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Punch Box Valentines from Leafcutter Designs

by Amy Azzarito

I’m a sucker for anything with a little history. So these punch box valentines inspired by the 1940s party games are right up my alley. When artist Lea Redmond of the World’s Smallest Post Office spotted the game Parlor Coo Coo on eBay, she was inspired to create a modern handmade version. When it was time to play the game, you’d push out a little accordion-fold paper slip that would tell your fortune, ask a trivia question or give you a challenge. Where the ’40s version has instructions like “Tie your shoelaces together and strut like a peacock,” Lea’s valentine “Sweet Words” version has romantic little sayings like “You are so awesome that I would loan you my favorite wool sweater” and “You are my lucky penny.” You can also create your own custom version (wouldn’t this make the best proposal ever?). If you’d like to know more about these games (they have a bit of a seedy past), one of my favorite sources for collecting information, Collectors Weekly, put together a great piece on their history. And you can order a punch box valentine from Leafcutter Designs here. Thanks for the tip, Lisa! — Amy Azzarito

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