A Valentine

I don’t know if children still celebrate Valentine’s Day at school. It used to mean making a mailbox for your desk so that people could post valentines to you. Depending on the teacher, the class either made valentines or students were required to purchase a book of punch out cards with funny sayings on them. I always thought that it was yet another chance for the popular kids to insult the unpopular ones, and that acts of kindness could be easily misinterpreted. (Lisa Simpson seriously regretted giving Ralph the card with a picture of a train and the message “I choo-choo-choose you.”) Still, some people enjoy the day and make their own valentines even as adults. With that in mind, and as an excuse to post a tutorial, I am offering a valentine that you can make yourself. By posting it today, I hope I am giving enough lead time for you to make it before February 14.   ; ] Some people call this structure a “Victorian Puzzle Purse”, but I learned it first as an origami fold. (Perhaps the Victorians did too.) Here’s an image of one by Alice Simpson: You can download the pdf for my valentine and print it out, or just use the folding instructions to make your own. (If you like the hearts but want to put your own message on the inside, you might want to just print the second page.) I started with a page of 8.5 x 11 inch (letter) paper, so the first step is to cut the page square. If you are using the printed valentine you will want to make the square from the top part of the page by cutting approximately where I have drawn a red line. Save the bottom section for later if you have printed this. The next step is to score lines so that your paper is divided into 9 equal squares. Dividing numbers like 8.5 can be tricky, so I use an old draughting trick. If you lay your ruler on the page at an angle so that the top number is divisible by three, it is easy to mark off the thirds. You will need two sets of marks horizontally and two sets vertically to use as guides for scoring the lines. I use a scoring tool for the marking so that I don’t have to erase any pencil marks later. Next, score the diagonals as marked below. Now fold all the dashed lines as valley folds and the dotted ones as mountain folds. In the origami version, the diagonal folds cross the centre square, but I prefer to leave it unmarked. Here’s an image showing how the corner is folded and one showing how the middle square is folded. In both cases, the crease stops at the edge of the middle square. You should have something that looks like this when you are done. Turn the page over before starting the next step. You should have the black side up if you are using the printed version. Now is a good time to sign your card, or write a message if you want one. Start by folding the top down and the left side over the middle simultaneously. Your page should look like this: Fold the right side in, tucking it under the left side. For the last step in this stage you need to pull the corner of the top layer up and to the left while pulling the inner corner out and down. If your creases were made firmly, the folds will show you where the paper needs to go. You should now have a pinwheel shape. The final folds are simple: you fold over each pointed flap the way you would close a cardboard box. First fold: Second fold: Fold up the third point, then make the final tuck: If you are using the printed version, you can cut out the small heart and glue it on to seal your valentine shut. (I haven’t glued mine yet.) (For those of you who don’t live in Northern England, the sheep in the rebus is a Dalesbred ewe.)



About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in book arts, Design, instructions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to A Valentine

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  9. Thank you for posting a link to my Victorian Valentine Puzzle Purse page. Since 2005, it has found its way to thousands of artists and makers around the world. I always wish I could see what all those people created with the design.

    Each year since, I have tried to remember how to fold it properly, especially the last step. The paper may have memory but I do not!


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