Saturday, February 9, 2013


February, 1904
FANCY WORK by Maie Cabot
                 “The custom of sending valentines seems to grow in favor each year, but the style has changed and they are taking on a more practical form.  Books, sachets, confectionery, flowers, and dozens of pretty heart shaped articles for use have taken the place of the wonderful combination of lace paper Cupids and rhymes.  We are told each year that the custom will not prevail long, but when the 2nd week in February rolls around the windows are full with beautiful creations.  Dainty cards and sentimental ones, vie with the more costly and practical heart-shaped articles.”
                  Except for the fact that today there is not even the slightest hint that “the custom will not prevail”, the paragraph quoted above is as true today as it was 109 years ago.  Over the next few days I will be giving you some mini “valentines” with a different twist…they can be used to decorate a mini room (vintage or modern) for the holiday, to help fill the shelves of a heart-themed shop, to send as a token of love to a friend, or simply making a “heart-something” just for the pure fun of “doing-it-yourself.



A practical, yet decorative, addition to a room setting. 

You will need:  #26 gauge wire + wire cutters + wooden hearts in approx. sizes shown (craft stores offer these hearts in bags of asst. sizes, while not necessary, they will make the shaping easier 
(  ) +  round toothpick with or without a turned end  +  Dremel Rotary Tool and/or pin vise
(  ) with a  drill bit  small enough to ream out a round toothpick  +  tacky glue  +  paint or stain of choice

          Cut two, 6” lengths of wire.  Cross them at the middle and twist them tightly together about 4 times…remember to twist and not just wrap one wire around the other. 

          Shape twisted wires as show in diagram.  Form wires into heart shapes using wooden hearts as a form or heart diagrams as a guide. 

                  Cut a round toothpick to a 1 ½” length for the handle.  Use a pin vise and/or a drill or Dremel Moto tool with a drill bit slightly smaller then thickness of toothpick to ream out a hole down in the center of one end of the toothpick handle.  It should be deep enough to take approx. ¼” of the extended wires.  Sand other end rounded.  Insert wire ends (which have been cut to depth of hole in handle) into handle with a bit of glue.  Let glue set.  Stain or paint handle as desired.  A thread tie may be added.  

Go beat the dust from your mini rugs!


                  You will need 12 matching hearts.  These may be the red printies as given here or you may choose to use the printies for the top of the hearts and cut matching hearts from solid red paper which is slightly heavier, such as cardstock/scrapbook paper….this is what I did .  Note: If you choose to use the heavier paper method, to make the cutting faster, simply cut 6 printie hearts out in a continuous strip; add dots of glue to the back side of the printie strip on areas around, but not touching the hearts and press onto the heavier paper.  You will now be able to cut the front and backing hearts out together.  You may also choose a decorated heart for the lowest heart from the images given. 

Click on image to save to computer.
Print onto Bright White paper at best printer settings

                 Glue two hearts together, red sides facing up, by running a thin line of glue on the back side of the front heart, from side to point to side and then pressing onto the red side of the 2nd heart.  This will form a pocket to hold the valentines. 

                 Glue each of the  6 heart pockets to one another, starting at the bottom with a decorated heart  using the graphic photo somewhat as a guide.  

           Make a red thread tassel using the directions given for Project #1 and glue to point of bottom heart.  For the hanger, make a small thread loop and glue to it to the back of the top heart.

                  Print Valentines onto Matt Presentation Paper using best printer settings.  Cut out and arrange as desired (along with some envelopes, if desired) in heart pockets.


The Woman’s Magazine, February, 1904, called this project from their Fancy Work column “a cunning little contrivance”.  

(As it appeared in the magazine)

You will need:  copy of Letter Holder printie on bright whate paper +  a quality glue stick + tacky glue diluted to the consistency of honey + pointed toothpick or pointed stylus +  cotton sewing thread

Cut out base piece and base backing piece.  Score along the four sides of the base piece, fold edges to back and glue to hold.  Glue the base backing piece evenly to the back of the base, using a quality glue stick.  Cut four, approx. 4” lengths of white cotton sewing thread; tie them together on one end with a knot.  With your finger tips wipe a bit of glue over the group of threads and immediately twist them tightly; hold until the glue sets and the twists hold their shape, adding a bit more glue if necessary.  Use the twisted thread to cover the top and bottom edges of the base and to form the hanger at the top…knotting each end of the hanger before cutting.  Make e tassels of the same sewing thread by holding four, 4” lengths of the thread together and tying a tight overhand knot in the center.  Tie two more knots on each side of the center knot, spaced well away from each other.  Add a dab of the watered glue to one end of each knot. On the other side of each knot cut the threads to approx. 1/8” length; fray out the threads.  Cut the threads off just past the other end (glued end) of the knot.  Attach the tassels to the twisted thread on the bottom of the base with a tiny dab of tacky glue.  Set aside.

Cut out the pink hearts in a strip and glue back to back to the pink-heart-backing-strip.  Let glue set.  Carefully cut out the 6 hearts.  Set aside.

Cut out the 6 decorated hearts and the matching plain white hearts, eliminating as much of the black outline as possible.  On the inside of a decorated heart run a thin line of tacky glue just inside the edge, from side to point to side as marked.  Glue the decorated heart, evenly, to a plain white heart, making sure the formed, heart pocket will open from the top.

To add dimension to the lettering on the base piece and the heart designs you will need a tacky glue about the consistency of honey, so you will probably need to add water to yours.  Add water as needed and stir until smooth.  Using a pointed toothpick or pointed stylus, pick up a tiny dab of glue and “draw” over the lettering on the base piece and the ribbon design on the decorated hearts.  Take you time and do a neat job.  Hint: if you add the glue while holding the pieces in your hand you will find the job easier if you put some glue on your left thumbnail (assuming you are right handed) and use it as a palette.  This way your hand and eyes will not have to go so far from your work to add more glue to your tool.   Let the glue dry thoroughly.  You may choose to add a tiny jewel or no-hole bead, etc. over the flowers on the heart design. 

Glue the heart pockets to the base using the diagram as a guide.  Start with the top two, then the two outside center ones, next the center one and then the bottom one.

When all glue has set fill the heart pockets with envelops and mail as desired.  Use the printies given here and/or design your own that then may be personalized as desired for a bit of fun or whimsy. 


  1. Joann, thank you so much for this sweet Valentine project!

  2. Hola, estoy visitando tu blog por primera vez. Tienes cosas muy bonitas, Me gusta la escena oriental. Ya tienes una seguidora más. Un abrazo.

  3. Thank you, Miniatures Goddess! I so want to be adopted by you so I can live in your world and follow you around! :D