Thursday, February 5, 2015

Shoebox Valentines

~ February ~

The month of hearts and flowers

and special valentines.

Sometime last year and again this past month,

 I happened upon some vintage valentines

that charmed my heart.

They brought back memories of the

valentine boxes of my youth.

Any box with a removable lid worked,

but ours were usually a shoebox or oatmeal container.

Mother helped us cut an opening 

slot in the lid and then cover

the box with shiny gift wrap paper.

She showed us how to make crepe paper ruffles 

to trim the sides and gave us delicate

paper doilies and ribbons to decorate the top.

Construction paper hearts accented with silver, gold, or red glitter

were the final adornments for our annual

February Valentine Box.

You remember ~ the pretty boxes that we took 

to school for that all important 

Valentine's Day Party.

Our boxes were filled to the brim with these simple 

flat valentines from our classmates.

Black rotary phones were the norm

in households of the 1950s,

but mechanical valentines were the special

ones found among the cards in the classroom valentine box.

Mechanical valentines, those with moveable parts,

were popular in the 1940s and 1950s.

Do you see the tiny metal brad 

at the top of the fence post?

It's the mechanism that allows the horse

to jump over the fence.

This very clever one reveals a message in

the window on the building on the dock.

Notice the play on words and 

watch the eyes as 

the message begins to appear.

"I'm going to "SEA" 


you'll be mine.

Honeycomb popups were also 

popular in my youthful years.

Tell me .   .   .

What are your favorite valentine memories

from your childhood days?

Do you remember fancy valentine boxes

and Valentine's Day parties?

This is a post from the archives that
 I brought back just for the new linky party

Thoughts of Home on Thursday

Click the link and join me for the fun.  
The hostesses are offering a great give away.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and remember some of these cards and also making Valentine cards out of dollies and red and pink construction paper that we cut into hearts. Such sweet memories!

  2. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and remember some of these cards and also making Valentine cards out of dollies and red and pink construction paper that we cut into hearts. Such sweet memories!

  3. Beautiful vintage Valentine cards, Sarah. We made much simpler ones at home but they eere always sent with love.

  4. They are all really neat! I've never seen the honeycomb ones before:@)

  5. Perfectly precious.

    Happy weekend,

  6. I remember these wonderful Valentines growing up in the 60's and the darling boxes we made to collect our cards from classmates.
    Such a sweet time and happy memory. Your collection is wonderful. Love the movable card. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy February.

  7. Sarah, you have reminded me of so many happy days in my youth! We were so proud of those homemade "postal boxes" - lol! I love your sweet collection, especially, the one with the rotary phone - now, that is a relic, indeed! Thank you for sharing these charming cards. I will be smiling all day, just thinking about them. Happy Valentine's Day!!

  8. Adorable collection of vintage Valentines Sarah! You know I'm partial to your sweet boating ones. ♥

  9. These are so neat, Sarah. I was born in the 50's so I remember these. Thanks for sharing!...Christine

  10. The older cards are so much better than what's out there today.

  11. Oh yes Sarah, like you Valentine's Day was very special growing up. Decorating shoeboxes and paper bags are the two most used ways to prepare for those very special parties at school. I collect the old fashioned cards and bought and gave the hard to find reproductions to Connor for his school party. One of my favorite ways to decorate now is pulling out these old cards. Your tray adds such as elegant look to your table (beautiful photograph with the sunlight) and adds a lovely touch for February. Thank you for this post, it sure brings back sweet memories.
    Have a wonderful weekend dear friend............

  12. Oh, wow...this reminds me of "the good ol' days" when we would take valentines to school to pass out to class members! I think some schools have banned that now. Another sign of these "politically correct" times. Ugh! Little kids handing out valentines is just one of the cutest things ever, I think. As an adult, I would love to hand deliver beautiful vintage valentines like these to loved ones along with a big hug to celebrate Valentine's Day! I particularly like the one with the vintage phone!!!

  13. What a collection you have..anything that sets e back to my childhod..I love..Wasn't Valentines Day special..Particularly in the wee grades when we brought our Valentines to school:)
    You have a treasure trove there.Love the brads for articulation etc..I think I had some paper dolls like that..
    The honeycomb♥

  14. So much fun Sarah! I had totally forgotten about the "mailboxes" we used to make for school Valentine parties! Always so exciting! I'm going to help my grands make Valentines this weekend :)

  15. Sarah,
    Your collection is precious and since I used to own a greeting card company I find old Valentines very special indeed. Thanks for sharing your wonderful collection.

  16. Oh, Sarah, you described my box to a "t"..except i made flowers out of tissues, accordion pleated, tied in the middle with yarn, and then fluffed out!! You have a great collection of vintage valentine cards!

  17. That took me back! Like you, I made a box every year, and I remember how I'd keep that pretty, decorated box for a long time afterwards - first for the valentine's cards, which I'd take out time after time, and then later for some treasures found on summer holiday. The mechanical cards were so special - saved for very special friends. Do you remember the care you took in sending the right valentine to the right person - heaven forbid that one with flowery wording might go to a BOY!

  18. Oh, yess...we had the BEST time decorating our shoe boxes...we always had wonderful parties with homemade treats from "the room mothers" much fun and such good memories.

  19. So sweet!

    I love your classic Valentines. Even as a child I hated the cartoon character Valentines.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  20. What a fabulous collection you've assembled, Sarah! They are all in such wonderful condition. Very sweet and brings back memories of elementary school for me. Happy February! Cheers

  21. :-)

    Brings back happy memories. Thank you!

  22. How lovely and adorable your vintage Valentine's card collection is! Yes, I too think they bring back memories of a childhood back in the 50's.
    Thank you for sharing this prettiness.
    Have a lovely weekend dear friend.

  23. Sarah,

    This is a fabulous collection and all of the cards look to be in wonderful shape. I like all of them but of course, the moveable ones and the little pop-ups are so darn cute!

    I don't remember decorating boxes so much as making large envelopes out of construction paper, which we decorated with our crayons. Yours sound much nicer! :)

    Thank you for your visit. I scrolled down as I've missed a few posts. I'm going to visit Patience. Her work is beautiful,

    Jane xxx

  24. I truly enjoyed these vintage Valentines. Brought back a lot of memories. In younger school days. the girls could not wait to see who got the most from a boy. I still have some of mine.

  25. Sarah, you found some fantastic cards. I love each and every card you featured on this post. There is no way I could pick a favorite, but the fence-jumping horse comes very close. They are all so charming. And that first shot of your buffet, with light streaming in, is gorgeous. Thank you so much for coming to my Valentine party with a perfect post.

  26. Dearest Sarah,
    Lovely post and yes, I used to sell in the 80s those lovely Victorian Valentine greeting cards on a ribbon from Old Print Factory in New Baltimore, MI. They still are selling wholesale and they had lovely items. Here at home I have one that I sent to my Mom in 1994... Fond memories.
    Finally I am caught up on some sleep, since Mom's passing on January the 27th. With the time difference between The Netherlands and USA it has been very difficult for me but I lived through it and even managed to have a lovely birthday yesterday.
    Sending you hugs,

  27. So very pretty...the vintage artwork was so artful. I really love your first photo of the's lovely!

  28. Don['t you just love those old cards? I remember the boxes we made, too. I actually remember giving out that card that is the sailor boy with the SEA phrase. Wow- am I getting old, or what? lol I loved this post. xo Diana

  29. oh Sarah i remember those valentine party 'mailboxes' that we decorated, usually brown bags in our grade school classes, but i loved it all. And seeing these vintage Valentines brought so many sweet memories. What a wonderful post, thank you for sharing your collection of Valentines i loved seeing them.

  30. I'm smiling remembering those boxes and those days. Sweet memories indeed. Featuring your post on my Tuesday post.Happy Pink Saturday!

  31. YES, we did Valentine boxes in elementary school. I so enjoyed your retro images. When I find vintage cards, I cherish them.

    Popped by from Pink Saturday.

  32. Sarah I first have to tell you that first shot of your buffet is beautiful...LOVE that gorgeous fruit painting!! Loved this post...brought back great memories of when I was in grade school! Have a wonderful week!

  33. I remember shoe boxes decorated with doilies and hearts that were embellished with red ribbons on the boxes my mother made for us. I remember the hearts and cupids that decorated the seasonal boards at school too. Those are very fond memories of my childhood. Your Valentine's are all so sweet but if I were to have to pick favorites it would be the honeycomb cards. Don't you just love the little rosy cheeks on the children in the cards from the fifties and sixties?

  34. I certainly do remember shoebox valentine boxes and the fun parties! Your sweet, vintage cards are just adorable, Sarah, and so nostalgic. Ahhhh, the good old days!

  35. Oh, I wish my mom had saved some of my cards! wouldn't the actual cards with the friend's names and handwriting be so precious? I will have to tell my kids to make a scrapbook page like that because by the time they are our age, they will be vintage too!

  36. One of my favorite memories was decorating the traditional shoebox at school. Imagine my shock (and horror!) that you can buy a ready-made Valentine shoebox at Target! Is nothing sacred anymore? Ha! Thanks for sharing all the great Valentines!

  37. Wow, we never decorated any boxes for valentines. I think I carried my Valentines to school and back in a lunch bag! I do remember giving and getting alot of cards though:)

  38. What a lovely post! So many lovely pictures...well, we don´t celebrate Valentine so much here in Sweden. We buy red roses and candy to the one we love...
    Have a happy week and take care,

  39. Beautiful collection, Sarah. Your post and images brought back so many memories. My father owned an old fashioned dime store, and I remember helping him set out the Valentine cards and candy in the old-timey wooden bins. :-)

  40. Wonderful collection of vintage cards...brings back sweet memories of grade school Valentine parties. We girls decorated shoe boxes with wrapping paper or if we could find wallpaper with cabbage roses, that was even better, doilies, ribbons and old lace. If I recall, most of the boys used undecorated cigar boxes painted solid could see the graphics through the paint!
    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your sweetie.

  41. I love the cards, Sarah! I love the memories of being a child. Happy V Day!

  42. Hi Sarah! Oh, what a sweet post and I love the olden Valentines. Yes, I grew up in the 50s and 60s and so remember making my Valentine shoebox to take to class! I loved decorating it 'just so'. Picking out the special card for each class mate and the special one for the little boy I had a crush on (but he didn't know!) :) Happy Valentine's Day.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shleia ;)

  43. I just love the old valentines. Especially the honeycomb , romantic ones. So pretty! Thanks for sharing all of these memories with us!


  44. Sarah, your vintage Valentine cards made me smile! They sure don't make them like that any more. xo

  45. Love your old Valentines Sarah! They are wonderful! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  46. oh such sweet was such an exciting day of the year, carrying your pretty "mailbox" to school and collecting all those valentines. Happy Valentine's Day Sarah xo

  47. Oh yes, I remember those childhood days of giving Valentine's Day cards to classmates...such fun!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  48. such sweet memories!!! happy valentin!!! hugs, angie from germany

  49. So cute! I don't remember mine because it was a long time ago but I remember my kids coming home from school and dumping them out on the kitchen table. So much fun.

  50. Oh my goodness those are all such cute cards! I forgot how we used to make up those boxes for Valentine's exchanges. I wish I had at least one of those that I created back then! Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

  51. I feel the sudden urge to collect vintage Valentines! Truly, they are darling.

    Thank you so much for linking this to Thoughts of Home on Thursday. I'm enjoying your post with my cup of coffee this morning.

  52. Oh my goodness! I think I received some of those very valentine's ! LOL My favorite thing about valentine's day was going home and reading each and every valentine and then picking out my favorites. Usually the pink princess-y ones.

  53. Those were the days!!!! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. My elementary teachers decorated large hat boxes for their class Valentine's . It was sort of a competition between them. I thought they were all over the moon! Remember fondly walking down the hall and peering in the classrooms to see the boxes at the front of the room on a pretty clothed table.


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