3. Make Maritime-Themed Valentines

A Sailors Valentine - inside of a box lined with shells arranged in a circular pattern and spelling out "to a Lover"
Courtesy of South Street Seaport Museum

This weekend at the South Street Seaport, you can make your Valentine a truly one-of-a-kind gift with handicraft techniques from the 19th century. All weekend long you can learn about Sailors’ Valentines – tokens of love and friendship – and craft your very own. Sailors’ Valentines were historically small wooden boxes given by seafarers to their wives, sweethearts, daughters, and loved ones when they returned from a long voyage. Inside there were sentimental messages surrounded with intricate mosaics of shells and found objects arranged in patterns made of hearts, anchors, and flowers.

At the Seaport this weekend, you can use beads, buttons, and shells, to craft your very own Sailor’s Valentine. All ages are welcome to this free event inside the South Street Seaport Museum’s introductory galleries. You are encouraged to register here. Don’t have time to craft? Pick up a special edition Valentine’s Day card from Bowne & Co. at 211 Water Street where their products are made using 19th-century letterpress printers.