Monday, February 4, 2013

Brandy Shows Us How To Make a Sailor's Valentine

How to make a Sailor's Valentine for Your Dolls:

I wanted to recreate the Sailor's Valentine in Caroline's Parlor for my
daughters.  Both of them are in love with the Caroline character and her

A sailor's valentine is a display trinket made from shells. Thought to have
been first made by the natives of Barbados in the 16th century, they used to
be sold to sailors while in port. The sailors would buy them and bring them
back to their beloved at home. Traditionally, a sailor' valentine is made
inside an octagonal wood box that mirrors the shape of old compasses. A
pleasing design is made by gluing the shells to the background.

My craft began while shopping in my local craft store.  I came by an
octagonal wood trinket box.  It was damaged: had a little crack in the lid
and the box did not close properly so I was able to purchase it on discount
for fifty cents. Originally the cost was $2.  I removed the lid and
hardware.  I spackled the crack and sanded it down to a smooth finish.  I
then spray painted the lid in a matte brown paint to resemble a stained wood

Next, I did an internet search on Sailor's Valentine's and came across a
very talented artist by the name of Bill Jordan.  My favorite piece from
this artist is his "Forget Me Not When Far Away."  I scaled down a copy of
this valentine and printed it off to fit the dimensions of my frame.  I cut
out the print and used a very thin layer a tacky glue to adhere it to the

To make the frame appear as if it had glass over it, I used a piece of
plastic from a self laminating sheet of paper.  You could also use the
plastic front of a toy box.  I used a tiny bit of Tacky glue in each corner
to attach the plastic cover.

Another option is to use the lid of an octagonal or hexagonal paper mache
box and fill with real mini shells.  First place a piece of decorative paper
as a backing.  Starting in the center, begin gluing shells and dry beans to
the octagon. Keep your design symmetrical. You do not need to cover the
entire surface of the octagon, as the decorative paper will show through any

Enjoy!~ Brandy

Thank you Brandy for this wonderful craft and idea! As with all our posts we would love to hear from you so please leave us a comment here or email us at

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! It really caught me by surprise when I ran across it on line. Thanks; Bill Jordan