Not-Pink, Without-Hearts, No-Doilies-Allowed Valentines

I love many people in my life, and I enjoy reminding them of that on a regular basis, so I love Valentine’s Day even if it is a cooked-up fake holiday for selling cards. I can’t help it; seriously, tell someone you love them and try to not feel a little bit happier. I dare you to.

Anyhoo, what I don’t love about Valentines day are all the doily-covered pink teddy bears with bad chocolate. Seriously, who decided that love has to be so damned dippy? This year, I resolved to take matters into my own hands, because my love is REAL and anyone who thinks it can be conveyed via a plastic rose has another thing coming, buster!

And so, without further ado, I present my Valentines this year, custom embroidered pictures of the night sky on the day I met each of my Valentines:

constellations

I know, I know, it sounds fancy, but I promise you that anyone can make them with absolutely no artistic skill, and all they took was a needle, some thread, construction paper, and a touch of glue. Suck it, Hallmark!

First, you need to know the day you met. Or the day you fell in love. Or the day you skipped stones on a lake. Really any significant date will do.

Next, figure out where that was. Look up the latitude and longitude here, then enter all that stuff into Your Sky, which will spit back out a map of everything you need to know about the night sky at any day, time, and place you want to give it. I filtered out everything but the constellations and their names, used Photoshop to thin them out (taking out any I didn’t recognize made them a lot less cluttered-looking), and printed the resulting map out.

Cut out the map, and tape it to a piece of construction paper (this is your sky background, so black/blue might make the most sense):

making the valentine step 1

Now comes my favorite part: POKING! Use your needle to poke a hole where each star would be (wherever there’s an angle or an end in the lines of the constellations). I held the finished product up to the window so you can see what I mean:

valentine after it's been prepped

Okay, I also included that picture because I thought it was cool.

Now comes the part where you break out your elementary school skills, specifically connect-the-dots. Using your thread, sew from hole to hole, connecting the lines so they form the constellations (I kept the map close at hand to reference so that I could tell which line went where). Don’t worry too much about how the back looks, it’s going to get glued down anyway.

how to embroider a valentine

The next step is easily the most annoying, but you’re also on the home stretch! Print out all the names of the constellations (I used Calibri in 7-point font to get it the right size), cut them as close to the text as possible, and glue them next to their appropriate constellations. I found it easiest to do this in shifts, cutting a few and gluing them before cutting more, so that you don’t sigh heavily and send them flying around the room, never to be heard from again. Anyone who’s taken down/put up magnetic poetry knows what I’m talking about.

labeling the constellations

Then all you have to do is cut out your circle of embroidery, and glue it on another piece of construction paper, folded in half to make a card.

the finished productEt voila! Ready to write and send to all the people you love in your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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