Valentine’s Compendium 4: Making Valentines

February 9, 2009 at 4:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Valentines made by my friends and I

Valentines made by my friends and I

I read somewhere recently that Valentine’s Day was named after St. Valentinus, who fell in love with a blind girl whose eyesight he restored through divine miracle, and before being martyred on February 14th, he left her a love note signed “From your Valentine.” I doubt I really believe it, but it is a rather cute story, and it does prove at least one thing: Valentines, the cute notes sent to sweethearts this time of year, have always been a very important part of this holiday. In the past, Valentines were slaved over, painstakingly created from doilies or clipped pictures from magazine or, most often, cute little sayings on the backs of pretty drawings. Unfortunately, these days this tradition has lost its charm, as even your local corner store has at least a few pre-made Valentines sitting on its shelf. So, how do we bring back this tradition?

With lots of love. A few weeks ago, my friends and I were gathered, being silly and discussing dresses, around Victoria’s kitchen table with mugs of tea, when someone came up with the sheer brilliance that is making valentines. Apparently we were in the right house, as Victoria’s family appears to be avid crafters and soon we were swimming in a sea of pink paper and heart cutouts, covered in glitter glue and red gel pen. And it was delicious.

Unfortunately, I must admit my friends are much more creative with cards than I am. However, I do have some tips and suggestions.

First, some ingredients:

  1. Cardstock (duh)
  2. Glue
  3. Glitter
  4. Pretty paper (scrapbooking paper is really great if you can get your hands on some)
  5. Colored pens along with some cute poems or limericks to copy onto the cards – alternatively, if you lack confidence in your handwriting, some cute rubber stamps with colored inks and embossing powder
  6. Magazines with pretty fonts and pictures – decor and design I find are best for text, and of course fashion for pictures. Not saying you have to cut up your GLB, if course!
  7. Shaped hole punches, especially hearts or flowers. You can find these with scrapbooking goods.
  8. Ribbon! In any color your sweetie fancies.

Obviously you don’t need all of the above, but I’d pick at least two or three besides cardstock. Now that you have those, fold, cut, or otherwise prep your cardstock for use. Peruse your findings – sure, that blue cupcake ribbon is cute, but does it really match your deep-red rose print paper you bought as a base? Pick and chose between what you’ve found around town or your house, and once you’ve got your complimenting supplies picked out, it’s time to get to work.

Hippie warning! Take a look at your supplies. hold them in your hands, turn them upside down and try to feel what they want to become. They were, after all, designed for a reason- try and figure out what that reason was, and how you can use it to your best advantage. Now that you know that, start planning. Take a pencil to your card and draw out where things should go (very important! I need to start doing this), then cut, shape, draw, or write whatever and wherever your design indicates. Or, be totally spontaneous, and cover the poor thing in cutout hearts and cupcake-puke-pink glitter. Your choice.

So there. Now the front of your card is complete. Let it dry if you used glue so all your hard work doesn’t go to waste, and let’s talk about the inside. My personal favorite method is to use a few cute stamps, either words or little pictures, handwrite a sweet saying or poem in cursive, and sign it “Forever, Aly,” though I suggest you use your own name. Or, “Your Secret Admirer!” Swoon.

Don’t think you’re done yet though! An oft-forgotten but very important aspect to any card is the envelope. If you’re going to be sending it via post, I’d stay away from stickers or glued-on bits, as I was told once that they can come off and jam the machines, and god knows the postal service usually doens’t need an excuse to be slower this time of year! I suggest little drawings in glitter gel pen or stamped hearts, flowers, cupackes, etc. I like to draw whatever motif I’ve used on the card itself where the point of the closure-flap meets the envelope on the back, just as a little teaser.

Some examples made by my friends and I are at the top of the page, and unfortunately I’m not at my own computer and thusly cannot add more examples from my files, but I’ll edit this post to include some when I get back to my beloved laptop. I miss you, Sachiko!


1 Comment »

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  1. so cute :3 good times!

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