Whether for February 14th or as part of a gift for that special someone, Valentine heart templates, patterns and other designs are an easy and fun way to brighten up a message of love.
Ways to Use Valentine Heart Templates, Patterns and More
One of the great things about a "template" is that it is designed to be used in a variety of ways. A printout of a heart can be the stencil for a wall painting, the pattern for a cloth pillow, or part of a 3-d paper sculpture. Most online sources format their templates so that you can print it out on standard 8.5x11 paper, and then either cut out or trace it onto whatever the project might be.
Here are some examples of how a heart template can be used:
- Crafts - as anyone with children will tell you, finding activities around holidays can be especially challenging. Many websites, such as First-School, have projects that include heart templates (that particular site has the added advantage of being a multi-purpose heart template, that can be used to create owls and other projects).
- Iron-ons - As printers become more sophisticated, iron-on patches have become easy to purchase, and a heart template can be formatted to various sizes and used to decorate jackets, jeans, t-shirts, blankets, towels - all with a simple pattern downloaded from the Internet.
- Home Decoration - Award-winning decorators such as Martha Stewart have even used Valentine hearts as upscale but simple project patterns to frame and hang on the wall. These templates are a bit more complex, requiring specific directions and tools for cutting special paper. There is an advantage to using a template from the web which can be re-used and then re-printed when it wears out.
Valentines Heart Templates and Patterns for Web Design
Of course, the stylized hearts and templates don't have to ever leave the computer: all of them can be re-purposed into web graphics, site templates, backgrounds, patterns, and even things like photoshop brushes and masks. While some of these tasks (especially the last one) require some training in software, simply using a template to spruce up your MySpace page is fairly simple and straightforward:
- Locate an image to use as a template - something like a free Valentine clip art image, or a royalty-free image from a stock image library.
- Right-Click (or command-click on a Mac) the image, and select "Save Image" from the drop down menu.
- Save the image with some name (probably using the word "heart", but more descriptive if you're planning on using multiple images) on your hard drive.
- Open the image with an image editor, such as Photoshop or an online version like FotoFlexor.
- Scale the image to the size that is best for your intended use - for example, a web page background image may be 800x600px, but should be reduced to 72dpi.
- Be sure to export your image using something like "Save As" from the File menu - you don't want to overwrite the template. One of the advantages of digital media is that they never "wear out" no matter how many copies you make - but if you over-write the file with a changed version, the original is gone for good.
- Upload your image (if using it on a site) or use a photo-sharing site such as Flickr to have easy access to your edited heart image.
Ideas for Digital Heart Templates
Need some more ideas for how to use templates? Here's just a few:
- Outlines for photo collages of family and other loved ones.
- Digital invitations for Valentines parties, engagements, or weddings.
- Email attachments that are just "sweet nothings"
- Seasonal backgrounds for web pages such as MySpace.
As for where to get them, thanks to the magic of tagging, sites like Flickr can have entire photo galleries filled with "public domain" and "heart" pictures for you to use, manipulate, and enjoy.