Secret Valentine's Card. - The Magic Onions

Secret Valentine’s Card.

It is a tradition in South Africa to never sign your Valentine’s Day card with your name… it is so much fun. All cards come from secret admirers and you are never quite sure who the card was from. You can guess (and, sometimes, hope) but the sender never reveals his true identity. I received a few Valentine’s cards in my younger years and I must tell you, the intrigue was wonderful!
So, when K wanted to make Valentine’s Day cards for her friends, I suggested she make ‘Secret Admirer’ cards… the ‘secret’ part had her hooked and she eagerly agreed to my idea.
As it was raining outside, I set up her art table looking out at the rain. She needed white card paper, a white candle, water color paints and a paintbrush.

Secret Valentine's Day CardShe began by folding the paper in half to make a card.
Then, on the outside of each card, she used the white candle to draw designs on the white paper. She needed to press rather hard with the candle as the thicker the wax on the paper, the better the result.

Drawing with a candle was a wonderfully imaginative experience for her as she had to picture her drawing in her mind. She couldn’t see it on the paper and she found this quite amazing… as if she was creating an invisible letter!
At last it was time for painting.
She couldn’t quite believe that her drawings would magically appear when she painted over them.
‘Look, MOM!!’ she exclaimed with excitement as each stroke revealed her secret design!She painted until she was spent.
When her cards had dried, she once again used the candle to draw on the inside of the card. She discovered that if she held her card just so in the sun, the wax shined her writing back to her.
This page will be left, unpainted, for the recipient of her Valentine to paint themselves… K’s design will magically appear before their eyes… ooh, how amazed they’ll be!
Blessing and magic.
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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. I’ve been eager to do some relief painting with water color paints, too. Super fun!

  2. My kids love to do relief paintings. I’d never thought to make secret admirer cards with them. What an adorable idea!

  3. we’ve done this before with crayons, but the candle adds a certain air of importance or something…and for valentines – what a great idea!!

  4. What a fun idea…to leave the inside for the receiver to paint!

  5. This is cool, I used to use dye instead of paint,it worked real well, but the child needs an apron as the dye stains Cheers Marie

  6. It’s so fun to use waxy crayons and watercolor. I did some paintings this way some years ago. They are some of my happiest and most exuberant! Beth

  7. Hello Donni

    A lovely idea for Valentines day. We too have started all our crafting for the special day. I would love to make these with the children..

    A happy day to you and your little ones.
    Warm regards

  8. What a great idea! My LO is a bit young to appreciate this yet, but I will certainly give it a go.
    As long as i can remember, my mother always received a card signed “Your secrit admyrer” :)

  9. Ooh, I love this kind of painting. There’s something really satisfying about the wax resisting the paint wash, I think.
    The secret message element is lovely :o)

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