Queen of Hearts Valentine illustrations appeared early in the
1800s, as parlor card-playing grew in popularity. Part of the Valentine imagery,
it seems, was linking romance with a game of chance.
Our design for this whimsically updated Queen of Hearts Valentine card
was inspired by another Victorian passion - paper dolls.
We fashioned the Queen from several vintage image sources. This is a
technique we unromantically call "Frankensteining." Her face and body are
reproduced from an authentic Edwardian playing card. Her crown comes
from an 1880 encyclopedia illustration. Arms from a German die-cut
"scrap" of a young girl, and bloomers and legs from a similar "scrap"
of a clown. Her heart-shaped dress bears the 18th Century nursery
rhyme, "The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts..."
Brass grommets hold her together, but you might use brads, paper fasteners, or glue. All you need are our
FREE vintage clip art images, red cardstock, and some basic tools!
Decorative-edge scissors or other decorative cutter (see Tips).
Paper cutter or scissors.
Detail scissors or manicure scissors.
Trim red card stock to 10" x 7". Fold it to a 5" x 7" vertical card, scoring and burnishing with the bone folder.
Print the vintage images (just page 1) on matte or glossy photo
paper or cardstock. Trim the playing card background and each of the
figure elements carefully with detail scissors.
round the corners of the playing card, align a penny at the corner
edges, trace the curve lightly with a pencil, and trim with scissors.
The photo here shows us tracing on the front of the card, but it is
better to trace on the back so you don't have to erase the pencil marks. You can also use a corner-rounder paper punch.
Attach the crown to the top of the Queen's head with tape or paper glue.
Assemble the Queen in a reasonably anatomical fashion. Attach all
of the body parts with grommets or brads in this order; legs behind the
dress, arms over the torso, and torso over the dress.
Attach the playing card background to the front of the folded
card, centered or at a little angle (as we did) with double-stick tape
or paper glue. Attach the Queen of Hearts figure to the front of the card with
several foam mounting squares, to give her some dimension.
the inside message pages (just page 2) on lightweight decorative paper.
Trim away the guidelines with a paper
cutter, and trim the bottom with decorative-edge scissors. Attach the
message page of your choice inside the card with a strip of
double-stick tape or glue across the top. By all means, come up with a
message meaningful to you, and personalize it for your sweetie! "Play
with me, Valentine," "From your Queen of Hearts," and "From your little
tart on Valentine's Day" all come to mind.
That's the basic Queen of Hearts Valentine card. She can
always benefit from some royal embellishing. Bright red glitter on the
hearts. Silver glitter highlights for her crown, cuffs and shoes. Some
tasteful distressing on the edges. Give her a glittery toothpick
scepter topped with a heart. Anything goes!
We attached the Queen of Hearts paper doll to the front of the card
with a few squares of foam mounting tape to add some dimension. You
may want to use glue or double stick tape, or add another grommet in her crown
and the top of the card and tie her on with ribbon.
For instant Victorian frill, you can't beat
scissors. For the bottom edge of our message insert in the card, we
used our Fiskars scissors design called "Sunflower." You might
prefer using a rotary paper edger, or try creating a rougher deckle
edge by tearing or sawing the paper.