Cheesy Valentines - The History

Another Valentines day (or "single awareness day" as many people like to call it. It is this time of year that I make cheesy Valentines and hand them out to whoever will accept them. Each year (I would like to think) I get better and better at making Valentines, so I thought I would like to document my progress and give a little history of my Valentine making.

If you would like to attempt to make your own Valentine similar to mine, I have created a tutorial. It is a bit outdated, but the concepts are still basically the same:

Making Valentines day by swapping your face on the face of a celebrity


In 2006 (or 2005?) I was in college and girlfriendless. As Valentines day rolled around, I anticipated doing what I always did for Valentines day. Nothing (well nothing but be a little sadder than usual). I was with my roommate when we reminisced to our elementary school days when Valentines day was actually fun. In elementary school we could give and receive valentines with everyone in the class regardless if we were in love or had a crush on them. This meant free candy for me. Awesome! This all changed when I entered jr. high school. All of a sudden Valentines day was pretty lame. After realizing this, my roommate and I decided to write valentines and give them to all the girls in our apartment complex. We even misspelled their names and wrote with our left (non dominant) hands to make it seem more like our elementary school days.

Doing this didn't result in us getting girlfriends (or even any valentine cards), but we did have a fun time. It was at this time that I decided Valentines day could be fun. I decided I would probably keep giving out Valentines.


In 2007 I decided that I would make my own valentines to hand out. My roommate had bought a wig, so we put the wig on and took some pictures.

This is my roommate looking pretty dapper in the wig he bought.

I didn't look as great in the wig. I am holding a guitar like a gun. I have no idea why we had that poster up.

My other roommate didn't need a wig; just his "blue steel" gaze.

The next year I did the same thing, but I started putting my face on the face of someone famous. They were not really that great, but I had fun doing it.

Me trying to look as cool as my roommate from the year prior.

This is the first time I added my head  on the body of someone else. I would like to believe I have improved since then.

Never seen Rambo, but I think this year Rocky was still a bit popular from the latest movie.

I liked the challenge of putting my face on someone else, so I continued to do that for valentines. This year I also started creating personalized poems to all the girls I gave these to. The poems were always in the "Roses are Red" format and usually very cheesy and lame. Yay!

From here on out I will post the original pictures so you can see what I was working with. In many instances, it took a lot of work to create something that ended up not really looking that fantastic.

Michael Jackson has always been popular so I thought I would try to do something...

The was the first picture where I ended up being satisfied with how things looked. I found doing face swapping was rather fun!

I think around this time the new Pride and Prejudice movie came out.

I took a quote from the movie (perhaps the BBC series?) I think the text is a bit too hard to read, and the quote didn't register for most girls.

At the time I did this I had recently been introduced to the fantastic motivational video by Mr. T called "Be Somebody, or Be Somebody's fool."

I should have known that putting my face on someone with a different race as me would be difficult... I was happy all the same. Removing and adding my own text is what proved to be most difficult. I was also happy with the heart shaped key I made.

Chuck Norris and Chuck Norris jokes had always been quite popular... I wanted to capitalize on that.

I thought this was pretty clever. It took a while to turn the stars of the flag into hearts.

X-Men 3 came out around this time.

I think this has always been one of my favorite valentines. People actually understand the reference to this one.

I have never seen High School Musical.

This valentine was nice for me because it was when I realized I could find a font online for just about anything (in this case, Disney). 


In 2010 I started anticipated further in the future what things were popular the previous year so I could use those ideas for my valentines.

This I think was when the second Twilight movie came out. I will actually admit to seeing the first two of these movies. They were really funny! 

This one I think is creepy. Just weird. With this valentine I started to duplicate as well as I could the original. 

Star Trek was probably the best movie of the year.

With this valentine I realized how hard it was to duplicate lighting. Also, there was a bit of noise on the original which made this one a bit challenging. The end result was less that what I was hoping for. 

The Pricess Bride is my all time favorite movie.

Sadly, because this movie is so old, I was not able to find any good promotional pictures for this. I realized with this valentine that having a good image was perhaps more important than having a good idea.

I think I may have watched moved of the first season before I decided this was not the show for me.

I thought this was a pretty clever valentine but I think it just ended up being a bit boring.

LOST was quite popular. 
I like this valentine because it was one of the first where I got the lighting pretty close. Usually I would gather all the lamps in the house and have my siblings hold them up according to my specifications.

Wish all the Pirates movies were as good as the first...

This is one of the few where I had to deal with facial hair.
Twilight pictures seem to have a lot more studio lighting and photoshopping done than most other promo pictures.

This is one of my least favorites... I think at this point I would still give out valentines even if they were not that great just because they were so time consuming. Now I just ditch a valentine if I can tell it won't work.

The world's favorite boss.

People seemed to like this one. I was never too happy with it because I never got the skin tone just right. Also... valentine on the mug is just weird.


2010 was my last year in college and my desire to make valentines after that fizzled a bit because of not being around as many people to give them out to as well as lacking time. 

Inception was a great movie

I tried to make this valentine just as trippy as the movie. Even though I like my concept, the implementation didn't work out so well. It was difficult doing so many faces (especially when they were all quite small). 

From the Robin Hood movie.

This is another one where I was quite happy with the lighting and skin tone. My goal is to make it look like it could be the original. I think this one got fairly close.


In 2012 I was in China; I lacked the motivation for doing valentines. I was happy with the ones I did though.

I think I used the Russian (?) movie poster because at this point I was more interested in finding high quality pictures rather than the specific content. Something else I look for is that the lighting is relatively simple (being in China I don't have access to lamps for lighting). 

I still need to work with skin tones and transition from my chin to the original neck.

This is from the movie Thor.

Kind of interesting to see what I would look like with long hair and a beard. Hmm.


This year I focused a bit more on Valentines because I was actually dating someone! For the first time I tried adding someone besides myself. I learned some new skills trying to match up skin tones and change hair color.

This was my second attempt with Hugh Jackman.

This one looks a bit more creepy than valentiny... Maybe scrooge?

I think this is from Les Miserables. Not certain because I have not yet seen the movie.

I was pretty happy with this. First attempt at making hair black. The original was photoshopped quite a bit so I think that made it a bit easier for me.

Monk is probably one of the best TV shows of all time. I did this following the suggestion from a reader of my blog.

Unless you are a fan of the show, this probably just sounds weird.

Twilight is done! No more Twilight!

I think this was much better than my previous attempts. I think the Edward version of me looks a bit like Guile from the video game Street Fighter 2. I feel like this year I have made some improvements with my face swapping.

I never saw this movie, but I wanted to find movies with famous couples so I could include my girlfriend.

I was happy with this one even though the text is not cheesy and about as boring as possible.

The only movie I have been excited to see in a long time... wish they had it here in China.

Not the best... I think I get lazy on the last ones I do.
You can probably tell, but I got lazy with the lettering. It is about 2:30am.

Elementary is becoming one of me and my wife's favorite TV shows.

Getting the lighting to be just right was fun for this valentine. I don't really have any lights, but I do have a space heater. It worked really well for lighting our faces.

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