Valentine's Day Crafts

Valentine's Day Crafts image by Pam Gaulin

Overview

Valentine's Day crafts provide a way for people of all ages to celebrate the holiday and declare their love, familial or romantic. The act of making homemade gifts is significant when you want to show someone that you care and that you have feelings for them.

History

Today, Valentine's Day crafts are made by students and hobbyists. The tradition of making Valentine's crafts grew out of the holiday custom of giving gifts during Lupercalia, a festival celebrated in ancient Rome. Part of the festival involved a gift exchange, which later became a card exchange. Romantic verses were exchanged in writing in the early 1700s in both England and in America. In the 1830s, Esther Howland, a student at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., made and sold her own Valentine messages. Other Valentine's traditions included the creation of puzzling and cryptic messages or riddles that the recipient would have to solve. The elaborate nature of these messages in the mid-1840s made way for the Valentine's Day crafts we make today.

Size

Valentine's Day crafts tend to be on the small side, and can sometimes fit in the palm of one hand. Paper crafts and greetings tend to measure the standard size of a postcard, or be smaller than a sheet of letter-size paper. The object could be flat enough to be mailed in a regular envelope. If it is three-dimensional, it should be smaller than a box of tissue.

Features

Valentine's Day crafts exhibit certain common features and symbols. Hearts, cupids and arrows, and intertwined hands are common symbols. Flowers, especially roses, are also common. Small birds, including turtle doves, may also be found on Valentine's crafts that rely on more historic symbols. Typical colors used in Valentine's Day crafts include red, pink, white, black, silver and gold. Lace and ribbons, which have been used for centuries, are features of today's crafts. The crafts may also include layers of images and elements sewn or glued together.

Types

Valentine's Day crafts include paper crafts. Make and dye your own fancy paper to create a card to to use in a craft. Paper crafts for the holiday also include homemade picture frame decorations or paper sachet pillows. Use paper, tissue paper, paper doilies, foil paper and lace in paper crafts. Decorative crafts for the windows, walls or a classroom may be made with paper, pipe cleaners, glitter, photos and drawings. Baking crafts, from clay hearts to edible foods, is another popular form of Valentine's Day crafts. Another type is the altered art Valentine. Bind a love message up in an old book binding with pages removed. Secure with craft leather.

Misconceptions

The crafts, including Valentine's Day messages, were not always sentimental and romantic. Humorous and insulting cards, sometimes called vinegar valentines, were manufactured and given out on Valentine's Day in the late 1800's. Celebrating the romantic holiday does not have to be about spending a lot of money, although it has become an expensive and commercial holiday. Homemade items in the form of crafts are still highly desirable and acceptable on the holiday. Adults, not just children, can make Valentine's Day crafts.

About this Author

Pam Gaulin has been writing professionally since 1990. Her work has appeared on websites such as ModernMom, TheFrisky, Zappos and YellowPages.com. Her previous positions include editor of "Web Site Source Book," project leader for a K-12 database, business writer for a newsletter publisher and Happenings editor for "The Valley Advocate." Gaulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.

Photo by: Pam Gaulin

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Valentine's Day Crafts