Valentine’s Day season starts now! Ha (you can never start too early). In fact, if you joined the Valentine Exchange, you started yesterday! You know we love the season of love. To be honest, it rarely has anything to do with anything loving, it’s more about making things and giving them to people. Because that’s how we move around here! We have dozens and dozens of crafts, printables, and anything you could want to make a super cute Valentine’s Day, but this year we decided we wanted to make a truly unforgettable Valentine’s Day – more than a college edition. So, we looked into amazing Victorian puzzle bags and decided to make our own version. And imagine what? You can even print it out and use it for yourself!
Prefect Victorian puzzle art
Victorian puzzle bags weren’t just fashion statements; They were meticulously crafted works of art with exquisite detail. These wallets were usually made of delicate materials such as silk, satin or velvet, and demonstrated the exceptional skills of the craftsmen of the time. Intricate embroidery, beads and lace adorn the surface, creating a visual feast for the eyes. Portfolios were often decorated with vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and sometimes featured miniature paintings, turning them into portable canvases.
The appeal of these wallets lies not only in their visual appeal but also in their functionality. They’re designed with a series of pleats and compartments, intricately interwoven to hide secret pockets and compartments. This clever construction has elevated it beyond mere accessory, turning it into a form of entertainment and intellectual challenge.
Symbolism woven into the threads
Victorian puzzle wallets were not created just for aesthetic pleasure; It was rich in symbolism and reflected the values and feelings of the era. Every element of the wallet, from the choice of colors to the embroidered embellishments, carries a meaning. For example, floral patterns often convey messages of love and affection, while symbols such as hearts, keys, and locks represent themes of secrecy and romantic entanglements.
The puzzles themselves weren’t just fun diversions. They often carried deeper meanings, challenging the recipient to decode hidden messages or solve complex puzzles. As such, these wallets became a symbol of emotion and communication, fostering a culture of communication through symbolism and intellectual engagement.
The allure of mystery
At the heart of the magic of Victorian Puzzle Purses was an element of mystery. Gifted between friends, lovers or family members, these wallets have become more than just accessories – they have become mysterious symbols of communication. The process of unfolding the wallet, discovering its hidden compartments, and deciphering complex puzzles added an extra layer of intimacy to the exchange.
The appeal of mystery extended beyond personal relationships as well. Victorian puzzle bags often became conversation starters at social gatherings, sparking curiosity and admiration. The intricacies of their design and the hidden messages they carry provide entertainment in an era when recreational activities were highly valued.
How to Make a Victorian Puzzle Purse
Assemble the puzzle wallet (video below!)
Cut an 8 x 8 inch square
Fold all four sides to create the center square
Fold diagonally at each corner and then flip over.
Fold each corner to meet the corner of the center square and crease the right side only (so each facing pair reflects how you folded them). This will help create the pinwheel.
Write a note in the middle!
Fold each side inward, twisting slightly to create a pinwheel.
Fold all the pinwheel pieces in line with all the diagonal folds and then tuck the final piece underneath to secure the puzzle wallet.
In the fabric of Victorian society, where refinement and creativity flourished, the Victorian Puzzle Wallet emerged as a unique and captivating artefact. Its fusion of art, symbolism and mystery has transformed it from a simple accessory into a cherished item that transcends the boundaries of fashion. Today, these wallets serve as a tangible reminder of an era that valued intellectual engagement and aesthetic beauty—an era where even seemingly ordinary accessories could be a vessel for creativity and connection.