Valentine’s season begins now! Ha (you can never start too early). In fact, if you joined out Valentine Exchange, it started yesterday! You know we love the season of love. If I’m being honest, it rarely has anything to do with anything lovey dovey and more to do with making things and giving them to people. Because that’s the way we roll around here! We have dozens and dozen of crafts and printables and anything you could want to make a very cute Valentine, but this year we decided that we wanted to make one really memorable Valentine–more of a collector’s edition. So, we looked into the stunning Victorian Puzzle Purses and decided to make our own version. And guess what? You can even print it off and use it for yourself!
The Artistry of Victorian Puzzle Purses
Victorian Puzzle Purses were not mere fashion statements; they were works of art meticulously crafted with exquisite detail. Typically made from delicate materials such as silk, satin, or velvet, these purses showcased the exceptional skills of artisans of the time. Intricate embroidery, beading, and lacework adorned the surface, creating a visual feast for the eyes. The purses were often adorned with vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and sometimes even featured miniature paintings, transforming them into portable canvases.
The allure of these purses lay not only in their visual appeal but also in their functionality. They were designed with a series of folds and compartments, intricately interwoven to conceal secret pockets and compartments. This clever construction elevated them beyond mere accessories, turning them into a form of entertainment and intellectual challenge.
Symbolism Woven into Threads
Victorian Puzzle Purses were not created solely for aesthetic pleasure; they were rich in symbolism, reflecting the values and sentiments of the era. Each element of the purse, from the choice of colors to the embroidered motifs, held meaning. For instance, floral patterns often conveyed messages of love and affection, while symbols like hearts, keys, and locks represented themes of secrecy and romantic entanglements.
The puzzles themselves were not just playful diversions. They often carried deeper meanings, challenging the recipient to decode hidden messages or solve intricate riddles. As such, these purses became tokens of sentiment and connection, fostering a culture of communication through symbolism and intellectual engagement.
The Allure of Mystery
At the heart of Victorian Puzzle Purses’ charm was the element of mystery. Gifted between friends, lovers, or family members, these purses became more than mere accessories—they became enigmatic tokens of connection. The act of unraveling the purse, discovering its hidden compartments, and deciphering its intricate puzzles added an extra layer of intimacy to the exchange.
The allure of mystery extended beyond the personal connections as well. Victorian Puzzle Purses often became conversation starters at social gatherings, sparking curiosity and admiration. The intricacies of their design and the hidden messages they carried provided entertainment in an era where leisure activities were highly valued.
How to make a Victorian Puzzle Purse
Assembling the puzzle purse (video below!)
- Cut out the 8×8″ square
- Fold all four sides in to create the center square
- Fold diagonally into each corner then flip over.
- Fold each corner to meet the corner of the center square and crease only right side (so each opposite pair mirror how they folded). This will help create the pinwheel.
Write a note in the middle!
- Fold each side inwatds while slightly twisting to create the pinwheel.
Fold all for pieces of the pinwheel in line with all the diagonal folds and tuck the final piece under to secure the puzzle purse.
In the tapestry of Victorian society, where refinement and ingenuity flourished, the Victorian Puzzle Purse emerged as a unique and captivating artifact. Its fusion of artistry, symbolism, and mystery transformed it from a simple accessory into a cherished item that transcended the boundaries of fashion. Today, these purses serve as tangible reminders of an era that valued both intellectual engagement and aesthetic beauty—an era where even a seemingly ordinary accessory could be a vessel for creativity and connection.