Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY dino-tines.

Today I want to show you some of the little valentines I'm making for my friends! I have a batch of super-pretty valentines I picked up in Naperville while I was visiting my parents over break. But there are only ten of them, and I want to spread the holiday cheer to more of my friends than that. I guess it's time to get crafty!

Here's a relatively inexpensive way to bring smiles to your friends' faces this Valentine's Day. :)

What you will need:

Instax Mini (or another instant camera of your choice)
plastic toy dinosaurs (I got a bag of 24 dinos from Target for only $2)
colorful sticky notes


Start with a special Valentine's Day message. I kept mine simple because I knew it would be tiny in the photograph.

Take a few practice shots. Remember! Not all Instax cameras are built to shoot up-close photos. You need to attach the macro lens to the camera body before you begin shooting, or you'll end up with super-blurry photos. My old Instax Mini didn't have this capability, but the 50s model includes the lens. If you don't have a macro lens for your camera, don't sweat it. Just make your message on larger paper and maybe include a scene of dinosaurs and spruce up your photos that way. That, or get really crafty and hold another lens over the front of the camera. Do what you gotta do.

Too dark -- too light -- just right.

Once you understand your composition, shoot some more!

I took four photos for each dino species. Here's the ol' Dilophosarus.
(My bag of dinos came with six sets of four). 

Extra touches:

If you'd like, you can go the extra mile and buy tiny envelopes. I got these cute little brown ones from Michael's awhile back.

Depending on the message you write in your speech bubble, you may want to personalize your gift a bit more by adding a tiny slip of paper or a miniature card inside your envelope along with the photo. I love writing notes on graph paper, so I'll probably slip some love notes before I hand mine out. You could also throw some glitter in there... just saying.

And make sure you mix it up and give all the dinos a photo shoot, too.

I used my empty film box to categorize my dinos while I took my pictures. Organization nerd alert!

It would be really cool if you could secretly plant your dinotines in your friends' houses when they least expect it. This little stegosaurus is holding his valentine in front of my record player. Little valentine messenger. 

Oh, and if you have any pets at home, watch out! They might want a dino to chew on.

I guess I know what I'll be giving Matilda for Valentine's Day this year.

If you decide to use plastic toys or instant photos for your valentines this year, be sure to leave me a link so I can check them out. Have fun making dinotines! 



  1. love this! wish my instax's lens was retractable :)

    1. Yes, it's a feature I really like about the newer version.

  2. Ahhh! The cuteness! It slays me!

    1. Would be perfect for a certain little boy...


  3. I tried something similar! Thanks for the idea! - Leah


  4. This idea is so cute! I wish I had paper for my super old school polaroid. I might think about it actually... :)