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Historic Valentine-making at Holter Museum of Art

Instructions at workshop
Posted at 2:54 PM, Feb 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-09 16:55:52-05

HELENA — The sweetest day of the year is coming up, and if a text or GIF would break your significant other's heart – throw it back to the 1800s with a Victorian-Valentine's making workshop.

Folding puzzle purses

"We'll sort of see. I've got a long Valentine's list. I've sent a few out, and we'll see who else warrants one," said attendee Stephanie Morrison.

She was one of roughly 20 people in attendance Thursday night.

"I love free cultural events," Morrison said.

Holter Museum of Art partnered with the Montana Historical Society for two historic Valentine-making workshops. The first workshop was for adults.

Marsh giving history of Valentine's Day

"[We're] making a puzzle purse, which is a cool folded Valentine that you draw your own images and write your own message on for the person that's special to you," said Laura Marsh, the community engagement specialist for The Montana Historical Society.

She said that all Valentines were made by hand in the Victorian era.

Marsh said, "They might have fringe or lace around them and then drawings of cherubs, for example, or hearts and flowers. So, a lot of these typical Valentine's images that we think of were actually the ones being used in that era."

Folding puzzle purses

The folding paper is similar to paper fortune tellers, but each fold has a special watercolor message or drawing for your loved one.

Morrison heard about the workshop while she was at the Historical Society's "Letters from the Montana Frontier" event.

After two hours of folding and painting, she finished her Valentine.

"It's been fun. We've been meeting a few folks and just getting to know folks around the community," Morrison said.

Who was St. Valentine?

The next historic Valentine-making workshop is for children ages five and older. The workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

There are a few spots left; you can find where to register here.