Make Your Own Victorian Gifts
or Souvenirs

Victorian gifts - so dainty but yet so practical.

Victorian ladies were very fond of making small gifts or souvenirs to give to those they loved or admired. Here are a few you might want to try and make yourself. These were published c. 1868. I have left the instructions as they were published, editing to make it more easily read. That being said, it will be up to you to substitute items for those that are no longer available.

Victorian Gift #1

Victorian gift – souvenir_needlebook
Click on picture to see more detail.

A Painted Needle-book. — To make a very pretty needle book, cut a number of cards the shape of the illustration, Fig. 1, and about two and a half or three inches long.

Decorate four of them with water-colours, like the illustration. To every decorated piece bind a plain one, by means of a strip of plain gold paper, gummed. Drill a hole at the handle, and sew the pieces together with a large bead, so as to form a fan; and from the large bead hang a tassel of small ones.

In the hollow at the top of each piece slip the paper of needles, open at the top. Messrs.Morris and Yeomans of Astwood Bank, Redditch, have prepared a case for the public like this; but it is such a pretty article for home construction, it may very well find a place amongst the fancy works of the Household Guide. We furnish one appropriate design, but if flowers are preferred, let the border up to the flowers be entirely a deep turquoise blue, or, if preferred, pink; but the two colours must not be mixed in one fan.

Colour the roses with pink, made of carmine and water, and shade them with deeper carmine. They may all be a full deep pink.

The blue flowers should be drawn with Prussian blue and water, pale, and shaded with it deeper in colour.

A few white flowers may be drawn, shaded with Indian ink very slightly, and with yellow hearts, shaded; and a few yellow flowers. The yellow is yellow ochre, or gamboges (Gamboge is a partially transparent dark mustard yellow, brownish or orange pigment) shaded with burnt sienna.

There are also a few mauve flowers, made by mixing in the palette carmine and Prussian blue and water.

The green leaves are all first coloured with pale gamboge. When dry, sap-green, or sap-green and Prussian blue, is used to shade them, or Hooker's green, No. 1 and No. 2.

Scroll-work should be yellow, like the flowers, shaded with burnt sienna.

A bird may have a carmine breast; a mauve head, shaded with purple; a purple tail; the near wing yellow, shaded to burnt sienna at the top, with a strong, hard band of green at the top from the body to the tip; the off wing pale yellow-green, with a strong band of blue down the edges of the tips.

A butterfly should be carmine, with a band of madder brown at the edges; the eyes yellow, with blue centres; the body madder brown.

Trellis work may be burnt sienna, shaded with madder. The blue, used as a border, can be made by mixing Prussian blue and permanent white, and giving it more vividness by a slight mixture of cobalt or ultramarine (not French).

If pink is used instead of blue, mix carmine and white to the right shade, and brighten it by adding a very little vermilion.


For Victorian gift #2, see Music Wrappers

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