14 Apr Alternative love letters and gifts
We’ve teamed up with cult jewellers Tatty Devine and comedian Josie Long to show our love for our global neighbours and hijack Valentines Day!;p
On Valentine’s Day or other occasions throughout the years we usually show our love by giving gifts to our beaus. But what about everyone else? Why not show love to your global neighbour – and encourage others to do the same – with our Valentines craftivism project?
The idea is to leave one or more of our Valentines letters around your local area, where they will be found by members of the general public.
Each card contains an alternative Valentines message that acts as a friendly reminder of the difficult circumstances some of the world’s citizens are in, as well as a love heart sweet and a handmade keyring designed for Craftivist Collective by cult jewellers Tatty Devine, which should get people talking.
“We’re big fans of Craftivist Collective, who combine craft and activism to try to change the world for the better.” says Tatty Devine staff member Sonja Todd.
Hand delivered to gaps in walls, cash machine slots, shop shelves etc, you don’t have to be in a relationship to receive one of these treasures!
Template to print, trace and fill in with words like “show your love”
Over the years, craftivists have left more than 1000 of these alternative Valentines cards across the UK, from London to Liverpool, Cornwall to Coventry, and beyond (have a look at some of the photos here). We’ve even spread the love globally, with craftivists from America and Canada joining in too.
A group of craftivists in the basement of Tatty Devine, Covent Garden shop. See more photos on the Tatty Devine blog here
Anyone can complete and deliver this project on their own or in a group. Pick up your scissors, and start shaping the future of our world into a more sustainable, beautiful place for all with us? Craft alone or with friends, family, or even set up a public stitch-in and bring the discussion to passersby and at other events. Tag us @craftivists on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest or ‘Craftivist Collective’ on Facebook) so we can share your creations with others (unless you say otherwise) and we can all join the conversation. You can also do a guest blog for this website to share your crafter-thoughts and hopes like these craftivists have here in our series “My Craftivism”
Example of a love letter you can add your own voice to:
To my Valentine,
Every year February 14th comes around and provides us with a beautiful opportunity to show someone we care about them: most of the time we direct that love at just one person. This year I want to encourage you not to limit that extraordinary capacity we have to just one person, but to love the world. Join us in hijacking Valentines Day and show that the world is your valentine.
I don’t want your box of chocolates, card or flowers. Actions speak louder than those. In return for my love letter and gift to you please show your love by taking action:
In the name of love, online pharmacy usa international shipping brighten up someone’s day and remind them of our global community and inspire them to get stirred up to think about how the poorest people in the world are being affected by climate change, despite having contributed the least to the problem and how you can be the change you wish to see in the world through what you do, say and buy.
Member of Craftivist Collective
- Print out the design approximately 11cm wide by 9cm tall with the thickness of the lines being about 2mm
- Put a piece of shrink plastic over the top to trace the design (some shrink plastic sheets may need to be sanded before hand)
- use permanent marker or coloured pencil to fill in the red and black colours and write in small marker around the edge of the keyring (see keyring photograph below) “love from Craftivist Collective”
- cut around the design as close as you can to the edge
- use a hole puncher to punch out the whole in white in top right hand corner
- place on foil on a baking tray in a warm oven or use a heat tool to shrink the design until it is approximately 4cm wide by 3cm tall and is flat.
- leave under a heavy book for a few minutes to set flat.
- place the keyring through the hole at the top and close using jewellery pliers
- If you use permanent pens or crayon you can make the keyring design more durable by sealing the colour in with a layer of clear nail varnish. Leave to dry
- place the keyring in with the valentines letter in your red envelope and sign your signature on the letter.
- Add value to the letter and gift by hand writing on the bottom of the letter that the gift is handmade, home-baked and limited edition: this is a great way to promote the finder into thinking what goes into making something, the cost of everything being someone’s time, skill and emotion and hopefully it will also give people a sense of being part of something: having a connection.
- Go find somewhere sneaky to place the envelope. Ideas can be found here
Optional: Instead of spending money on keyrings you could find single links from salvaged broken jewellry and make your own keyring or mobile phone accessory, zipper pull – just add extra instructions in with the letter so the finder could decide what to turn your heart into. It could be the ‘key’ to their heart, a tag for when you ‘love to talk’ or a fastener pull to ‘open up’ their heart
This February, share your love near and far with the Craftivist Collective Valentines Day project, and help create change and facilitate conversations that will last a lot longer than your average bunch of roses or box of chocolates!
If you have found this project helpful please do $upport us to exist so we can continue to support you & other craftivists. We are a small struggling social enterprise with no external funding x
EmbroideryPosted at 06:53h, 23 December
Awesome work,, Thanks for sharing it!
Roberta PearsonPosted at 23:10h, 25 September
Just heard your interview on the Tapestry show on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). It brought me here and I am inspired. Highjacking Valentine’s Day looks like a great idea to work towards. So, I am going to craft as many Special Valentines as I can and place them around my small, West Coast town, here in B. C.. In so doing, it is my intention to promote the need for all of us to “open our hearts” and begin to see the true value of ALL the people who share our world who are deserving of respect and love. The Lord’s continued blessings on you and your work. You are truly an inspiration.
Craftivist CollectivePosted at 23:47h, 25 September
Hi Roberta 🙂 I’m glad you found my interview useful. I encourage you to make your valentines cards but I also ask that you focus on quality not quantity. The more time and energy you put into each card the more likely the finder/reciever is to engage intimately and thoughtfully because they will see that thought and love has gone into the card. This project is very old. I would improve it by handwriting the message to make it more unique, add in some elements of different textures. The quicker and easier the object, the less memorable it is. Just a top tip. I encourage you read my new book ‘How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest’ which goes through our methodology, theory and practice with tangible case studies for you to see how you can use your time most wisely to have most impact. Enjoy and God bless you too 🙂 xxxx