Valentine crafts, decorations
and cards -
with a touch of Victorian romance
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.
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
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
for your Valentine crafts, Joann.com
is online with
fast delivery, and only a click
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.
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.
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!
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.
for Valentine's Day. The old legend says, "If you kiss under
dangle, your hearts will entangle." Okay, we made that up.
This is basically paper, string and some beads, but it looks
quaint and romantic.
is traditional Danish paper weaving, with a twist.
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 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
Hearts Pop-up Card is a great, simple card craft that
surprise. Remember, the entire Valentine's Day legend was built on a
simple note signed "From your Valentine."
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
Before his subsequent execution by beheading, Valentine performs a
miracle and heals
the blind daughter of his jailer. With time, an additional
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
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
Museum. From the 15th century on, written Valentine sentiments were
commonly exchanged on St. Valentine's burial day, February 14. By the
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
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.
Did you know...
Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Massachusetts is considered the
"mother of the modern Valentines." She received her first
Valentine from England in 1847, and within a few years was
manufacturing and selling her own card designs
incorporating imported paper lace and floral scraps. She
wealthy woman in 1881.
"The earliest Valentines were delivered by hand and were often
accompanied by a small gift such as flowers or a lace handkerchief.
With the arrival of a regulated postal system there was a rapid
escalation in the production and sending of valentines. Though most of
the postcards are post-1900, the various types of valentines were in
great demand long before then. Lace valentines, beautifully
lithographed cards, ones that opened up with honeycomb hearts, or with
die-cut cupids and children, are all part of the evolution of the
holiday...In Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom, lovely die-cut
and lithographed valentines were produced. Here in America, Esther
Howland began hand-cutting lace valentines that were later
machine produced by the Whitney Company." From Postmarked
Yesteryear, by Pamela E.