Surprise Your Valentine with a Film Canister Love Letter!


If you have some empty film canisters with a little bit of film sticking out, let me show you what else you can use them for (aside from making DIY redscale films), perfect for this season of love!

The idea of making film canister letters is not exactly new (you can see one made for Christmas and one made into an event invitation), but the good thing is you can always customize it according to your needs or the occasion. This one specifically gives you an idea on how to give an analogue twist to your Valentine’s Day card or letter for that special someone!

You will need:

  • Some empty film canisters (with still a bit of film left/sticking out)
  • A sheet of paper (colored paper, plain bond paper, or kraft paper, as long as it’s not too thick)
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pens
  • Tape (clear tape or washi tape)

Here’s how to do it:

1. Take your piece of paper, ruler, and pencil. Make measurements for a strip of paper that is 3.5 centimeters wide (because the actual 35mm film strip is 3.5 when converted to centimeters, but I guess you should know that already!). Line the border of your strip to serve as a guide when you cut.

2. Using a pair of scissors or a paper cutter, neatly cut along the line you made.

3. Try to fit the strip you made into the empty film canister, but don’t push it in too much! Don’t stick it on the remaining film strip yet, either. If it won’t go through smoothly, trim the edges carefully.

4. If your paper strip is a perfect fit, proceed to writing and designing your letter (but don’t use stickers, it could make the sheet too thick and it won’t go in the film canister). For this project, I made a faux film strip design using a red felt tip pen to create sprockets. To complete the faux film design, I also cut away a portion to serve as the film leader. Since it’s for Valentine’s Day, you have the license to make it as cheesy as you can! What did I write on mine? You’ll see the message in a bit!

I made a mistake with the orientation of the film leader, but anyway, you guys get the drift and just do it the right way!

5. Once you’re done designing and writing your letter, it’s time to tape it on the remaining film strip. Use tape sparingly, you don’t want the paper strip too thick! See if you can roll the paper strip smoothly but not all the way in — leave the film leader sticking out!

6. There, your film canister love letter is ready to surprise your dearest valentine!

So, why don’t you go ahead and get yourself busy making some film canister love letters in time for the day of hearts! Do let me know how it goes if you do decide to go with it! Good luck!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-02-13 #gear #tutorials #diy #tutorial #tipster #lomography #valentines #valentine-s-day #letter #craft #love-letter


  1. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    love this :)

  2. guinastrapazi
    guinastrapazi ·

    oh my god, this is cute! :)

  3. annelie
    annelie ·

    So cute! :-)

  4. soundfoodaround
    soundfoodaround ·


  5. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Thank you, @soundfoodaround, @annelie, @uncle_jay, @guinastrapazi, @vicker313, @nia_ffm, @jutei, @gelibee, @djramsay, @susielomovitz, @chamielicious, and @pearlgirl77! Do let me know if you decide to make your own, I'd love to see them! :) Happy Valentines, I hope I can give each of you one!

  6. cruzron
    cruzron ·

    meganon fox

  7. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Awesome idea!! <3

  8. saidseni
    saidseni ·

    Awwww, this is great! :)

  9. jawknee
    jawknee ·

    this is really cute :)

  10. 110isnotdead
    110isnotdead ·

    One of the coolest things I have ever seen :)))

  11. psychedelicsoma
    psychedelicsoma ·

    I'll be making one this evening! Thanks for the idea.

  12. docpop
    docpop ·

    Thanks for the suggestion, I made my own and blogged about it here…

  13. mojo_lomo
    mojo_lomo ·


  14. ikia2034
    ikia2034 ·

    I like it! I'll use it one day. :P

  15. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Thank you for the overwhelming response, @all! Remember, you can always customize your film canister letters to fit the need or occasion, so keep making them! :)

  16. fafascinado
    fafascinado ·

    @plasticpopsicle thaanks for sharing it! I did it for valentine´s and my boyfriend loved it!! :)

  17. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @fafascinado Wow, glad to know he liked it! :D

  18. kat_mercury
    kat_mercury ·

    Awesome, I'm going to make one tonight! This is a great way to brighten someone's day! :D

  19. eelii
    eelii ·

    This is such a cute idea!! Im probably gonna do it sometime :)

  20. bribri89
    bribri89 ·

    *-* great!!!

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