Victorian Love Tokens, also known as origami puzzle purses, hold a special place in the world of romantic gestures. These intricately folded paper purses unfold to reveal a secret message, and were originally exchanged by lovers during the 19th century as a symbol of affection and devotion. They also make charming invitations and notes to friends.
In this tutorial, I will guide you through the art of creating your own Victorian-inspired origami love token. Whether you're planning a unique invitation, sending notes to friends, or penning a love letter, these tokens add a touch of nostalgia and sentiment to any occasion.
I also have a few ready-made hand illustrated designs ready to download, edit and print! Click here to download my Watercolour Ribbons & Bows love note. Or carry on reading to see how to make your own...
- Square sheets of paper or origami paper in your preferred colours
- Coloured pencils or pens
- A flat surface to work on
1: Choose Your Design
Decide on the colour scheme for your love tokens. Victorian tokens often featured pastel shades and floral motifs, so consider these for an authentic touch.
Heart shapes, intertwined initials, or even a short love message are great ideas.
2: Template or no template?
If the idea of numbers and rulers leaves you feeling cold, I have a free ready-made A4 template that's all measured up and marked out for you over here. Feel free to skip the next step and jump straight to step 4 if you'd prefer to download the template and print that out instead.
3: Measure Your Square
We start by dividing our square into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The easiest way to do this is by measuring one length of your square with a ruler and then dividing that number by 3. Then use a ruler to mark out thirds along every edge. Now just use your ruler again to join up your markings and draw lines up and across your paper. Your paper should now be made up of nine equal boxes. These are your guidelines and can be rubbed out once you've folded your token.
4. Let's start folding!
4.1. Place your square face up with your guidelines visible. Fold paper into thirds vertically. Unfold.
4.2. Repeat folding paper into thirds horizontally. Unfold.
4.3. Fold diagonally in half to make a triangle. Unfold. Repeat for other corner
4.4. Turn over square so it's face down (guidelines not visible)
4.5. Fold top left-hand corner to bottom right-hand corner of central box. Fold along guideline. Unfold. Repeat for all corners. Unfold.
4.6. Turn face up for final steps (guidelines visible). All guidelines should have now been folded.
4.7. Holding top right corner with right hand and bottom left corner with left hand, gently push corners round clockwise to make a ‘pinwheel’.
TIP: This shape is called a ‘pinwheel’. Try pinching the corners into triangles and twisting to complete step 4.7.
4.8. Fold bottom arm up. Continue folding the arms, anti-clockwise, on top of another. The final arm should tuck in under the first arm.
5: Decorate your design!
Once you've formed your love token you can now draw on each section! Take a look at Pinterest for inspiration, or use one of my ready made designs if you get stuck for ideas. You can use pencils, pen, lace, ribbons, buttons, stickers, etc.
6. The finishing touches
Place your love purse token in an envelope or or simply tie it with a ribbon for a touch of Victorian charm. Happy crafting!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to create your own Victorian Love Tokens. Please share your experiences and photos of your finished tokens with me on social media (@hannaleetidd) , and don't hesitate to share this tutorial with others who might appreciate its!