I began with paper mache hearts (I found these a few years back at Michael's in a discount bin but I have seen them since.)
I gathered up a collection of romantic ephemera and vintage bits and pieces. Sometimes just seeing everything laid out inspires me in a direction for my project.
Begin by painting a base coat to fully cover paper mache. I used two coats of Folk Art Acrylic Paint. The base is warm white. While the paint is still tacky, I added in a few shades of pink and blended directly on the heart in random strokes.
Now the real fun begins! I like to layer my backgrounds, so after painting, I selected some Kaisercraft rub-ons that looked like old lace and doilies. I randomly rubbed them onto the hearts. Once many layers are applied, these rub-ons will be barely visible, however they definitely add dimension and character to the finished product.
Once I was satisfied with the placement of the rub-ons, I started to add another layer of color. I used S.E.I Tumble Dyes and let them drip down the hearts. These are fabric dyes, but the nice thing about this product is that they are waterproof. Once sprayed, I do not have to worry about them smearing as I work. I didn't want the hearts to look like they were dripping blood, so I quickly misted them with water to blend the dye and give a softer appearance.
I loved the effect I was getting and felt I had a nice surface to start the decoupage process. Using Mod Podge, I began to add all sorts of elements to my hearts. I started with Tim Holtz Idea-ology Tissue Wrap. I ripped pieces of the tissue and applied the Mod Podge to the surface of the heart and then again on top of the tissue once it was in place. I also used ephemera roses and pieces of doilies. I had some left over art tissue that I dyed from another project and punched out pieces of it to apply. I also punched butterflies and hearts from old and yellowed music sheets.
I continued to add layers of ephemera and color until I was satisfied with the results.
I wanted to age the hearts a little and give them a 'worn' look, so using my fingers, I began to rub on streaks of antique white paint in random spots. This really gave the project a 'shabby chic' look.
Next, I added just a touch of Glitter Mod Podge in various spots. I didn't want the entire heart to be glittery, but I wanted to add a tiny bit of sparkle so the light would catch it.
I love the effect!
To finish off, I tied a bow out of gold tulle onto the hanger of the hearts. There you have it . . . vintage shabby valentines you can use year after year! Hope you like them!