. Leslie says:

    Love this Karen!

    Oh, and you’re hawt! You look gorgeous!

  35. Alexandra says:

    Actually I think the pics of you in that cute dress on that cute sofa with that cute cat, looking at that cute (and also sort of monstrous) card would make a pretty good valentines day card too! :)

  36. Suzanne says:

    I nineth! I think I’m the 9th person who wants to know what you eat in a day AND the week. Also, what do you do to work out? Running? Kettle bells? Yoga? Do you have a gym membership or is it all done from home? Etc… waiting with bated breath for your next post!

  37. Maureen Locke says:

    Count me in on being nosey about what you eat. :) You look absolutely scrumptious. Love the dress, love the shoes, love the hair, love the house, love your life and love that I can live it through your blog. Thanks for sharing Karen… enjoy the chocolate. :)

    • Louise says:

      I agree with everything you said, especially ” love your life and love that I can live it through your blog.” Although this makes me feel a bit pathetic . . . But heck, Karen’s life seems much more fun than mine!

  38. janni says:

    Wow, Karen! Amazing photos! Worthy of a glossy magazine spread ~ kudos .
    p.s. Love the card, one can never go wrong with Hershey Kisses ! :)

  39. Connie S. says:

    I third it :)
    and Yes , you look marvelous!!! green with envy here. Dieting since the New year ( yuk) broke down and had my first bag of chips this weekend, well 1/2 a bag anyway. Felt very rebellious doing it too but i’m sure i’ll regret it in the morning.
    PS: also bought a jar of Kraft chocolate peanut butter this weekend – no regrets there ;)

  40. Cynthia says:

    That’s three. I am sure we’ve got three. First request plus two seconds. Does that count?

    Don’t get mad at me. Please. I worked all day in the house and I am bored and tired now, so I am watching the blog entertainment and over-posting and eating a little chocolate.

    Herschey Kisses are a rare thing in Oz and the ones I have bought for sentiment’s sake were stale. I just ate a piece of Lindt 70% Cocoa Chocolate with Sea Salt. OK, but a little weird.

  41. Cynthia says:

    Let’s not start a tidal wave asking her about any guys. It all got too much with another saga, and then there was the Cuddles epidemic where we almost drove her insane with our own fears and naggings.

    Karen, what did you eat when you went out to dinner? Promise that’s all we care about. Oh, and what did you wear? The halter neck 50’s dress with a fur over the top? Or Cuddles?

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Well I may just do an eating/fitness post because people seem to be interested. And I think I have an interesting answer. As for dinner the other night I had a beet and feta cheese salad, duckbreast with duck leg confit with Jerusalem artichokes. Creme brule for dessert. ~ karen!

  42. Teresa J says:

    I second the motion! What do you eat……..and who is the new fella? or at least give us hint of what he is like! No fella here so I am going to Tulum in Mexico!!! Cuz I can!

  43. Cynthia says:

    Have I missed a post? A mysterious Robert AND a dinner date? What did you eat?

  44. Cynthia says:

    Who the hell is Robert and why does he get so much power?

    Come on guys, ‘yay’ up for who wants to read what Karen eats in a day and a week?

    I do know if involves such a huge amount of bread and butter pickles that she really does look like a scabby hooker with a wrinkly mouth and bits of green in her teeth.

    But, that’s okay, we love her anyway and we know what she’s been doing.

    Karen, I have a cream and coffee lace fifties-style permanent-pleat Pengnoir Set that would suit your fifties look.

    Trouble is, it would drag along the floor and collect sticks and cats, because I am pretty sure, you are what is called “a short-arse” in Australia.

    Let me know if you want it. I tried to give it to the weird Marilyn Monroe woman in the city but she keeps hiding from me when I want her.

    Love your dress and shoes. Funky. You could get away with the 50’s liquid eyeliner look too.

  45. Liz says:

    This is such a sweet post, and anthem to your awesomeness. Fiercely raw. Favy pic is the one with your giant book. Is that a ledger, seed log, or list of kisses?

    • Karen says:

      lol! It’s my gardening log. :) And thanks Liz! ~ karen

      • Laurie says:

        Oh Karen, you managed to make my smile and weep at the same time. My father passed away recently and looking at you in front of the window with your garden log (from Lee Valley I can see) reminded me of dad at the dining table at this time of year recording snowfall and daily temps. Always planning…thank you :)

  46. Amber says:

    black eye aside, I’m guessing the dinner date went reasonably well?
    I’m extrapolating from the fact that you said in your blog that you had a dinner date, and that there are no dismembered corpses in your valentines day card.

  47. Cynthia says:

    Nice back and arm definition. Noice!

    I don’t ever want to hear “back fat” mentioned in a post again.

    Besides, I would like to request a complete post on what you eat every day.

    1. Because I need inspiration to lose weight and have forgotten how to eat. Low Carb or High Protein or 5:2 or Paleo or ……..

    2. Because I am nosey.

    3. Because I am fascinated by what people eat and because you can just ignore me, it feels okay to ask.

    Is that wrong?

  48. Turbocharger says:

    Can I just day DAMN! Your arms and back are amaze-balls.
    I’m trying to say this is in a totally heterosexual, one woman on the internet to another, non-creepy way.
    But seriously, damn, all that wood stacking clearly is working out well for you. Again, non-creepy, non-sexual undertones.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Turbo. Either way I’m good with it. I’m happy to accept all lady admiration, lesbian or non. ~ karen!

    • Judi wigren says:

      What she said, also in non creepy but sincere voice. Great back. You’d make a great model…of gorgeous backs and shoulders.

      • Karen says:

        LOL. If only I could get a few of those high paying back modelling gigs I could afford to just buy Valentine’s Cards from a store ;) ~ karen!

    • Ann gray says:

      Problem is who do I send it to? I just wish someone would send me one but since no one is I am heading to Florida on Valentine’s Day – happy Valentine’s Day to me! Who are you sending yours to? Like your blog!!

      • Karen says:

        Oh good lord, lol. I definitely won’t be sending it to anyone. I *do* have a certain someone I hope to drag it to though. ~ karen! p.s. thanks! and have fun in Florida.

  49. Janet W says:

    I swear I now have a girl crush….

    If you don’t look adorable in that dress and in those softly lit photos… well…. then I just don’t even know what adorable is.

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