A sailors valentine is a traditional form of shell craft, and they’re not just for mid-February!
They were most popular back in the 1800s, when they made a pretty darn good souvenir for sailors to bring back to their loved ones from those exotic islands that they voyaged to. Today, they’re mostly the provenance of nautical-themed museums and certain fine artisans…and me!
Sailors valentines can be profoundly intricate, with elaborate composition and loads of detail. They can also be quite simple, letting the natural forms of the sea shells take the focus. Either way, a sailors valentine is quite an easy project to DIY–you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create a pleasing pattern using shells, and by using your own collection of shells gathered during your most recent beach vacation, you’ll be creating your own completely natural souvenir.