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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.



Cherubs and Floral Vignettes ~ Germany ~ New for 2013

Cherubs and Floral Vignettes ~ Germany ~ New for 2013

$2.35

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy

$8.95

Gold Ornate Lattice Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

Gold Ornate Lattice Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

$3.25

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

$15.95

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

$15.95

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

$15.95

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

$15.95

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

$15.95

Lattice Framed Angels and Flowers Scraps ~ Germany

Lattice Framed Angels and Flowers Scraps ~ Germany

$2.35

Roses Master Scrap Pack ~ 11 Assorted Sheets

Roses Master Scrap Pack ~ 11 Assorted Sheets

$22.95

Valentines Master Scrap Pack ~ 11 Assorted Sheets

Valentines Master Scrap Pack ~ 11 Assorted Sheets

$29.95

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy ~ Pastel Pink Label

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy ~ Pastel Pink Label

$8.95

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy ~ Pastel Purple Label

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy ~ Pastel Purple Label

$8.95

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

$14.95

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

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

$14.95

Pink Roses Floral Scraps ~ Germany

Pink Roses Floral Scraps ~ Germany

$2.35

Extra Fancy Set of Gold Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 16 pieces

Extra Fancy Set of Gold Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 16 pieces

Out of Stock!

Gold Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

Gold Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

$12.95

Gold Ornate Quilted Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

Gold Ornate Quilted Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

$3.25

Large Antique Gold Floral Dresden Foil Frame ~ 1

Large Antique Gold Floral Dresden Foil Frame ~ 1

$2.85

Mixed Pink Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2016

Mixed Pink Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2016

$2.35

Pastel Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2015

Pastel Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2015

$2.35

Pastel Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2014

Pastel Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2014

$2.35

Pink and Yellow Rose Cluster Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2016

Pink and Yellow Rose Cluster Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2016

$2.35

Red and PInk Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2014

Red and PInk Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2014

$2.35

New!
Red Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

Red Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

$12.95

Red, Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2015

Red, Pink and Yellow Rose Bouquet Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2015

$2.35

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Aqua Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Aqua Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Coccoina Medium 20g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Medium 20g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

$3.95

Fuchsia Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Fuchsia Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Light Blue Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Light Blue Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Pastel Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2011

Pastel Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2011

$2.35

Pink Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Pink Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Red Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Red Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Silver Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Silver Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$2.95

Traditional Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2013

Traditional Roses Scraps ~ Germany ~ 2013

$2.35

Valentine Angels Scraps ~ Germany

Valentine Angels Scraps ~ Germany

$2.35

Coccoina Large 40g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Large 40g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

$5.95

Floral Hearts and Bells Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2016

Floral Hearts and Bells Scraps ~ Germany ~ New for 2016

$2.35

Floral Hearts and Doves ~ Germany

Floral Hearts and Doves ~ Germany

$2.35

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 Gold Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

Set of Gold Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

$5.95

Set of Silver Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

Set of Silver Dresden Foil Frames ~ 5

$5.95