Valentine’s Day is when we set aside special time to let loved ones know how much they mean to us. In the days of yore, long before commercial valentine cards were available, lovers and sweethearts made valentines from whatever materials were at hand — paper, seashells, fabric, wood and other materials. Those who received these tokens of love cherished them and kept them for years, treating them as the special treasures they were. Those who received the valentines valued the time and effort it took to fashion them and understood that a handmade valentine symbolized feelings of love that came straight from the heart.
Sure, it’s easy to choose a ready-made card from the array at a store, but it’s also easy to reach for your glue stick and paper, and set aside an hour to make a valentine for your best beloved.
Here’s my take on the handmade valentine:
You will need:
• Heavy paper, such as drawing paper, or cardstock that measures 7 inches by 10 inches, both available in craft departments and stores. I challenge you, however, to make your valentine from scratch, using only materials readily at hand.
• Assorted scrap paper in red, gold, silver or other colors of your choice. Magazine pages are a good source for paper to use for card crafting. Newspapers also are useful for making valentines.
• You also will need scissors, a glue stick, white glue, sequins, colored markers, crayons or paints, glitter glue or other embellishments of your choice.
• Use your computer to write a valentine’s message, print one from a website, such as marthastewart.com, or cut words and letters from magazines or the newspaper to form a message of love and appreciation.
• Fold the drawing paper or cardstock in half to form the card.
• Cut a heart shape from the paper you have chosen. Cut a crown shape from the gold or silver paper. Paste the heart to the card, then paste the crown to one lobe of the heart. Add sequins or tiny beads to the crown. Write write your message — I used KING OF MY HEART.
And that’s about it. It took me less than 30 minutes to assemble materials, do the cutting, pasting and lettering for my valentine.
There are many other techniques that can be applied to valentine card creations, such as paper applique, collage, using a computer to print images to the cardstock, stamping, coloring, painting with watercolors, sewing on buttons and adding bits of lace or other trim. Experimenting is part of the fun of making a valentine.
If you want an envelope, use one that comes with the cardstock, or make one of your own by cutting from a sheet of paper you find pretty or interesting.
Getting the family together to make valentines for loved ones is an activity those of all ages can enjoy.
The Bangor Sewing Guild is offering an Alterations Made Simple class, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Hampden Municipal Building, Western Avenue. Learn to use a sewing machine to replace buttons or a zipper, hem a skirt or dress, and other clothes-saving techniques. Class leader is Chris Thornton. Registration is required, as participants will receive a work kit. The cost is $15. Call 862-4367 to register by Thursday, Feb 7. For information, visit bangormeasg.com.
The University of Maine Museum of Art will host a rug braiding workshop with Lisa Scofield, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 23 and March 2, at the museum, 40 Harlow St. in Bangor. The cost is
$45 museum members, $50 others, plus a $15 materials fee or bring your own materials. For information, call 561-3350.
The Greenville Junction Depot Friends announced that Elizabeth DeMerchant, a teacher at Holbrook Middle School in Holden, is the winner of the Friends quilt raffle held recently. Deen Chaykowski of Belfast created the quilt, which incorporated in the design railroad themes and depot history. The raffle raised $200 the fund for the restoration of the depot. For information, call 691-0731, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit greenvilledepot.org.
Raging Wool, a knitter’s winter retreat with “Stitch ’n’ Bitch” author Debbie Stoller, will take place Friday through Monday, Feb. 15-18, at the Rowe Camp and Conference Center in Rowe, Mass. Learn cable techniques, how to make a lace scarf, knitting with beads and double knitting. For information email email@example.com, call the Rowe Center at 413-339-4954 or visit rowecenter.org.
Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to visit her blog at byhand.bangordailynews.com.