Thursday, February 14, 2008

Folded Heart Valentine

Hearts and Valentine's Day go together. Here's a simple folded heart for the occasion. Once you get the hang of it, they are easy to make in quantity. I used the label from a large can of tomatoes. I cut it down so that the paper was about twice as wide as it is tall.
Turn the paper over and fold up a flap about 1/4 the height of the paper. To be more precise, you can fold the paper in half, open it, and fold the the bottom edge up to the center fold.

Fold the paper in half with the flap on the inside.

Open the paper. Bring the bottom right side of the paper to meet the center fold and crease.

Bring the bottom left side of the paper to meet the center fold and crease.

Turn the paper over.

Bring the right edge to meet the right edge of the folded flap and crease.

Bring the left edge to meet the left edge of the folded flap and crease.

Fold the inside folded edge of each flap on the diagonal to make a triangle. This is the center of the heart.

On each side, fold the outside edge on the diagonal to form a triangle.

Turn over the paper to see the heart.

If you attach your heart to a card, it is helpful to glue down the triangle folds first. You can also combine hearts to make a wall piece. I used tomato can labels again. There are two layers of cereal box pieces. One is covered with plastic netting from a grapefruit bag. The hearts and the box pieces were attached by poking two holes with a needle and inserting and then twisting wire. You can also use white glue.

View a video on how to make this heart from a dollar bill.

Directions for a more (but not too) complicated folded heart.

Friday, February 1, 2008

St. Brigid's Cross

February 1st is the first day of spring on the Celtic calendar and St. Brigid's day. The day is celebrated in parts of Ireland by hanging a cross woven of rushes on the door for twelvemonth's luck. This is a simplified version using recycled paper.


You can use newspaper (I used 1/2 page), catalogs (I used double page spread), or brown paper grocery bag.

1. Cut the paper into four equal sections. I did it by folding the paper in half and cutting it along the fold and then folding each half in half and cutting along the fold to make four pieces.

2. Fold each piece into thirds the long way. Open the paper, cover it with glue (I used a glue stick), and fold it and smooth it out to help the glue adhere.

3. Fold each piece in half.

Place it so that the fold is at the top.

With the fold on the right, place it inside Strip 1.

With the fold on the bottom, place it inside Strip 2.

With the fold on the left, place it outside Strip 1 and inside Strip 2.

5. Pull on the ends of the strips to tighten the cross.

6. Keep the two layers of each strip together by tying the ends (I used pieces of NY Times delivery plastic bags and twist ties) or with glue. Because the strips will still shift a little if you move the cross around, you may want to add a little glue (white glue on a toothpick or strip of heavy paper) inside the center of the cross.

See an authentic cross made from rushes.

Learn more about St. Brigid's crosses

St. Brigid (Brighid, Bridget) was preceded by the goddess Brigid. You can find more information about the goddess and the saint at The Celtic Well and
Irish Culture and Customs.

I found information about St. Brigid and her crosses in the following books:
All Silver and No Brass by Henry Glassie
The Year in Ireland: A Calendar by Kevin Danaher