locket valentines for gal pals

While I can make no promises about this turning into a tradition of any sort, because I cannot commit to any blog topic or project if I actually make the proclamation to do so, welcome to the 2nd Annual Valentines for My Ladies project here at Oh Meaghan. This year I'm sending out little love notes to all of my gal pals with vintage brass lockets on skinny red leather, with a little bit of musical love tucked inside. Lipstick red and a nice brassy gold - HOW GLAM. These are more affordable than you might think, and not intimidating when it comes to the crafting. These are techniques that novices could easily replicate, basically. More than anything, though, I think it's important to desaturate the commercialism of this Hallmark holiday with a sincere expression of handmade love...and who is more deserving of our undying love and hand-crafted affection than our gal pals who hold us up and love us fiercely 24/7/365? That's what I thought! 

Here's how I put them all together:

FIRST - assemble your playlist. Each locket contains the abbreviated YouTube link** to a song, cheesy or sincere (or both), about friendship. Create a basic Word document in your favorite font (I chose American Typewriter) and space out your song links evenly. To jazz my locket enclosures up, I stamped the sheet of paper with the heart stamp I used on the front of the cards BEFORE I printed the links out. Once you've printed the links, cut them into strips! Here a playlist with some of my favorite Lady Friend Jams.

** if your friends are all hip smartphone users, Em suggested using a QR code instead of a link. That's why I married this guy, folks. Brilliant! You would need to skip the stamped hearts, however, as it could complicate the scanability of your QR code.

SECOND - Put your lockets together! This requires cutting a yard (36") of skinny red leather cording, securing a jump ring on to the top of the locket (here's a tutorial on how to open/close jump rings), lacing the locket onto the leather, and closing a folded song link strip inside of each locket. I wound up the cording loosely, electing to not add any sort of closure/finding to them. People can choose to wear them as a bracelet or necklace (this leather ties really easily and securely), and the cord is long enough to slip right over your gal pal's head if she so chooses. Wear it once, wear it a million times. It's up to the recipient, of course!

THIRD - Pack them up! I used small glassine bags because I love the vellum-esque effect. Then I folded them over and applied a strip of lipstick red washi tape with little tiny hearts. Use pinking shears to cut your tape for a finished look.

FOURTH - Stamp your cards, use a nice fine tip pen (these are my favorites!) to write your message on the front of the card and your note inside the card. Adhere your locket package to the inside of the card using scrapbooking tape or plain ol' double-sided tape. I'd recommend including a some kind of reference to what you think your lady pals should do with the lockets/how to use them in your handwritten love note. Some people will instantly understand, others will call you, panicked, "OMG [insert your name here], WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!?!" Clear, simple instructions help everyone, is what I'm saying.

FIFTH - Address your envelopes - using a gold pen, of course - and seal them with a strip of the gold washi tape. If you're mailing your valetines, make sure the lockets travel through the mail safely by sending them out in bubble mailers, which probably cost a little over $1 per valentine. That said, these lockets have survived a few decades, so it's also entirely possible they'll be just fine sans bubble mailer, but I'd still throw on an extra stamp because they are thicker than the average card. I was raised by a woman who uses an entire roll of packing tape on every parcel she mails, no matter the size, so you can see why I'm naturally given to precaution.

SIXTH - Distribute your lovely Locket Valentines knowing that you shared some warm fuzzies with your best pals AND that you made them all by yourself. Nice work, kid!

NOTE: You will have lots of leftover supplies with this project, which is always handy and a good investment for your future crafty endeavors - a few cards and envelopes, jump rings, both washi tapes, glassine bags, a great heart stamp, and a stamp pad!

All of my DIY projects come with the expectation that you will only use the ideas I've presented for your own personal projects. This project should not be reproduced without crediting me as the creator, and the products generated from this project should not be sold in any online or brick-and-mortar shops without my express permission. Thanks, folks! 

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.