Valentine Treats for the Lady of your Dollhouse

By Michele Carter
PepperWood Miniaturist

Being an incurable romantic, when I think about Valentine's Day, I see images of long-stemmed red roses, chocolates, jewelry, candle light and romance.  I expect that the lady who resides in your dollhouse would fantasize about getting similar treats from her lover on this special day.  Maybe her suitor will ask for her hand in marriage?  Or maybe he is in the doghouse, and to get back in her good graces, he has splurged on every possible Valentine's Day present he could think of.  Whatever the scenario you picture for your lady, these Valentine accessories will be perfect to set just the right mood.

The long-stemmed red roses are fairly difficult - especially if you opt for adding the REAL thorns, but all of the other items pictured are "easy-peasy" as a miniaturist friend of mine would say.

I have broken the materials list up by item, so that if you want to do one project but not another, you can see at a glance what is needed for each item.

6 Roses in Florist Box

Materials Needed
White tacky glue
Red crepe paper
Red seed beads
Decorative whisk broom
Real rose thorns
1 sheet plain white paper
1 sheet rose leaves
1/4" hole punch
1/4" star punch
3/16" teardrop-shaped leaf punch (optional)
Green thread
Small piece of thin acetate
Heavy paper  in white, pink, or silver
Pattern for box (supplied)
Exacto knife
Straight edge razor blade
Sharp tweezers
Mouse pad or several layers of craft foam
Double-ended ball stylus
Hat pin
Silver, red, or pink curling ribbon
Styrofoam or floral foam

Step 1 - Prepare  Stems, petals, leaf structure and calyxes

The stems for the long-stemmed roses are made from bristles from a decorative whiskbroom, which should be available at most craft stores. Pick out 6 (6 roses are about all that will fit in the florist box) of the thinnest and straightest bristles for your rose stems.  Dip one end of a stem into the tacky glue, then place a seed bead onto the end of the stem.  Place the unglued end of the stem into floral foam to dry.  When dry, paint stems with avocado green craft paint return to the foam to dry.

Punch Petals
Cut out a sheet of red crepe paper and fold it over twice so that you have four layers.  Wrap a sheet of plain white paper around the crepe paper so that you have white paper on the top and bottom of the crepe paper.  If you try to punch the crepe paper without the white paper, your punch will jam and the crepe paper will shred and tear.

For each fully opened rose you will need 9 petals.  For each partially opened bloom you will need 6 petals.  And for buds, you will need three petals.  Decide what mixture of blooms you want to make and then punch out the appropriate number of petals.  Remember that each punch you make will give you 4 petals.  Don't try to punch more than 4 layers of crepe paper at a time or the punch will jam.

When you have finished punching, you will have stacks of 4 red petals with a white paper petal on the bottom of each stack.  Pick up the stack of un-separated petals with your tweezers.  Be sure to hold the petals so that the grain of the paper is vertical on the petal.  Carefully trim the round petals as shown in the diagram.  Separate the petals and discard the white paper petals.  Put your trimmed rose petals aside until ready to use

Paint both sides of a sheet of white paper with avocado green craft paint.  When dry, punch out six stars with your 1/4" punch.  Then take your hat pin and punch a hole in the center of each green star, using the mouse pad as a cushion. Set aside until ready to use.

Leaf structure
Take a piece of green thread and apply some tacky glue to it by putting a dab between your thumb and forefinger and drawing the thread through, coating all around the length of the thread.  Hang over a doorknob or coat hanger to dry.

Step 2 - Shape and cup petals

Core petals - 3 for each rose
Using the medium end of the ball stylus, shape and cup the bottom (narrow end) of the first three petals one at a time by gently pressing them into the mouse pad with the stylus. Roll the ball stylist back and forth to stretch and cup the petals.  Be careful not to press too hard as the petals will tear or become transparent if too much pressure is applied. Remember to keep the grain of the petals vertical as you cup and shape them. Middle petals - three for each rose except the buds Next shape and cup the bottom of the three middle petals, as above, then turn them over, and with the small end of the ball stylus, curl part of the top edge of the petal by pressing it into the mouse pad with the stylus. Do not curl the entire top edge of these three petals. Try to alternate where you curl the petal edges to add a more realistic and random look to them. Outer petals - three for each fully-opened rose Now form and cup the remaining three outer petals using the same technique with the medium ball stylus. Then turn the petals over, and again, with the small end of the stylus, curl the entire top edge of the petals.

Step 3- Apply the petals

Full rose bloom
With a toothpick, apply tacky glue to the seed bead. Place the cupped bottom of the first petal on the seed bead and wrap carefully, stretching it as far as it will go around the bead. The bottom of the petal will not reach all of the way around the bead. Fold the top part of the petal over itself, forming a point that looks like a chocolate kiss. You should not be able to see the seed bead when looking down from the top. It is crucial to get this center petal positioned correctly, or the rest of your rose won't look right. Apply the second petal directly opposite the first petal, so that the base of the seed bead is completely covered. Add the third petal opposite the second petal.  Next apply the three middle petals, overlapping as you go around the bead.  Finish off the bloom by applying the last three fully-curled outer petals, overlapping as you go.

Half-open bloom
Apply the first three petals as before. Then add three petals that have been cupped and partially curled on the petal edge. Make these petals peel back a bit  from the core of the bud - as if they are opening.

Apply the only first three "core" petals as before. 

Step 4 - Add the calyxes
Full Blooms
Take out your prepared calyxes. Slide a calyx onto the bottom of the stem. Place a small dab of glue on the bottom of the flower and the slide the star up to butt the bottom of the bloom. Once dry, curl back the five points of the star so they point  down - these are the sepals.

Half-open bloom
Add calyx as above, but glue a few of the sepals (see diagram) to the body of the bud, and pull back the rest of the sepals.

Closed Buds
Add calyx as above, except glue all but one sepal to the body of the bud. Make one sepal appear to be opening by bending the tip of the sepal away from the bud.

Step 5 - Add the leaves and thorns
For these long-stemmed roses, the leaf formations are very visible, and should look correct.  You have several options for making the leaves.  You can purchase some printed rose leaves (available at www.pepperwoodminiatures ) which you can either hand cut or punch out if you have a 3/16" teardrop-shaped leaf punch ( ).  Or you can purchase some laser cut rose leaves from Jeanetta Kendall (1-800-414-5050) which are already attached to leaf stems.  All you need to do with those is paint them with avocado green craft paint.  Or you can punch out some plain green leaves from the painted paper you used for the calyxes if you have a punch.  If you use individual leaves, you need to glue them to a leaf structure.  Cut half-inch lengths of the stiffened thread you prepared earlier and with tacky glue, attach one to three leaf structures to each rose stem.  When dry, glue rose leaves in the typical rose leaf pattern shown in the diagram.  Each leaf structure should have either three or five leaves.

Pluck a handful of real thorns from your own (or your neighbors?) rose bush.  Pick the smallest ones with the sharpest points.  With a straight razor, cut off the very tip of each thorn.  This is the hard part: with your tweezers, gently pick up each thorn and glue it to the rose stems.  Note: if you apply too much pressure with your tweezers, the thorns will fly off into space, never to be seen again.

Step 6 - Make the box

Using the pattern supplied with this article, trace the pattern on a piece of heavy pink, white, or silver paper.  Use an exacto knife and a straight edge metal ruler to cut out the box.  Score lightly along the fold lines with your exacto knife, then fold the flaps.  Glue the tabs together to form the top and bottom of the box. Cut a piece of thin clear acetate and glue it inside the lid to cover the window.  Decorate the box with silver, pink, or red curling ribbon.  Glue the ribbon around the lid and also the bottom so that when the lid is on the box it looks like it is still wrapped.  For the bows, cut a strip of the curling ribbon in half, then in half again.  Cut 6 or 7 two-inch lengths of the curling ribbon and curl them with your scissors.  Glue the curled ribbon lengths on top of each other, fanning them out in a circle until you get a nice full bow.

Heart-shaped Chocolate Box
2 Red foil hearts 1" wide  (Michael's card section)
3/4" wide X 1/8" deep wooden heart  (Michael's)
A 3/4" laser cut heart-shaped Doily (Jeanetta Kendall)
Red paint
White tacky glue

For this project you can use a 1" wide heart-shaped punch if you have one, and buy a piece of heavy red foiled paper.  Punch out two hearts.  I used ready-made foil hearts by "The Card Connection" that I bought in the card-making section of Michael's.  If you use the ready-made foil ones, remove the sticky pad from the back of each heart, and you will have to trim one side of the heart with scissors as they are not symmetrical (someone got creative?).  The heart-shaped doilies are available from Jeanetta Kendall at 1-800-414-5050.

Paint the 3/4" wooden heart with red paint.  Also paint the backs of the foil hearts with the same red paint.  Be sure to touch up the edges of the foil paper too.   When dry, glue the foil hearts to the wooden heart, top and bottom, with the foil side out.  Be sure to keep the overlap of the foil heart even all the way around the edge of the "box".  When dry, glue the heart-shaped doily to the top of the completed candy box.  Use only a small amount of tacky glue to adhere the doily.  You don't want glue to ooze up through all of the cutouts in the doily.

Black ring box
Black Paint
Black Flocking ( )
9/16" wide X 1/8" deep wooden heart (Michael's)
I tiny gold or silver metal "jump" ring (jewelry finding)
1/32" (or smaller) rhinestone "jewel"
Dremel tool with drill bit
9/16" heart-shaped silver button
Dremel tool with saw blade, or craft knife
2 part epoxy
Emery board or sandpaper

The hardest part of this project will be finding a heart-shaped silver button.  I got a whole bag of silvery buttons at Michael's a few months ago, and in the bag were dozens of heart-shaped silver buttons in all different sizes.  You must find buttons that have a loop projecting from the back of the button instead of one with holes in the top.  If you can't find a heart-shaped button, you can use a round one, and substitute a slice from a dowel or a round wooden part from Michael's which is the same size as your button.  Make sure the wooden piece is at least 1/8" deep.

Using your Dremel tool with a 1/32" drill bit, drill a small hole in the center of the wooden heart.  Drill down about 1/32 of an inch into the heart.  Then rock the drill bit back and forth horizontally to create the slot for the ring to fit into. Then paint all sides of the wooden heart with black craft paint.  While wet, drop it into a small ziplock bag containing some black flocking.  Shake the bag until the wooden heart is completely flocked.  Take out the heart and allow it to dry.  Be sure to tap the excess off of the heart once it is dry or it will shed flocking every place you put it later.

Using your Dremel tool with a small saw blade attachment, carve off the loop on the bottom of the button.  You can also use an exacto knife or a utility knife, as the buttons are probably plastic.  If your button is metal - use side-cutters to remove the loop. Sand any rough spots.  To make the box top "fit" over the ring when it is in the box, use a 1/8-inch drill bit to drill a shallow hole in the back of the silver button where the ring would hit the lid.  Be sure not to drill all the way though the button.

Mix together a tiny amount of 2-part epoxy.  Apply with a toothpick to the back of the rhinestone jewel and glue to the small jewelry finding ring. You will need tweezers to handle these tiny bits.  When dry, place the ring in the slot you made in the flocked box. You can leave it uncovered, or place the sil ver lid over the ring in the box to make it look closed.

Red Jewelry Box
    Red paint
    Red flocking
    White tacky glue
    3/4" wide X 1/4" deep wooden heart ( )
    3/4" wide sliver heart-shaped button
    Dremel tool with saw blade or craft knife

As in with the black ring box, if you cannot find a heart-shaped silver button, you can use a square or round piece of wood the same size as your button.

Paint the wooden piece with red paint, then flock it with red flocking as directed in the ring box instructions above.  Cut the loop off of the back of your button.  My jewelry box does not open, so I simply glued the button to the top of the flocked box when it was dry.

Cupid Candlestick and Candle   
1 Angel or cupid bead
1 earring post
1 jewelry finding for base
1 red candle (or paint a white one red)
Silver paint or silver marker pen
2 part epoxy
Tacky glue
Dremel tool with drill bit

I found my cupid bead at a local bead.  I would recommend looking in a specialty bead store if you want to find something similar.  Although Michael's and JoAnn's carry beads, their selection is limited.  You could also use an angel,or a heart-shaped bead.  You will also need an earring post that has a funnel end, and a decorative funnel-shaped jewelry finding with a hole in the center.

Mix up a small amount of 2-part epoxy. Slide the jewelry finding over the earring post and glue together with epoxy.  Then slide the bead onto the earring post and glue in place with epoxy.  When dry, drill out the hole in the top of the bead with your Dremel tool to match the diameter of your candle.  Next paint the entire candle stand with silver paint.  You can also use a silver paint marker.  When dry, glue the candle into the candlestick with tacky glue.
White shopping Bag
    1 Miniature white shopping bag (Michael's card section)
    1 mini plastic bag with red hearts (Michael's card section)
    Silver, pink, or red curling ribbon

I found a whole package of these miniature bags in the card-making section of Michael's.  Each card has about 8 little bags in different colors.  Perfect for many mini projects.  I chose white because they didn't have a red one in the package I bought, but you could also use pink or red if you can find it.

The plastic zip-lock bags with the red hearts I found in the same place.  Just cut off the zipper mechanism, and stuff it into the white shopping bag so that it resembles cellophane "tissue".  Use some quartered strips of curling ribbon about three inches long and tie them to the handle of the bag, curl the streamers with a pair of scissors.

Now you have everything you need to give the lady of your dollhouse a romantic and memorable Valentine's Day!

Michele Carter is an IGMA Artisan, and a professionally trained artist.  She has a business, PepperWood Miniatures, making high-quality, collectible miniature floral arrangements, accessories and original paintings.  To see more of her work, visit her web site at .

back to articles


© 2005, PepperWood Miniatures. All Rights Reserved