With Valentine’s Day coming up, it seemed the perfect occasion to share a little heart-based art. I’m on a major mission this year to further “green up” our art practices, and though it can be really challenging at times, I’m starting to feel like those challenges are really expanding our creative arsenal!  Lately,  we’ve especially been enjoying the process of breathing life back into old projects with clever upcycles and finding ways to turn wall art into something more interactive.

Keeping that challenge in mind, we used old artwork as the base for this wonderfully colorful, cheer-spreading flair you can wear, and flags you can hang to brighten up a room. In lieu of traditional paper valentines, we’ll be passing out these love-inspiring pennant pins – sugar-free but oh so sweet!

These DIY recycled art pennant pins are a fun way to reuse an art project and share the love with your favorite chums on Valentine’s Day! | via barley & birch

The DIY pennant flags look so cute on the wall, at first glance you wouldn’t even notice they’re made out of cardboard. And the pins are simple enough, you can knock out enough for a classroom or party in about 10 minutes!  Small strips of bright complimentary ribbon add the perfect finishing touch. Simple inexpensive or recycled supplies + art…now that’s my kind of valentine.

To make recycled art pennants and pins you’ll need:


  • Cardboard
  • Old art pieces or scraps (colorful mixed media pieces look especially good!)
  • Paint (acrylic, tempera or milk paint works well)
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife for cutting large pennant shapes
  • A glue gun or craft glue
  • Ribbon


  • A paint pen to add names or messages

Recycled Art Heart Pennants and DIY Heart Pennant Pins

  1. Cut simple pennant shapes out of scrap cardboard or cereal boxes

    For the large wall pennants, use a utility or X-Acto knife to cut simple pennant shapes out of cardboard. For the DIY pennant pins, cut small pin-sized pennant shapes out of a cereal box.

  2. Paint your cardboard pennants and let dry

    Using acrylic or tempera paints, paint your cardboard pennants. We painted a base color, let it dry (you can speed it up by using a hairdryer on it for about 15-30 seconds) then added some outlined detailing on the large pennants.
    Paint your pennants and let dry

  3. Cut heart shapes out of old artwork or scraps

    Cut heart shapes and additional small pennants out of your old artwork. Younger kids may need help cutting out hearts small enough for pins.
    Cut heart shapes out of old artwork or scraps

  4. Glue the hearts to the center of your pennants

    Use a glue stick to glue the hearts onto your pennant pieces where desired.

  5. Add ribbon and a pin-back or small hanger to the back

    Flip your pennants over so the back is facing up. For the pennant pins, use craft glue or a glue gun to glue a pin-back on. Cut a small strip of ribbon, fold over in half, creating a V-shape, then glue to the back of your pin. For the large pennants, you can use the same process, gluing on a metal sawtooth hanger and wider strips of ribbon.

These DIY recycled art pennant pins are a fun way to reuse an art project and share the love with your favorite chums on Valentine’s Day! | via barley & birch

Ta-da! Now you have an earth-friendly valentine you can wear and share! Have fun spreading the artful love! For more alternative valentine ideas, be sure to check out our DIY poseable conversation heart BFFs, flying valentine messenger pigeon, and storybook mixed media market bouquet valentine cards!

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Amanda E.
With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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