A DIY Valentine for 2017

As I promised in mid-January, today’s post is a set of instructions for making a valentine inspired by my experimentations with Hedi Kyle’s panel book structure. If you didn’t make a sample of the panel book for yourself, you might want to have a quick look at those instructions before making today’s project. I would also suggest that you read through this post and have a look at the finished valentine before you begin.

The first step (of course) is to print out the pdf. This should fit on either 8.5 x 11″ or A4 papers. I used There are two versions of the envelope. The darker print is suitable for hand delivery, but you may wish to print the lighter version if you are mailing your valentine. Please note: the dotted lines will not appear on the printout.

Score where the dotted lines are on the image above. Be careful not to score through the hearts: those lines should stop at the edges of the red printed hearts.

The next step is to pierce holes to make it easier to begin and end the cuts around the heart-shaped panels. Each heart will have four holes: one where the upper black cutting line intersects the vertical scoreline, one at the top of the heart in the centre, one at the bottom of the heart, and one where the lower cutting line intersects the vertical score line.

Cut around the inner sides of the hearts along the edge, following the red printed shape. Start at the hole in the v of the heart and end at the hole at the point. Don’t forget to include the hands! They are meant to be part of the inner edge of the panel. (You don’t need to be too fussy —just be sure that you have a gap between the thumbs and the rest of the hands.)

Cut around the outer sides of the heart from the hole at the top where the upper black cutting line begins, along the outer curve of the heart, then along the lower black cutting line to the hole at the score line.

Fold the valley fold (centre of the card, printed surfaces together) first, then carefully fold the two mountain folds. Don’t fold the hearts. They should swing free as you make the mountain folds.

Trim the excess paper from the top and bottom using the lines at the sides of the page as guides, then trim the end of the page to match the middle fold. (This step may not be necessary: it will depend on which size of paper was printed and whether you used the ‘fit to page’ setting on your printer.)

Interlock the two hands and there’s your valentine.

Cut out and assemble whichever envelope you chose, insert your signed valentine, and either hand deliver or pop in the mail to someone special.


In other book arts news, Susan Mills has uploaded a new podcast to Bookbinding Now:

The Book, the Woman and the Body Politic – an artists talk and panel with Tatana Kellner and Juliana Cerqueira Leite, moderated by Corina Reynolds.
The human body and its socio-political framework have been important themes in women’s artists books – both formally and conceptually. Artists Tatana Kellner and Juliana Cerqueira Leite explore an expanded perspective of women’s artists book publishing. Brazilian sculptor Juliana Cerqueira Leite talks about the representation of female anatomy within her new artists book A Potential Space. Tatana Kellner, as both established book artist and founding member of Women’s Studio Workshop provides insights into the socio-political content of her work and her role in supporting other female artists in this field.
The event was recorded at the NY Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1.

Susan will also be presenting her new artist’s book, The Americans, at Codex 2017.


Since I have begun knitting again, and since I found this free pattern, I thought I would pass it along in case you wanted to knit someone a heart for their pocket. (They also make excellent cat toys, says my lovely assistant Kemuri.)

I liked this pattern because it is knit flat, rather than on 4 double point needles. The one on the left was knit first, but I was dissatisfied with my sewing. The middle one was knit next and sewn a little more carefully, joining the first two stitches after the split. The third one (right hand) was knit without rows 18 and 19 which meant the knitting went a little faster and I didn’t have to be as fussy with the assembly. I didn’t have any toy stuffing (presumably some kind of polyester batting) so I just used three cotton balls to stuff each heart.

If you like making amigurumi, or small stuffed toys generally, you might want to have a look at Amanda Berry’s website.





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, free printable, moveable books and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A DIY Valentine for 2017

  1. Hilke says:

    Thanks for sharing. – I might have a go at the valentine’s card. M. and I make a point of not celebrating Valentine’s but his birthday is less than two weeks after, and it wouldn’t be the first time I re-appropriate some Valentine’s stuff.
    The knitted toys look great! I wished there were some crochet toys in there, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Byopia Press says:

      I have not checked this site in detail, but it claims to have 2000 free crochet amigurumi patterns!


      • Hilke says:

        I’ll take a look, thanks for the link. The first photo that comes up looks very cute. And this one definitely it new to me.
        But yes, there are thousands of free amigurumi patterns online. It seems it has become very popular in the last 6-10 years, and I found several sites where patterns are shared or gathered. Actually I think, you pointed a couple of them out to me 🙂
        I have paid for most of my patterns so far because a) I believe in paying for creative work and b) digging through all those free patterns is sometimes more work than searching for “dragon crochet pattern” on Etsy and paying for it 🙂
        My comment was, well, I clicked you link, I looked at the photos and they looked great. I though, maybe I’ll try one of them. And then a closer look revealed they are all knitted.


  2. Cathryn, Thanks for the post! I have a couple nieces/nephews I have introduced the paper arts to and this is a perfect parent/child activity. Also, I don’t knit/crochet but I have a book arts friend who is amigurumi crazy, i will share both with her!!


  3. Pingback: An Early Start | Byopia Press

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