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Cast A Paper Valentine

Decorating Your Valentine

While there are many ways to finish your card, we'll learn how to make a valentine using collage. With this art form, decorative papers and materials are combined by pasting or gluing.

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How to:

Before you assemble the card, decorate the cast paper valentine with acrylics, glitter, or shapes cut or punched from paper. Cut and fold a scrap piece of card stock like a greeting card. Use a glue stick to fasten decorative paper such as a scrap of gift wrap, wallpaper, or hand marbled paper to the front. Center the cast paper valentine, and glue it in place with white glue. Finish decorating the card with glitter or more cut or punched paper shapes. Write a poem or message inside the card.

To make the envelope, measure the length and width of the card, double the figure, add an inch each way, and cut a piece of construction paper or wallpaper this size. Center the card on the paper, and fold over the edges. Cut away the four corners, leaving tabs. Place the valentine inside the envelope, and fasten the tabs with a glue stick or seal the back with a paper heart. Present the valentine to your sweetie and have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tips and Tricks:

After the cast paper dries, it will be fragile and tend to "flake" like a biscuit. This is because we didn't use any binder in the pulp. Carefully painting the form with acrylics will act as a glue and color the surface as well. If you prefer not to paint the cast paper, you can brush a light coat of diluted white glue or acrylic matte medium over the form to help hold it together.

Try your hand at "scherenschnitte" or paper cutting. Fold a scrap of red, pink, or purple paper in half and cut out a heart. Now make fancy cuts on the fold into the center. Glue the shape to your card.

See the marbling activity in Previous Activities for tips on marbling paper. Use marbled paper for a background, as in the example above. Besides using glitter and shapes from paper punches, decorate with rubber stamps, embossing powders, craft paints in squeeze bottles, ribbon, or paper doilies. You can get free envelopes from discount stores and gift shops after certain holidays. The employees and people who restock card racks return unsold cards to the manufacturer for credit, but they often discard the matching envelopes. Help save landfill space and natural resources by asking them to save greeting card envelopes for you.

Learn how paper is commercially recycled at Paper University, a site for kids sponsored by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry. Be sure to look around at the rest of this section while you're there.

You Will Need:

1998 Marilyn J. Brackney Volume 11 No. 3
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