Make a Vintage-look Valentine

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Hand colored inkjet Valentine

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? Here’s a quick and crafty idea to make vintage-look Valentine’s Day cards using your own photographs and Alien Skin AltPhoto available FREE in the App store! You’ll need an inkjet printer and a few sheets of fine art inkjet paper to print them out, or you can upload them to a print provider, such as a local print shop or retailer with an in-house photo department.

A Valentine from the dog

A Valentine from the dog

Add a few art supplies such as paint, pencils and glitter and you’ll be ready to go. In the Victorian era, Valentine’s cards were given out as tokens of love. They were quite elaborate, colorful and handmade. When I first started using AltPhoto on my iPhone and saw the vintage paper-framed photo and the faux cabinet card photo selections, I thought they would look great as ‘objects’ when printed.

Hand painted with glitter glue added

Hand painted with glitter glue added

Although my painter friends will think my painting skills laughable (I’ll never claim to be a good painter) it was so relaxing to play with paint and pencils, I really enjoyed making these little cards!

Valentine in gift bag

Valentine in gift bag

With gold glitter glue around the edges

With gold glitter glue around the edges

Embellished and stitched  Valentine

Embellished and stitched Valentine


Steps:

1. Download the Alien Skin AltPhoto App. It’s FREE in the APP store.

AltPhoto App

AltPhoto App

 

2. Compose and take a photograph on your phone, or send a photo from your computer to your phone. I emailed my photos to myself, and then downloaded them onto my phone.

3. Open AltPhoto, open the photograph and click the Edit button.

Click the Edit button

Click the Edit button

4. Click on the Film gallery and scroll down to B&W Vintage. The fourth and fifth choices from the left are Studio Portrait or White Frame. Click on your choice and your photograph is displayed with the selection. You’ll note that the frames adjust for the aspect ratio and orientation of your image.

Click the Film Gallery and scroll down to 'B&W Vintage'

Click the Film Gallery and scroll down to ‘B&W Vintage’

5. If needed, use the adjustment controls to crop and adjust brightness and effect intensity until you are satisfied with the result. Click on the green arrow on the upper right side of the screen to save the adjustments.

Adjust brightness or crop as needed

Adjust brightness or crop as needed

6. After making adjustments, or if no adjustments are needed, click on the bottom green arrow to save the photograph to the camera roll.

Save the image

Save the image

7. Transfer the image to your computer and print, or send to a print provider for printing.
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8. Print on a fine art paper and color, paint and embellish as desired. If you use a thinner paper you can mount it to cardstock or any other substrate.

9. Think about how to present your card. Sent as a postcard? Enclosed inside an envelope? Inside a box? Enclosed in a fabric gift bag? Get creative with the packaging and the recipient will have a token of your affection to treasure.

Tips

Test pencils and paint on scraps of the actual inkjet paper used

Test pencils and paint on scraps of the actual inkjet paper used

-Keep the scrap edges of the inkjet paper that you cut off to test paint and pencil colors and performance.

-When painting or coloring, keep the back side of the print clean and dry if you want to write your message on the back, otherwise you can mount them to another substrate.

-Let glitter glue dry overnight before ‘packaging’ the card.

Supplies
I used fine art inkjet paper in an Epson Stylus Pro 3800 pigment printer. I had several sample packs from various manufacturers, and tried a few different types of paper. The thicker sheets worked successfully, especially when adding watercolor and gouache to the surface and water to blend the pencils.

I used products that I had in my studio found at most art supply stores to make my cards:

Paint
Windsor and Newton Designers Gouache; Yasutomo Pearlescent Watercolors set

Pencils
Faber Castell Polychromos (oil based) Pencils; Derwent Metallic Watersoluble Pencils; Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

Miscellaneous supplies
Inkjet printer; Inkjet paper; Paint brushes; Glitter glue; Gold or silver markers for edges; Lace, buttons, or other embellishments; Small fabric gift bags or envelopes; Regular and deckle edge scissors; Embroidery floss/needle for stitching

—Wendy Erickson

 

All card photographs ©Wendy Erickson, 2015