Victorian Valentine workshop

Pick any superhero, cartoon character or movie star and chances are they can be found on a pack of Valentine’s Day cards at the local store.

However this Saturday’s annual Victorian Valentine workshop at The Castle aims to let participants put a much more personalized spin on the tradition of giving cards to loved ones.

“The Valentine card is really one of the biggest Victorian traditions that has come down through the years. It is really the only tradition that has stuck, just the way we go about it is different,” said Leah Magyary, education director for The Castle.

The Victorian Valentine event has always been a big crowd-pleaser at The Castle, and event organizers are hoping that this year’s event will be no different, they said.

“We get a lot of people that come every year. It’s kind of a tradition around the Valentine holiday for some families. Others see it and think it’s a novel idea,” said Scott Britton, executive director of The Castle.

The cards are a chance for attendees to make something that can not simply be bought in a store, said Britton.

“I think it is a little bit more special when it is something people made themselves,” he said.

One of the best things about the Valentine cards typical of the Victorian era is the elaborate craftsmanship that goes into them, said Magyary.

“The Victorians really used all kinds of materials. They really liked to layer things,” she explained.

Therefore it is common for their Valentine cards to include silk, ribbons, perforated paper, satin, velvet, lace and any number of available materials, said Magyary.

Senders were also original about the things they wrote inside the cards. For instance, many Valentine cards featured acrostics, where each letter of a person’s name was used to form a message, saying what was loved about him or her, said Britton.

In addition to participants each making a card to take home, the event will also feature a brief history of Valentine’s Day and The Castle will show off actual 19th century Valentines from their collection, said Britton.

Adults are also encouraged to participate, and for them the program offers some more challenging Valentine card styles to attempt, said Magyary.

The cost for the event, which takes place Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., is $10 per person. For adults who do not wish to make a card, there is a $5 helper fee.

Spaces are still open and participants are asked to pre-register by calling The Castle at 373-4180.