Making sailor's valentines was a common craft in the early 19th century, practiced mainly by men on sailing ships at sea for months on end, as gifts for their sweethearts or mothers and sisters back home. You can continue the tradition with just a few readily available supplies and the design can be as simple or detailed as you choose to make it.
You'll need: a sturdy box (cigar, wooden, papier mache), scissors, seashells and glue. Foil paper trims and lace are optional. We're using a papier mache heart shaped box from Germany. We don't use glue guns, but prefer a quick drying glue like Alene's.
Keep your design simple and don't worry about perfection - no two shells are exactly alike and that makes them even more beautiful. When placing the shells, we work out from the center.
We've glued vintage lace to the base and trimmed it close to the box edge.
A band of paper Dresden foil trim finishes that edge. We've also added a band of paper foil inside the box, to continue the design from outside.
A vintage brass stamping of an angel finishes the top.
This box works well for small jewelry and other treasured pieces.
Keep in mind that you can paint your box or work directly on the original surface; Dresden trims come in a large variety of widths and colors; you can find a huge selection of seashells, both natural and colored, in our etsy shop.
Be sure to visit Mary over at Little Red House for more mosaics!