Valentine’s Day is such a fun crafting holiday! Part art lesson, part Valentine Craft by utilizing positive and negative space. This unique design is a great way to decorate the classroom on home.

Positive and Negative space is created by cutting half hearts from the red square and expanding the design onto the white background.

Japanese art style of Notan is used to create an expanded square for a Valentine Craft with Positive and Negative space.

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The use of positive and negative space is an interesting art lesson for children to learn. The concept originated from the Japanese art concept known as Notan. One of the earliest and most popular examples of Notan art is the yin and yang symbol. This style of art is also described as the expansion of the square.


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How To Create Positive and Negative Space Hearts

  • Start by folding a plain piece of white printer paper into quarters. If you would like to make a card with the heart design on the front, then leave the card folded. To create a piece of art, then cut the paper into four (5 1/2 by 4 1/4″) rectangles.
  • Cut a 3″ square from red printer or construction paper. I found that the red printer paper came in a much more vibrant red than the construction paper.
  • Cut a half heart from each side of the red paper. Whether or not you use a template for the hearts depends on the ages of the children doing this craft. Younger children use a heart template, while older children should be able to cut out hearts free form.
  • Glue the red square and heart shapes using a glue stick to achieve the second image shown above. To create a more detailed design, as shown in the third image, continue on to the next step before gluing everything in place.
  • For each half heart cut out, continue to cut a second smaller heart from the cut piece. This will be the piece that goes back into the original red square.


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Originally posted at Activities for Kids