14 Apr Alternative love letters and gifts
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, 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