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Valentine crafts, decorations and cards -
with a touch of Victorian romance

Valentine scrap photoThe Victorians raised Valentine crafts and cards to an art form. Hearts and flowers, cupids and cherubs, as well as depictions of discrete kisses, romance tips, and refined seduction, became the rage. "Penny Dreadfuls" or "Vinegar Valentines" appeared in 1858 - satirical, insulting Valentine cards usually sent anonymously to  poke fun at the lovelorn. But mostly, it was a season to celebrate young love and eternal hope for a match made in heaven.

The usual Victorian excess was even more unrestrained in Valentine designs. Children were cuter, women and men more glamorous, and as exemplified by the elaborate three-dimensional fold-out Valentine cards, there was rich embellishment with flowers, hearts, gold gilt, filigree, crepe paper fringe and tissue honeycomb inserts. It was a day to pull out all the stops.

Today, with piles of pre-packaged chocolates and identical flower arrangements on every corner, a hand-made Valentine craft or card is a true treasure. Revive the Victorian spirit of romance with these vintage-look Valentine crafts and cards.

As always, if you need anything for your Valentine crafts, Joann.com is online with fast delivery, and only a click away.

Valentine Crafts

Valentine Hankie Doll from Vintage Image Craft
A Valentine Hankie Doll can be an elegant way to display a vintage handerchief. This fashionable woman is dressed in a folded hankie gown. The large glittered heart  and satin ribbons make her a vintage ornament, perfect for a Valentine's Day display! This was our "inspiration piece" for the VIC "Valentine Ornament" Creative Challenge for February 2012.
Vintage Valentine Bag craft by Vintage Image Craft
The perfect vintage Valentine Bag for your sweetie's Valentine gift - or lunch! It will be a delight before and after the gift is revealed. A simple brown paper lunch bag is transformed with a paper tole technique, and paper eyelet lace you make with scissors and a hole punch! A vintage "key" gift tag graphic is included.
Queen of Hearts Valentine card
The Queen of Hearts Valentine Card features an oversize playing card as backdrop to a playful paper doll. She is assembled from classic vintage images -- a medieval crown, Victorian puff sleeves, and bloomers. Across her heart-shaped skirt is the 18th Century nursery rhyme, "The Queen of Hearts, she baked some tarts..." Easy paper-crafting fun!
Valentine clock craft photo Our Valentine Clock craft will tell your sweetheart that it's "time for love." Dressed up in Victorian finery with a vintage image clock face, gold braid and maribou feathers, no one will know it started as a recycled heart-shaped Valentine candy box.
Valentine kissing dangle craft photo Kissing Dangles for Valentine's Day.  The old legend says, "If you kiss under a dangle, your hearts will entangle."  Okay, we made that up.  This is basically paper, string and some beads, but it looks quaint and romantic.
Valentine Heart Basket craft final Heart Basket is traditional Danish paper weaving, with a twist.  This small basket is woven of silver and gold metallic paper, with a special lacing of red satin ribbon. This is a great "door knob" gift from the office Valentine fairy.
Love letter box craft photo Lacy Love Letter Box will keep your treasured mementos safe. This project is an interesting combination of decoupage and antiquing, with a beautiful embellishment of a vintage Ellen Clapsaddle Valentine card.  
heart pop up card craft photo Leaping Hearts Pop-up Card is a great, simple card craft that delivers a surprise. Remember, the entire Valentine's Day legend was built on a simple note signed "From your Valentine." 

The Many Symbols of Valentine's Day

The origins of Valentines Day can be traced back to pagan fertility rites, and a medieval best-seller on the lives of saints, The Golden Legend, compiled in 1260 by Jacopo da Vargine. In this somewhat fanciful depiction of various Christian martyrs, the author describes a fateful confrontation between a priest named Valentine and the pagan Roman Emperor Claudius II in the year 280. Before his subsequent execution by beheading, Valentine performs a miracle and heals the blind daughter of his jailer. With time, an additional legend was woven into the story: Emperor Claudius has now imprisoned Valentine for secretly performing wedding ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. On the eve of his execution, he sends a note to his jailer's daughter, signed "From your Valentine." A holiday and a Hallmark fortune are born.

The oldest known greeting card of any kind is a Valentine written in the 1400s by Charles, Duke of Orleans, which is now displayed at the British Museum. From the 15th century on, written Valentine sentiments were commonly exchanged on St. Valentine's burial day, February 14. By the mid-19th century, Valentine greetings went into mass-production (although many were hand-painted) in England. Within decades, Valentine cards were overwhelming printers and postal systems every February across the European and American continents.

Cupid, the Roman deity of erotic love, rules over Valentine's Day. Depicted as a chubby child with wings, he is armed with a bow and quiver of arrows which can inspire true love with a single shot. Doves figure highly among Valentine symbols, dating from a reference to their mating on that date by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382. Symbols of love such as hearts, flowers, music, the colors red and pink, romantic letters, locks and keys, gold rings, the moon, kissing, and generally mooning about are all emblems of the holiday.

Do you have favorite Valentine crafts or card designs? We would enjoy hearing from you with ideas, comments or questions.  Please, contact us with a note!

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April 2012 Creative Challenge Winner

Creative Tins by Lyneen Jesse

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