My maternal grandfather was Pennsylvania Dutch, so it is possible that he made a papercut valentine or, perhaps, a heart-in-hand love token for my grandmother.

I came across a few of these online while researching the papercuts for last week’s valentine. Since I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results of my efforts last week, and because you too might want to make something a bit simpler for Valentine’s Day, I thought I would offer the heart-in-hand love token this week.

There are a few examples on the internet: all are apparently made by Anon. and the only credited sources for images are on an ephemera site which requires written permission for image use —I got no reply— so I will just show you one example. (The oldest iteration of this image on the internet showed the hand in a frame, but was a lower resolution than this one, so I suspect there was an earlier version that has now disappeared from the web.)

The one above is especially fancy with additional paper weaving at the wrist and extra cut-and-fold patterning. Many of the tokens I looked at were made using recycled paper such as old letters, envelopes, or bits of ledger paper. For fun I created four printable hands for you to choose among. (Click on the image to download the matching pdf. The first image shows what the whole pdf looks like. The rest just show the hand.) You can also draw an outline of your own hand to use.




I also made a smaller version of each design with two-up on a page. You can find them here: Hand 1, Hand 2, Hand 3, and Hand 4. I reduced the number of cuts on the smaller hearts, so you get the design below.

I managed to make my samples with lightweight copier paper, but if you have a stronger thin paper, use that.

I was going to write out detailed instructions for the paper weaving when Pinterest offered this up: a double heart with a lovely clear set of instructions from Beth Bornick.

I tried out the instructions with the template I used to make my sample heart-in-hand and a scrap from a magazine page.

Beth’s instructions work for the heart-in-hand. She offers cutting and weaving variations as well. You can download her pdf here. (If you would like to make a large, elongated double heart like the one above, there is a printable file here.)


In other book arts news:

If you enjoyed the paper weaving in today’s post and would like to experiment further, there is still time to sign up for Helen Hiebert’s Weave through Winter. Here’s a short trailer for the class.




If you are interested in online classes in the book arts, the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild has several on offer.

You can find the full listing of in-person and online classes here.


I am fascinated by all kinds of lettering. If you are too, you might enjoy this video on Persian lettering from the Getty series, Becoming Artsy.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than thirty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004. I also create prints and drawings that are frequently text-inspired or text-based.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, bookbinding, DIY, free printable, instructions, paper cutting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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