The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

A Homemade Valentine

 The tradition of sending romantic messages on Valentine's Day is thought to date back to the 1400s. During that time, if a valentine token was exchanged, it was usually in the form of a gift. The popularity of handwritten valentine cards surpassed that of gifts in the early 1700s after instructional booklets called valentine writers became available. These small publications gave instructions for making and decorating valentines. They included verses and messages to copy and send to others. By the end of the 1700s, valentine cards were mass produced in Europe, and printed cards began to replace the handwritten ones. Homemade valentines remained popular in America until 1849 when Esther Howland started the New England Valentine Company.

If you are writing a heartfelt letter to your loved one this Valentine's Day, you may want to take a few extra moments to create a handmade card. The Library is a great place to find inspiration for your token of love.

 CardMaker's Hand-Lettering Workbook by Nancy Burke & Marian Rodenhizer.

A selection of lettering samples, a review of necessary tools, and a tutorial for each alphabet round out this instruction book for card-making enthusiasts.



 Clean & Simple Cards by Tami Mayberry.  

More than 45 card designs are provided, with full instructions and close-ups that display card details, and the book includes source lists for recommended supplies to replicate the designs at home. The uncomplicated projects make the book suitable for beginners, and more advanced crafters will appreciate the outline of design theory that enriches their existing card-making experience. 


 Exquisite Embellishments for Paper Crafts: Creative Ideas to Dress Up Greeting Cards, Gift Packages, and More by Keri Lee Sereika. 

Detailed instructions and how-to photographs inspire crafters to create paper embellishments for homemade cards, scrapbooks, home décor, and gifts in this handy guide for artisans of all levels.


 How to Make Pop-Up Cards: 55 Practical Projects Including Step-by-Step Folds by Trish Phillips and Ann Montanaro.

Use your paper-engineering skills to create movable and pop-up cards that will delight the lucky recipients. This book opens with a brief introduction to making pop-up cards, followed by an invaluable guide to materials and techniques, as well as advice for common problems.


 In Love with Paper Crafts 

A volume of endearing designs from Paper Crafts magazine that celebrate love of all kinds, from valentines to wedding wishes and family ties.

 Paper Crafting with Flowers by Mihoko Takimura.  
Learn  how to make thirty romantic and whimsical gifts blooming with colorful flowers. Easy-to-follow instructions will teach both new and experienced crafters to make precious objects.



 Uncommon Cards: Stationery Made with Recycled Objects, Found Treasures, and a Little Imagination by Jeanne Williamson.

The right greeting card is hard to find, but with the most basic sewing machine and a few recycled materials, you'll have cards for every occasion in a snap. 


Find this article at