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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



Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Paste Tin w/ Brush ~ Made in Italy

$11.95

Coccoina Medium 20g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Medium 20g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

$5.95

Coccoina Large 40g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

Coccoina Large 40g Glue Stick ~ Made in Italy

$6.95

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

Light Blue Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Light Blue Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

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

Aqua Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

Aqua Dresden Foil Floral Hearts ~ 20

$3.95

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

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Doves ~ 8 Asst.

$5.95

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

Red Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

Red Dresden Foil Heart Frames ~ 12 pieces

$12.95

Gold Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

Gold Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

$3.25

Silver Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

Silver Ornate Scrolled Dresden Foil Doily ~ 1

$3.25

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

$3.95

Gold Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

Gold Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

$3.95

Pink Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

Pink Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

$3.95

Silver Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

Silver Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

$3.95

Steel Blue Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

Steel Blue Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

$3.95

Aqua Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

Aqua Dresden Foil Medallions ~ 3

$3.95

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

$3.25

Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

$3.25

Pink Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

Pink Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

$3.25

Red Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

Red Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

$3.25

Silver Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

Silver Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

$3.25

Steel Blue Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

Steel Blue Dresden Foil Fancy Embellishments

$3.25

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

Antique Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

$4.95

Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

Gold Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

$4.95

Light Purple Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

Light Purple Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

$4.95

Silver Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

Silver Dresden Foil Fancy Corners ~ 20

$4.95

Extra Fancy Antique Gold Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Antique Gold Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95

Extra Fancy Gold Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Gold Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95

Extra Fancy Light Blue Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Light Blue Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95

Extra Fancy Light Purple Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Light Purple Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95

Extra Fancy Pink Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Pink Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95

Extra Fancy Silver Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Silver Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95

Extra Fancy Aqua Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

Extra Fancy Aqua Dresden Foil Corners with Roses and Flowers ~ 4

$5.95