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Project Tutorials >

Create Esther Howland Style Valentine Cards ~ Instructions and Supplies


Esther Howland, know as the "The Mother of the American Valentine," was a Victorian era artist responsible for popularizing Valentine greeting cards in the US.  Her work featured delicate layers of doilies, scrap images and paper cuttings.  Her exquisite pieces are the inspiration for this Valentine card tutorial.

Supplies: Valentine + Flower Scraps, Cards, Dresden Frames + Doilies + Hearts, Paper Glue, Scissors

Step 1: Prepare your supplies: Cut apart a mix of Dresden pieces in varying sizes.  Do the same for the scrap images. 

Step 2: Begin assembling a mix of Dresden pieces and scraps: matching frames to scraps and choosing which pieces overlay others well.  Lay them over your card before beginning to glue to check placement.

Step 3: Glue pieces in place.  We glued corner pieces first and worked our way toward the center of the card.  Let dry.

Step 4: Repeat to make more cards.

Tips:  Don't be afraid to cut Dresden pieces apart to fit your card.  For the rose bouquet card (below left) we cut the pillars and corner pieces to better fit the dimensions of the card.

Dresdens look good layered on scraps.  Each card below features a Dresden element on top of a scrap: golden bird on rose bouquet, golden heart on heart wreath held by couple, golden bird over heart.

We built on cards from sets that include Italian paper-lined envelopes for an extra special touch.

Specific Supplies Used:

Pink Rose Bouquet, below left top: Dresden flourishes DFW320-G-B + bow DFW782P + dove DF8534AG + rose bouquet scrap S7232

Red Rose Bouquet, below left bottom: Dresden corners DFW309G + frame DF7906G + corners DFW61G + blue flower frame scrap S7352 + rose scrap S7344

Valentine Couple, below right top: Dresden corners DFW67G + bow DFW782P + heart DF7601AG + couple scrap S7177 + flower swag scrap S7352

Fancy Dove on Heart, below right bottom: Dresden doily DFD003-G + dove DF8534AG + corner flourishes DFW320-G-B + bird on heart scrap S7232 + flower swag scrap S7352



Antique Gold Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

$5.95

Cherubs and Floral Vignettes ~ Germany

Cherubs and Floral Vignettes ~ Germany

$3.45

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy

$11.95

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Art Nouveau Swirl with Gold Highlights

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Art Nouveau Swirl with Gold Highlights

$16.95

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Blue Florentine with Gold Highlights

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Blue Florentine with Gold Highlights

$16.95

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Mixed Feathers with Gold Highlights

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Mixed Feathers with Gold Highlights

$16.95

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Red Florentine with Gold Highlights

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Red Florentine with Gold Highlights

$16.95

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Tiled Florentine with Gold Highlights

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Tiled Florentine with Gold Highlights

$16.95

Lattice Framed Angels and Flowers Scraps ~ Germany

Lattice Framed Angels and Flowers Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Silver Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

Silver Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

$5.95

Steel Blue Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

Steel Blue Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

$5.95

Extra Fancy Set of Gold Dresden Foil Frames and Flourishes ~ 16 pieces

Extra Fancy Set of Gold Dresden Foil Frames and Flourishes ~ 16 pieces

$12.95

Italian Stationery Flat Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Light Blue Florentine

Italian Stationery Flat Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Light Blue Florentine

$15.95

Italian Stationery Flat Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Music Script

Italian Stationery Flat Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Music Script

$15.95

Pink Roses Floral Scraps ~ Germany

Pink Roses Floral Scraps ~ Germany

Out of Stock!

New!
Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Light Blue Florentine

Italian Stationery Folded Card Set ~ 10 Cards + 10 envelopes ~ Rossi Light Blue Florentine

$18.95

Mixed Pink Roses Scraps ~ Germany

Mixed Pink Roses Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Pastel Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

Pastel Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Pastel Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

Pastel Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Pink and Yellow Rose Cluster Scraps ~ Germany

Pink and Yellow Rose Cluster Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Red and PInk Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

Red and PInk Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Red Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

Red Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

$12.95

Red, Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

Red, Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Aqua Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Aqua Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Coccoina Medium 20g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Medium 20g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

$5.95

Light Blue Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Light Blue Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Pastel Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2011

Pastel Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2011

$3.45

Pink Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Pink Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Red Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Red Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Silver Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Silver Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Traditional Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2013

Traditional Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2013

$3.45

Valentine Angels Scraps ~ Germany

Valentine Angels Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Coccoina Large 40g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Large 40g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

$6.95

Floral Hearts and Bells Scraps ~ Germany

Floral Hearts and Bells Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45

Floral Hearts and Doves ~ Germany

Floral Hearts and Doves ~ Germany

$3.45

Gold Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

Gold Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

$3.25

Set of Antique Gold Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

Set of Antique Gold Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

$5.95

Set of Silver Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

Set of Silver Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

$5.95

Silver Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

Silver Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

$3.25

Floral Hearts Scraps ~ Germany

Floral Hearts Scraps ~ Germany

$3.45