Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Step Five: Love Letters

Morning Sweet Sylwi... or should I say, Afternoon?! I'm posting so late, it probably already is afternoon with you!

I've been sort of dreading today because I'm only just getting over being sick, so I was wondering how on earth I would find any inspiration or energy to create anything... apart from maybe a cup of tea! ;-)

So, I decided to keep it simple this week with a super sweet, useful and quick way to fold paper.

I think this style of folding originated back in Victorian times, as a sort of love letter called a 'puzzle purse' (although, I've also come across it called a 'thread container' in Japan) so who knows where it originated! :-) 

It was called a puzzle purse because the recipient would have to open the folded paper in a certain order. Written inside all of the folds and on the very inside would be a love letter or poem. Some were also beautifully decorated with drawings. The puzzle was then to close the purse in the correct order. 

You can see some photos of beautiful, original examples on Nancy Rosin's Victorian Treasury site. You can also find instructions on how to fold the purses there. Or, there are also some good instructions here.

Rather than write a poem in one (or paint one), I decided to use this method of folding as an envelope for a Valentine's ATC. I chose a piece of gorgeous, double-sided paper from Whimsy Press and cut a square large enough to fit my card in, once it was all folded up (about 11.25" x 11.25"). 

You'll see from the instructions that you have to fold the paper into thirds. Which was actually quite hard. I ended up measuring it with a ruler. You have to do that twice [sigh!] :-) but once that part's done, the rest takes about 10 minutes (you do a bit more folding and then close it up). 

Okay, it took about 20 minutes the first time I tried! I couldn't work out how on earth to close the darn thing - clearly, that's why it's called a 'puzzle' purse! ha! :-) 

Basically, you pinch the paper together on opposite sides like this...

... and then twist your wrists in opposite directions at the same time as you move one hand slightly away from you and one hand slightly towards you.

Sound kinda complicated? Well, it was! This was the bit that took me a while to figure out! ;-) 

After you've done it once though, it becomes so easy and fun. Then, you simply tuck the ends in under each other...

... and you end up with a sweet, little puzzle purse that can be used for all sorts of different things.

I've used this technique for envelopes and CD covers, just by varying the size of the square you begin with. There must be loads of other ways to use it!

Hope you're having a lovely Tuesday! What are you up to this week? I can't wait to see what you make! :-)

Lots and lots of love


  1. Hello ladies...i´m loving your blog....
    Fi i´m thinking of doing some origami..you two are inspiration...

  2. such beautiful things! but i have to honestly say, i think you need to fly over here and give me a hands on tutorial. oh, okay ... i guess i will have to fly over to you!


  3. Fi!!!

    I love your "puzzle purse". I think I saw it in some origami book I borrowed from library but it looked so complicated that I even didn't bother to start ;) However, I think that when you will be giving a tutorial during our unravelling meeting I will be able to follow ;)

    Seriously, after seeing Nancy Rosin's Victorian Treasury site I got completely crazy about this idea, it might become one of my 52!

    Thanks for the link to the super attractive double-side paper - wow!