Nina Nightingale’s Charm School: Victorian Valentines & DIY Sachets - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Nina Nightingale’s Charm School: Victorian Valentines & DIY Sachets

Members Only
1 hour
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What We’ll Do

Nina Nightingale's Charm School is in session.

From silhouette portraits and hair reliquaries to postage stamp flirtation and suffragette tea parties, join curiosity artist and host Nina Nightingale in exploring history's most fascinating disciplines and their hidden origins! During each hour-long virtual live show, Nina will guide you through the basics of a specific craft, tell you about its often surprising importance in the cultural landscape, and take any questions that might come up along the way. Part Home Ec, part AP History, Nina Nightingale’s Charm School won't teach you how to be more genteel, but you’ll learn why crafting was never that polite anyway.

Lacy paper doilies and red velvet ribbon. Bouquets from secret admirers. Boxed treats and hand written cards sealed with a kiss. Valentine’s Day could not be any more the romantic dream for the sensibilities of a Victorian socialite. The era saw the invention of the prepaid postage stamp and in its first year, 400,000 valentines were sent throughout England. In this special episode of Nina Nightingale’s Charm School, we’ll touch on some curious histories of Victorian valentines (which more than often were mean and rude rather than sweet)! We'll learn about flower codes and love symbols, and then learn to make a scented sachet of secrets to gift to your special someone on the big day. 

Supplies, if you wish to work along:

  • Fabric scraps 
  • Dried flowers, dried herbs, potpourri, or essential oils
  • Rice, sand, or other weighted stuffing
  • Needle and thread


  • Ribbon, yarn, or string
  • A tassel
  • Fabric glue or hot glue gun
  • Scrap of paper or other token to hide inside
Where We’ll Be


About Your Host
Nina Nightingale
Nina Nightingale

Hello! My name is Nina Nightingale and I am a professional fine artist practicing the very rare art of SILHOUETTE PORTRAITURE, in which I cut your likeness from paper with no writing instruments—simply freehand drawing with scissors. This art of "shadow cutting" was popular before photography was made affordable. Silhouette portraiture is one part history and one part how-does-she-do-it?

Dates and Availability
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