Medieval Heart Card




Introduction: Medieval Heart Card

About: Please contact me if you'd like to commission a piece! I enjoy making a wide range of things--whatever strikes my fancy. My most successful creations end up being in the paper crafting realms.

Recall the romance of medieval times with this striking romantic card, suitable for Valentine's day or every day! Using common materials, it appears as though you have forged a heart out of solid metal, with your beloved's name in bold relief on the cover, representing the secure place that s/he holds in your heart. Inside, you can inscribe all the heartfelt sentiments you are inclined to say to your cherished one.

The finished card is approximately 8 by 6 inches, or 20 by 15 centimeters. You can complete this card in under two hours.

I would love to get feedback on any portion of this Instructable. If you make your own card, please share a photo!

Step 1: Materials and Preparation

Materials you will need:
  1. 5 sheets of white or light grey cardstock
  2. two pieces of foil approximately 1 foot, or 30 centimeters, square
  3. chipboard letters for your desired inscription
    • my letters were approximately 1 inch, or 2.5 centimeters, square
    • if you are dealing with a longer or shorter name, you may need to adjust which size letters you use
    • if you have a very long name, consider doing his/her initials, or the initials of the two lovebirds
    • if you cannot access obtain letters, you could print out large letters on cardstock and layer several pieces together
  4. black acrylic paint
  5. white school glue or equivalent
  6. glue stick
  7. paper towels or rags (not pictured)
Tools you will need:
  1. scissors or other cutting implement
  2. hole punch
  3. ruler (optional)
  4. q-tip (optional, not pictured)
  5. spoon (optional, not pictured)
  1. Print out one of the attached PDFs onto three pieces of your cardstock, choosing either the printed inscription or the blank card
  2. Your work station may get glue or paint onto it, so you may want to lay down some protection
  3. You will want to thoroughly wash your hands at a few points

Step 2: Cut Out and Layer Cardstock

Our end goal in this step is to have three cut out shapes from the PDF, with the front (totally blank) heart layered with a second piece of cardstock, as well as the back (heart with the rectangular tabs). The heart with the fancy hinges does not need to be layered. You can either glue the cardstock layers together, and then cut out your shapes, or cut them out twice and then glue. Personally I chose to glue first, then cut.

Use your glue stick here, as the school glue will cause warping.

Set your scrap cardstock aside for later use.

Step 3: Secure Chipboard Letters

Use your school glue to attach your chipboard letters to the blank, layered heart. Try to roughly center it. As I said in the introduction, if you are dealing with a very long name, you might want to consider using his/her initials, or doing the initials of both of your names. 

Try to leave a bit of space in between each letter, so you're not creating a very tiny gap for the foil to get into. None of this needs to be exact; any variation can count as the charm of medieval roughness.

Step 4: Create and Place Rivets

Use your hole punch to punch several (approximately 72) holes out of your cardstock. You will need to glue approximately 6 layers of cardstock circles together to make a mini stack. I used 12 of these stacks. If a few of them end up with a layer or two less or more, chalk that up to the aforementioned medieval charm.

Glue your stacks around the edges of the heart in a roughly even spacing (around 1.5 inches, 3.8 centimeters). Leave approximately 3/8 of an inch, or 1 centimeter, gap between the edge of your card and the edge of your rivets.

Step 5: Glue the Foil to the Front of the Card

Dribble school glue all over the front of the card. You don't want to have an excessive amount, but you do want to be generous. The glue will act as a lubricant for the application of the foil. You can always start with a little glue and add more. Use your fingers to evenly spread the glue over the face of the front of the card. Add more glue to parts if it doesn't seem generous enough. Make sure you get on top of your letters and your rivets, and close around the nooks and crannies of those. Wash the glue off your hands.

Place one of your sheets of foil on top of the card, roughly centered. Work slowly and carefully for the next steps. Press down on the letters and outline them with your fingers by poking the foil down. You will be shifting the foil in to the center, trying to get as much slack as possible into and around the letters. This will create wrinkles, which is a good thing. Try as much as possible to outline all of the letters first. If you want, at this point you can use a Q-tip/cotton swab to poke the foil down into some of the spaces around and between the letters. Despite your efforts you may break the foil here and there. This is okay, as long as it isn't a huge area.

After you have the letters outlined to your satisfaction, work your way out from the center to press the foil down against the cardstock. You can pull the foil in a bit at random spots to create more wrinkles. You will reach the rivets and again have to pull the foil in a bit to go around each side of the rivet. You can use your Q-tip/cotton swab here, as well.

When everything is basically outlined nicely, use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press down all the wrinkles and flatten them as much as possible. We want them to still be there, but be flat. Your spoon edge can also help clean up edges around the letters and rivets.

Flatten and shape until you like what you see.

Step 6: Flip Front Over, Trim and Wrap Foil

Flip the foil-covered cardstock over. Use your scissors to trim around the edge of the card, about an inch/2.5 centimeters away from the edge. 

Apply school glue around the edges of the cardstock.

Start to fold the foil over onto the cardstock, pulling in tight against the edge, and flattening as you go. When you are near the top of the heart, where the two bumps meet, tear off a small piece of foil from your scraps and place it under where the two strips will go. Continue to fold and flatten.

Step 7: Apply Acrylic Paint to the Front

Flip your foil-covered heart over so that you are working with the main foil part. Dribble your black acrylic paint over the surface of the heart.

Use your fingers to spread the paint all over the surface, making sure to get into the nooks and crannies, and around the edges of the 3D elements. You may get paint on your workstation around this step.

Use your rag or paper towels to start wiping most of the paint off of the surface. You will be doing this in a haphazard fashion, trying to leave an artistic amount of paint in the wrinkles and around the nooks and crannies. We are trying to simulate the aging of a metal piece. I suggest making the highest parts of the 3D elements the cleanest, since they'd be the easiest to polish if this were real metal.

Sometimes you may need to add more paint in a spot, and then wipe it off again.

If you have any rips or tears in the foil, make sure the acrylic paint fully covers these points. They should be indistinguishable from points where the paint was just not wiped clear.

If your paint starts to dry too much, you can moisten your rag or paper towel to assist in the removal of the paint.

Continue this process until you are happy with the effect.

Flip the card over and do the same thing to the edges of the foil here. This will not be a focus of the card, so just do a quick job of it.

Wash your hands thoroughly before going on to the next step.

Step 8: Cover Back of Card With Foil, and Apply Age Effect

Make sure your hands are clean before doing the next parts. You will be touching the white or grey cardstock on the part which will be viewed, so you don't want to get paint on there. If you accidentally get paint on it, make it part of the grungy decoration.

Take the back of the card, which is the double-layered cardstock heart with the rectangular tabs. Apply glue evenly over the back of this, and press your second piece of foil onto the cardstock. Thoroughly flatten any wrinkles.

Trim the foil evenly around the edge of the cardstock, so that none will be seen from the front of this piece.

Apply the acrylic paint and wipe off, just as you did in the previous step. This part will not be the focus of the card, so it can be rough and quick.

Step 9: Glue the Back and Inner Front Pieces Together, and Fold

Flip over your foil-covered back piece (with the rectangular tabs). Also flip over your inner front piece (the single layer with the fancy hinges). Apply glue to both the back of the hinges and the front of the rectangular tabs.

Again flip over the inner front piece (with the fancy hinges), and position it on the surface of the back piece, so that the tops of both hearts are just touching. Firmly pat this down to secure the connection. The fancy hinges should obscure any glimpse of the rectangular tabs if you are looking at it from the inscription side. Please look at the picture for clarification on placement. 

Fold the two hearts together so that when they meet they stack one on top of the other fairly evenly. You will want the hinges and the inscription to be on the inside of the fold. So on one side of the folded piece you will have the aged back of the card, and the other side of the folded piece will have a blank heart with foiled tabs folded onto it.

Step 10: Glue the Inner Front Onto the Outer Front, and You're Done!

Apply school glue to the outer front of the card (the piece with the foil folded over onto the back). Alternatively you can apply it to the inner front. Center the inner front onto the back of the outer front, and press firmly.

You can now close your card, and it is complete! If there is any waviness or bending, consider letting the card sit overnight under a heavy pile of books, while it dries thoroughly.

I would love to get feedback on any portion of this Instructable. If you make your own card, please share a photo!

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Stunning!! I have put this on my list of goodie to make!! Thanks for the tutorial. xxx

    i cant print the pdf files, i hit print and they keep coming out blank, do you have any suggestions?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I'm excited to share it with everyone. I usually make Instructibles out of last year's Valentine's, so I've been itching to share this for a year!