Classy Things: The Bespoke Valentine

19/01/2011 § 2 Comments

Unless you live in Iran, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  Surely, cynics will always deride the holiday as manufactured, but who doesn’t remember the fun there is to be had giving and receiving Valentines?  And now that we’ve all outgrown the ready-made perforated set of two dozen cards, what should we be giving our sweethearts?  What is the classy thing to do?

Clearly, the bespoke Valentine is the way to go, as it definitely will impress your sweetheart more than would a silly nonsense card you picked up at the bodega on your lunch hour on February 14.  You know who you are.  As a staunch proponent of the handmade Valentine, no matter how simple, I’ve pulled a few ideas to get you started.

Paper Source – Blossom Chocolate Keepsake Accordion Kit

For the craftier ones among us, the Paper Source offers a wonderful little kit with practically all you need to create an accordion book — just add personal touches like photos or written messages.  While the kit is relatively easy to assemble, it is time consuming.  This is not something you will be able to bang out in 15 minutes.  But therein lies the charm.  Scoop it here.

Paper Source – Paper Hearts Accordion Kit

Like the accordion idea, but you’re scared of glue sticks?  You can also purchase already cut accordion hearts in a variety of colors to write your sweet nothings on.  Scoop them here.

Severely uncreative?  Overbusy?  Horrendous penmanship?  Not to worry, I have a few professionals who can help.

Handmade Papercut Valentines by mrYen
I have a special love for papercut and silhouette art, and British artist mrYen offers a small collection at his etsy boutique that I just adore.  For Valentine’s Day, he’s created a few special pieces worth noting.  Each are entirely hand-cut with a scalpel, meaning no two are exactly alike — special and original, just like your Valentine!

Used alone, the initial key is lovely framed, and can also be used in various combinations to spell out a name or phrase. (For my overachievers, use these on the accordion kits above!)

Images via mrYen

Also lovely is his “I Love You.”  Scoop them both here.

Bicycle Couples by Paper Cuts By Joe
While mrYen creates lovely pieces, my true favorite in this genre is Joe Bagley, a gifted papercutter from Boston who I first came across via an event at one of my favorite Boston antique/curiosity/decor stores, Acquire.  His silhouette work is simply amazing.  I can’t even guess how he is able to bring forth the images he creates from a simple sheet of black paper with only a scalpel!  For Valentine’s Day, he’s created two images of a couple that would look simply gorgeous framed against a simple white background.

Images via papercutsbyjoe

Scoop them here – and spend some time in his shop.  He is amazing!

Graphic Art Valentines by thelittlecanoe
A whimsical illustrator from Portland, thelittlecanoe produces wonderfully layered, original art.  Her work is simple and complex at once, and looking at it feels as if we have a secret porthole into her dreams.  She’s got a small batch of Valentines that I adore.

Images via thelittlecanoe

Scoop them here – and be sure to check out the rest of her artwork.  I especially love the sailor illustrations and the narwhals.

If you want to go a bit bigger in scale, be sure to peruse UK typography shop More Than Words.  Offering both bespoke orders and a lovely portfolio of ready-made prints, this smart little shop is a great place to find or create something with design and literary appeal.

Bespoke prints can be personalized with names, dates, anything…

…even the location of your first kiss.

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§ 2 Responses to Classy Things: The Bespoke Valentine

  • What a gorgeous post! I really love all the images you’ve chosen, and I think you’re totally right about personalisation being the way to go!
    I love the “I love you just the way you are” one by More than words, I’ve had it on my list for my husband!

    • M. says:

      Hi Katie,

      If you do get that print, I will be very very jealous. I think it is simply lovely! More Than Words has such wonderful things. Thanks very much for visiting.

      Best,
      Mariah

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