Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie Decoration

Hi there–did you know that Valentine’s Day is just twelve days away! While my kids are bit on the old side for much hoopla, I still enjoy putting up a decoration or two. And of course chocolate absolutely WILL factor into our celebration. For this year’s festivities I created a lovely vintage Valentine tussie mussie project that I think you’ll really enjoy.

I used vintage music paper and Christmas tinsel to create these darling decorations that you can fill with candy (I used pink Kisses) and give as a gift. I might need to run out for more Kisses as someone (whistle whistle) may have eaten them all during the photo shoot, LOL. Now who would do that??

They would also make great decorations for your antique booth or you could sell them from your Etsy shop. Feel free to adopt the project however you like. I gleaned the general idea from Pinterest but incorporated a rosette + glittered heart embellishment that I used on some glittery Valentines a while back.

Related: Collection of Valentine Posts

Valentine cone decoration with text: Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie

How to Make a Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie

Supplies needed to make Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie Decoration: Modge Podge, cardboard, music paper, glitter, glue gun

This post contains affiliate links for products necessary to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my blog, as I receive a small compensation whenever you click on such a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you.


Materials to make vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie Decoration: tinsel, cone, coffee spray

Step 1: Cover the Cone with Vintage Music Paper

Vintage music paper with pattern for covering the cone You want your “cone wrapper” to be a couple of inches longer than the cone so you can fold the excess inside the top of the cone to make a neat edge. Use the pattern in this photo to get yourself started and then fiddle with it until it works.

Glue one long side to your cone, wrap the remaining music paper around the cone, and glue the second edge down. Fold the excess down into the cone and glue it in place. It’s kinda messy in there, but it will be covered with shredded paper and candy.

If you plan to sell them, spend a bit more time on this step and perhaps finish it off on the interior with some ribbon or a piece of your tinsel.

Music paper covered cone for vintage valentine tussy mussy decorationHere’s a wrapped cone, ready for embellishment.

What else could you cover your cone with?

  • Vintage dictionary paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Wall paper
  • Scrapbook paper

Step 2: Hearts for Tussie Mussies

Sizzix Big Kick die cut with heart diesTo make the small glittery hearts, I used my Sizzix Big Kick die cut machine. I use the Big Kick for a number of crafts (e.g., decorative clip board and star ornaments and … tags). But of course you can easily cut out 1 1/2 to 2″ hearts from scrap cardboard free hand.

glittery cardboard heartsUse a foam brush to apply a layer of Modge Podge to the cardboard hearts and then sprinkle on some pink glitter.

Step 3: Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie Rosettes

folding music paper into a fanTo make the rosettes, cut a 2″ x 6″ piece of vintage music paper. Fold it into a fan the short way, with each fold measuring about 1/4″. 

creating music paper rosetteFold your rosette in half and apply hot glue to one side where shown. Press into the opposite side and hold in place until dry.

Turn rosette over and repeat above.

Gluing music paper rosette for vintage valentine tussie mussieYou’ll need to apply a few dabs of hot glue between some of the folds (just at the center) to hold the round rosette shape.

vintage music paper rosetteDon’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect because next you’re going to glue your glittery heart onto the center of the rosette, likely covering up any flaws 🙂

I also used rosettes like these in a Christmas ornament project a couple of years ago.

Step 4: Glue on Vintage Tinsel

close up of tinsel trim on vintage valentine tussie mussieBefore attaching the tinsel, use hot glue to attach a loop of ribbon to the back of your tussie mussie (where the music paper seam is) so you can hang it.

Then hot glue your tinsel (or other embellishment, like lace or rick rack) around the top of the cone and over the ribbon you just glued on.

Step 5: Glue the Rosette Onto the Tussie Mussie

Close up of vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie decorationAfter attaching the heart to the center of your rosette, hot glue the rosette to the cone as shown. The tiny love-related phrase came from the vintage music book that I took the music paper from. I cut it from the book’s index and glued it to the center of the heart. 

You could also create those phrases on your computer and print them out if you don’t have a similar music book.

Step 6: Age Your Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie 

2 tussie mussies one aged the other not The final step is to add a little age to your project by spraying it with a solution of strong coffee plus a pinch of alum (optional). The alum keeps it fresh and allows you to keep a bottle in your craft room/work area at all times for a variety of projects.

In the photo above, the tussie mussie on the right has been “aged” while the one on the left has not (you can see even better in the photo below).

Set of three Vintage Valentine Tussie Mussie Decorations In this photo, the results of this aging process can be seen more clearly in the “true love” tussie mussie in the front.

And that’s how you make a vintage Valentine tussie mussie. [BTW, that’s a funny pair of words, isn’t it?? It refers to a special cone–usually silver–that would hold a small bouquet of flowers and given as a gift during Victorian times. We use it nowadays to refer to anything cone-shaped that holds a special treat.]

Step 7: Fill With Candy

Close up of Vintage Valentinet Tussie Mussie DecorationsFinal step: Fill your tussie mussie with something sweet; I chose pink milk chocolate Kisses to complement the pink glitter on the heart embellishments, but almost any small candy will do. What would you choose??

UPDATE: Christmas Themed Tussy Mussy

Christmas themed tussy mussy

It recently occurred to me that these tussie mussies are not strictly for Valentine’s Day. Rather, you can make them applicable to almost any holiday simply by changing the words that you attach to the rosette.

You can find printable “merry christmas” tags in the Member Library. You can get access to it when you SUBSCRIBE HERE. The tags go with this mini wreath project but can be used with the tussie mussies, too!

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Bye for now,


I’d love it if you’d pin for later–

Make beautiful but easy valentine decor

Get detailed instructions on how to make Victorian Valentine Tussy Mussies

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  1. What a lovely treat to give to anyone! These would be lovely with variations for Easter, Christmas, birthdays….I think aging scrapbook paper with your solution would be good in a pinch if you don’t have sheet music. I recently got some paper with luscious roses that would be pretty, too. Don’t have vintage tinsel, but I have some new that looks similar.

  2. These are so beautiful, Diana! I love the vintage style too. Thanks for sharing them with us at the Talk Of The Town party. 🙂

  3. Hi, I grew up in Albany, and love the Adirondack Mountains. Lake Placid is a favorite place close to my heart. Thank you for this lovely project. I have always wanted to make something like it, but clueless about how. Love your blog!💜

    P.S. I have moved to a warmer climate.

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