Victorian Puzzle Purse: Secret Art Letters with Emilie (Online)

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Sending someone a love letter? Why not make it stunning, even with simple household materials!

Victorian Puzzle Purses (The oldest in the Postal Museum dates from about 1790!) are a single large sheet of paper folded to a smaller size like a puzzle. Once received, the puzzle is to be unfolded in the right way to reveal the secrets inside.

They are a lovely style of folded letter with multiple surfaces asking to be decorated and personalised. The folded design itself is really impressive, but there’s so much scope to make it into a really special and fun letter gift. The format can make really great zines too!

As well as getting across all the folding techniques of our letters, we’ll work on the different planes and surfaces of the letter to illustrate, decorate and design. 

You’ll learn some different exercises and techniques for different art mediums in this fun class. A sweet and simple way to share memories to a friend and show them you adoration.

What will we cover?

Emilie will cover step by step instructions on folding your paper into the Victorian Puzzle Purs style.

Then in unfolding the letter, all the different surfaces and how the combine becomes clearer, so you can design and decorate your letter flat and see it come together and align when reassembled.

No experience necessary, and no special materials. Household art supplies are fine!

What will you need?

  • Paper (anything you have. Thicker paper can be trickier to fold, but the colour less likely to bleed through)
  • Scissors
  • Any sort of coloured art materials you have – textas, pencils, crayons, watercolour, paper collage…
  • Optional: White gelly roll pen (such as Sakura Gelly roll) Black waterproof fineliner (such as UniPin or Sakura Micron). These are both good for writing over paint, watercolours etc.
  • Optional: Ruler to help with strong folds


  • Closed Captions
  • Discounted Early Bird TicketsFree Tickets for First Nation Attendees
  • Auslan Interpreted Upon Request 

Who will be teaching? 

Emilie (she/her) is an artist and educator based
between Melbourne and Marseille (Fr), working across media with a focus
on community-based practice and education. She graduated from her PhD in
Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2020 and has been an
art resident at Testing Grounds (2020), Making Space (2021) and the
Comic Art Workshop (2021).

Emilie has exhibited her works at FortyFive Downstairs gallery, the
Abbotsford convent, No Vacancy Gallery, Arcade and George Patton

In 2021, Emilie opened Couleur in Collingwood, a printmaking studio focusing on DIY, hand-prints, and experimental printmaking. Since 2023, Couleur Studio
has relocated in South of France. Emilie is also a comic book artist
and her illustration has been published by the Lifted Brow and she
self-published her first graphic novel in 2018 with Tree Paper Comics in
Melbourne. In 2023 she is running Glow Comics Trails festival with
Laneway Learning, celebrating Melbourne’s booming comics scene.

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Image: Laneway Learning

Have a question or accessibility request? Feel free to email Maddy (she/her) at