ashley campbellDIYdiy projects

DIY Project: ephemera collage valentine

by AshleyAnn


The mighty ampersand takes two things and celebrates how they come together. “You & Me,” “Bread & Butter,” “Sugar & Spice.” Not only does the ampersand combine things, it also stands alone as a beautiful symbol. This year I made my valentine a card that celebrates being together. It is completed with a missing heart on the front that holds our pictures on the inside. In magazines, old books, vintage cards and other ephemera, I’m always coming across gorgeous floral images. Some vintage papers and cards are stained and often only have small sections that are in good condition. I like to find ways to incorporate the beauty of older floral illustrations into more modern designs for artwork and other projects. After giving this card, it can be turned into framed wall art to enjoy instead of being tucked into a drawer! — Ashley Ann

Read the full how-to after the jump!


  • ephemera with a floral theme (books, cards, postcards, magazines)
  • 5″ x 7″ white card (or 8.5″ x 11″ white cardstock)
  • scissors
  • glue stick (acid free)
  • frame with a 5″ x 7″ opening
  • photobooth strip (I made mine using the Pocketbooth iPhone app.)
  • Easy-Tack Repositionable Spray



1. Cut out your floral images. Small sizes work best. Cut out one small heart that will hold your photobooth picture strip.

2. Create your card by trimming the 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock. Your card does not have to be exactly 5″ x 7″. If you are framing the card, you just need to be able to fit the card in the frame opening.

3. Trace an ampersand onto your card. I used the font Georgia and stretched it a bit. You can create a stencil by printing your “&” onto cardstock and cutting it out. Trace very lightly with a pencil.

4. Begin filling in the ampersand with your cutouts. Place the larger pieces first to get an idea of where you want the cutouts before gluing. Decide where you want the open heart shape to be inside the “&” and use small pieces to create an outline for that heart shape. You can see my red heart sitting inside the ampersand in the lower left of the picture below.

5. Using an acid-free glue stick, apply glue to the back of the cutouts and then press firmly to the card. Fill in all the open spaces. When you are finished gluing, gently erase any pencil marks you can still see.

6. Spray Easy-Tack to the back of your heart cutout, allowing it to be moved easily while still adhering to the paper. Place your photobooth strip with the heart inside your card. If you don’t have a photobooth strip on hand, you can create one using the Pocketbooth iPhone app, your printer and some paper (photo paper is best). I saved my photo strip to my computer and then printed it on cardstock. You can finish it off by adding a personal message inside.

After giving your card, you can remove the photobooth strip and frame the card with the pictures. The result is a handmade valentine that outlives the holiday. Enjoy!

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