Valentine’s Secret-Message Card

No matter your age or who your sweetie is, Valentine’s Day is a day to send beautiful, hand-made, cards with a sweet, sentimental message.  I made this card for the Niji Design Team. We were allowed to download five background images from AlteredPages digital collage backgrounds. (I’ve never used backgrounds, so it was a special challenge.)

Heart I decided to make an old-fashioned woven heart–invented by story-teller and poet Hans Christian Andersen in 1860, updated with trendy materials. (He wrote The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes and a host of other fairy tales).

The heart is cut from two different, folded pieces of paper, and then woven together. Because the paper is folded, it also opens into a secret pocket, useful for hiding a loving message. Make sure both sides of the paper are decorated.

Here are the materials you’ll need:

Heart1Start by painting  a piece of mixed-media paper (about 6 inches x 10 inches)  with a mix of Yasutomo reds in the watercolor paints.


When it is dry, paint the other side a slightly different red color. I added sumi-e gold for a different look. On the front, use a brush to add gold. On the other side, sponge some gold for a rich, textural look.

ScriptThe other piece of paper should be a completely different look. I used the Altered Pages “Script” sheet, shown on the left.

Fold each of the pieces of paper in half, creating two pieces, each 5 inches wide and 6 inches long. On the side opposite the fold, cut a rounded top. Repeat with the other paper.

heart3Place the paper so the rounded (open) edge is on top and the folded (straight cut) side is on the bottom. Cut from bottom to top to divide each piece into four pieces. You will need three cuts to do this: The first one will divide the piece in two, the second will divide one half in two, cut three will divide the other half in two. Do not cut further than the point where the curve starts.

heart4Place the two pieces so you can “weave” the strips together. Weaving is done by gently opening the strips, and pushing the opposing strip through it. Here’s a video that shows the steps and may be useful.

HeartWhen the heart is complete, you will discover you can open it like a pocket. It’s perfect for a secret message. I cut out the words “I love you” from the Altered Pages “Love Words” and wrote a private message on the back before tucking it into the heart.

Quinn McDonald is a Niji Design Team member. She’s a sucker for Valentine’s Day, with or without chocolate.

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