Artful Advice

14 Ways to Say 'I Love You' with Pen and Paper

How to show love with just a little paper.

Words & Images


With heartstrings on our mind this month, we have some advice for you. Whether it’s an all-consuming crush, the love of your life or a really great friend, tell (and remind) them how you feel, whatever you do. You don’t need a big speech, you don’t need flowers, you don’t even need chocolate. All you actually need is a pen and some paper. Because us hopeless romantics at Papier HQ have curated a list of thoughtful, creative ways to give your sweetheart or BFF the sign.


Leave little love notes around
A good option if you’re short on time or not the best with words. Leave cute notes lying around to let them know they’re on your mind. Hide one in their lunch box, in their jacket pocket or stick it on the bathroom mirror. The less obvious the location the better, as the element of surprise is sure to make their heart jump for joy.

A few ideas on what to write:

“Miss you!”

“This song makes me think of you – [2 Become 1, perhaps?]”

“I’m taking you for dinner tonight! See you at ‘our place’ at 7pm Xx”

Write them a love letter
Grand, sophisticated and conjuring thoughts of great romances of times gone by, a traditional love letter is the ultimate gesture (especially in this Whatsappin’, Instagrammin’ age). The contents of yours is entirely up to you, just ensure the pages are filled with real, honest words of L.O.V.E. How about noting down every reason you adore them (their funny little quirks, the way they dance, the way they fix their hair...)?

Draw them a love doodle
Artists have been sketching their muses in passionate tributes for centuries. So if you’ve got faith in your drawing skills, give a portrait of your love a go. Concerned you’ll compose something highly unflattering? Rest your weary heart. Because a cute, simple doodle is just as thoughtful (and less try-hard). Squiggle you and your love together or something they’ll love: a plant, a scene from your holiday, their favourite snack.

Sculpt a love trumpet
We LOVE this idea. Roll up a piece of paper to create a tiny love trumpet for transmitting messages into your loved one’s ear. Whisper sweet nothings, sing their favourite song or toot the intro to a très romantique tune. We suggest the opening fanfare to All You Need Is Love (also known as the French national anthem La Marseillaise) or the organ melody from Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t'aime… moi non plus.

Make them a Victorian Valentine Puzzle Purse
A perfectly folded, beautifully decorated traditional token of love that's fun for you to create and fun for them to unfurl! You'll need is a single large sheet of paper folded down (see Google for step-by-step tips or to download a template) then embellish the page with romantic illustrations, rubber-stamped pictures or handwritten verses. As soon as your true love sees how much work has gone into your impressive papery creation, they'll feel cherished to the core.

Make a chain of paper dolls
Another crafty idea to declare your heart’s desire. Fold a piece of paper vertically into an accordion, pleating it to create equally sized strips. Draw a silhouette of a person on the top layer, ensuring the arms and legs extend to the edge of the paper. Cut out the figure, unfold, then colour the characters in, alternating between drawing yourself and your love. Ta-da! It’s you and your babe holding hands x20.


Give a bouquet of sharpened pencils
If anyone in this world knows a thing or two about love, it’s legendary rom-com writer and filmaker behind You’ve Got Mail Norah Ephron. Her line – delivered by Tom Hanks' character Joe Fox – is certain to inspire you to dig out your sharpener in an act of love: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

Create their favourite origami animal
Fiddly? Yes. Papercuts? Likely. Still worth a shot? 100%. Resort to your nearest origami guidebook in attempt to creating your loved one’s favourite animal entirely out of paper. A mouse, a pig, a swan, an elephant, a rabbit, a whale, a fox, a giraffe. There are so many creatures waiting to be born and gifted to a loving home.

Build them a paper aeroplane
Forget Cupid’s arrow. Strike your true love yourself with a masterfully crafted paper aeroplane. Fold up your mobile love machine, inscribe a message on the inside and don’t forget to decorate the wings with hearts too. Such a playful gesture is bound to turn their cheeks to a satisfying shade of rouge and have them making a return trip in your direction, in person or by paper plane.

Say it with a paper flower
That’s right, say ‘I love you’ with a desk flower that won’t ever wilt. Creating your own bloom from scratch means twice as much as ordering the biggest and best bunch in the shop. All you need is some thick paper (old greeting cards work well), coloured paper, reed sticks, paint, glue and sequins, then follow these steps. A nice idea for an anniversary gift or a good friend’s birthday.

Send a message in a bottle
What could be more thrilling than a floating love note discovery? Show you’re hopelessly devoted to them by scrawling a message on paper and placing it inside a glass bottle. Send it off by sea if you and your dreamboat are separated by an ocean, pop it in the bath to be found next time they fill the tub, or let it bob over to your sweet pea as they lounge on a pool float while on holiday.

Share homemade love tokens
Sketch out some vintage ticket shapes on a piece out paper to create a bunch of love tokens for your darling or best friend. Write down things you know they’d really love to experience (you cooking their favourite meal or taking them to dance the night away, etc.) and throw in a few surprises they’d never expect too. You can hand them out on special occasions, whenever your love looks a little blue or just because.

Some ideas for what to write:

“This token redeems one back massage.”

“Admits you to one day trip! (surprise location) You bring the blankets, I’ll bring the baguettes.”

“One token for endless kisses”


Gift some personalised paper treats
Material gifts aren’t always the best way to say Ti Amo, but when they’re personalised with your beau’s name or the special nickname only you give to them – the love feels real. Personalise a notebook diary or some notecards for their desk, or create a Valentine's day themed photo book filled with snaps of the two of you doing what you do best: just being you guys.

Write ‘I love you’ on a piece of paper
It’s more than okay to use paper for what it was originally intended for: writing. Go ahead and tell them they’re your type on paper, quite literally. Writing ‘I love you’ is simple, classic and, if they really love you too, seeing those three all-important words in your handwriting will make them feel as ecstatic as any of the fancy ideas above, if not more.

Feeling inspired to tell someone how much they mean to you? Personalise a card or papery gift for them in our Valentine's & Galentines's Day shop.