These easy-to-make keepsakes will touch the heart of anyone who receives them.
By Terri Blazell
My friends Paula and Rosemarie are both professional crafters. They each have workshops set up in their garages with band saws, sanders, sewing machines, and enough paint supplies to rival a craft store. They both hold annual craft boutiques in their homes, attracting more than 50 local crafters and hundreds of shoppers. And they both have incredibly helpful and tolerant husbands.
I just want you to know that I am not that kind of craft person, and this is not that kind of craft article. I prefer simpler crafts that require only a smidgen of talent and few supplies, which also just happen to be the perfect types of crafts to make while traveling in your motorhome. So, if you have a creative spirit but think that you have to give it up while you are RVing, think again. The following craft is easy to do, requires very little space, and uses common supplies. You can make a few to give as gifts or make a bunch to sell at the next rally craft boutique.
When you are finished with this craft, which I call Attic Love Notes, you will have created a parcel of notes that look like they spent years hidden away in Grandma’s attic. Best of all, each one can be personalized for someone special.
You’ll need the following:
- A few sheets of 8-1/2-inch-by-11-inch white copier paper
- A tea bag
- A small silk rosebud
- Something to write with “” a fine-tip black marker works best for me
- 18 inches of narrow cloth ribbon
Fill a large saucepan approximately a fourth of the way full with warm water and soak the tea bag in it. While the tea bag is soaking, cut the paper in half, then in half again, to make four even pieces “” 4¼ inches by 5½ inches each. Soak the sheets in the tea water until they start to look “aged” “” approximately 10 minutes. Take them out (I use tongs) and spread them on a cookie sheet to dry. For best results, set the paper outside in the sun, if it’s not too windy. You may have to turn the sheets over to dry the back side.
Once the pages are dried, gather them up. Use at least five sheets per bunch, but you can make your packets as thick as you want. The sheets will be a bit crumpled and will not lie completely flat, but that just adds to their aged appearance.
Using the marker or pen, write short love messages on the pages. If this is a personal gift, create your own message. If you are stumped for words, thumb through a book of poetry or search for love messages on the Internet. I typed “love quotes” into a search engine and came up with many Web sites offering classic lines from poems and old love letters. Here are a few examples:
- I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- “Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.” Robert Browning
- “I love thee. I love but thee with a love that shall not die.” William Shakespeare
Along with love quotes, consider Bible verses and quotes about angels. A single short quote or message per page works best. Don’t worry about your handwriting, either. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
If you are making this as a personal gift, you may fill up many pages with your love messages. If you are planning to use them for a craft boutique, print a quote on the front sheet and the back sheet, having them both facing out. Put three blanks in the middle so the person who buys the packet can create their own messages. Tie the ribbon around the middle with a little bow and insert the rose bud through the knot.
These make wonderful Valentine’s Day, anniversary, or birthday presents; stocking stuffers; and, if you add an extra loop to the ribbon, they can even be hung from a Christmas tree. Scent them lightly with your favorite cologne and they can be tucked away as a drawer sachet. Otherwise, they look lovely on a coffee table or nightstand as an ever-present reminder of someone’s love. That’s all there is to it. No band saw required.