True Love Knot

Before commercial valentines were available, friends often expressed their feelings for each other on Valentine’s Day with a love knot made of ribbon or paper. Messages were read by turning the knot about. Some could get very complicated, but here is a simple one that can be read by starting at the small heart: Roses are red; violets are blue; my heart is tied in a knot for you. Be my valentine.


  1. 1.

    Fold piece of paper in half, then in fourths.

  2. 2.

    Trace design onto paper (see illustration), and cut out. (You may enlarge or make smaller.)

  3. 3.

    Unfold paper and draw “over” and “under” lines to form endless chain.

  4. 4.

    Write message so that it is spaced evenly around love knot. Indicate beginning with small heart. Choose message from those given here, or create your own.

  5. 5.

    To make background for knot, fold piece of construction paper in fourths, then trace pattern on it (enlarge or reduce pattern as necessary) and cut out.

  6. 6.

    Glue knot on background. Background may, in turn, be glued on paper doily.

Possible Messages:

  • Believe me, this is “knot” a line; I want you for my valentine. “Knot” for gold and “knot” for time Would I trade you, my valentine.

  • This knot I send to be your friend. And if good friends we’re meant to be, Please send a knot like this to me.

  • Do “knot” turn down This heart of mine. It wants you for My valentine.

[illustration] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney