Give Vintage Valentines a Spooky ‘Valoween’ Makeover

Who doesn’t love a good mashup in the creative world of geekiness?

You can mashup characters, shows, movies, and songs to create something completely new. This has also been the case with holidays for sometime, allowing everyone from independent artists and small business, to larger commercial ventures to celebrate “Christmas in July” or summer luau fun in the winter. Thanks to the Tim Burton favorite The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween and Christmastime collided with some very cool results.

And now we are seeing something called “Valoween.”

Valoween has been a growing trend among artists and crafters for at least five years now, and I’m still not exactly sure who and where the phrase began. It is most prominent among the spookier, Halloween-centric artists who are finding ways to blend the cutesy Valentine’s Day vibe with the creepy Halloween aura. There are more little business selling heart-shaped Jack-O-Lantern art, ghosts with little flowers and valentines, horror movie icons dressed up for date night with their sweethearts and more that pop up in the fall as Halloween approaches and in February when Valentine’s Day is near.

Over the next two weeks, I want to demonstrate how to bring this latest holiday mashup trend into your own crafting time with some easy and silly “Valoween” ideas, starting with making vintage Valentine’s Day images a little spookier.

You’ll only need some printed copies of old vintage and retro Valentine’s Day cards, and some paint or markers. 

Find some vintage valentine notes, the sillier the better. All images: Lisa Tate

You can run across old vintage cards in second hand or collectible shops, but I recommend printing a few out from the web. The images are everywhere, and we’re going to be painting over them anyway. Find something from mid-Century (1950s) or earlier, when these little school cards were at their cheesy best. Some of these were so cringy and saccharine, you can’t help but laugh. These are the ones that are the most fun to turn into something creepy.

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Now, look over these cards and think of a character, movie or monster type that it could inspired. It there a honey bee? Think Candyman! A cute clown? Yup, it could be Pennywise.

Draw or recolor your ideas directly on the card, or use tracing paper and cut and paste over the card.

All you need to do now is take these images and recolor them, draw over faces, or add a mask or costume element to change it around to turn it into a Valoween greeting.

If the change is simple, draw over the image lightly with pencil to make sure it looks how you want. Then add some marker or paint to fill it in.

You can also use some thin tracing paper, if you are worried about messing up the card. You can draw over the image on the tracing paper, and cut and paste the “spooky” addition (like a mask or cloak). Either way is up to you,.

You don’t have to get too complicated; just a few details will make it look like something very different from the original intended image. 

If there is a simple “Valoween” message you want to replace the existing note with, simply paint over the text with a solid color, and rewrite your note once it dries.

Some “reworded” Valoween notes.

Now, you can give these to whoever you want, or just use them from decorating. The beauty of Valoween is you don’t need a “sweetheart” or any romantic feelings to want to give these to friends or family. They are meant completely for fun and in the spirit of parody. Even “Galentine’s” or “Singles Appreciation” events could benefit from a little dark humor.

Little spooky “Valoween” cards can make even those who don’t like Valentine’s Day happy.

Next week: Turning horror movie posters into Valentine’s greetings.

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This post was last modified on February 6, 2022 8:16 pm

Lisa Tate

Lisa Kay Tate is a veteran feature writer with nearly 25 years experience in newspaper, magazine and freelance writing. She and her husband, a history and world geography teacher, live on the edge of "New Texico" where they keep busy raising their two geeklings and sharing space with their dog, Sirius Black, and cat, Loki.

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