Hurry, one week left before Valentine’s Day! Grab your credit card and run out to the nearest mall before those sales end! You can pay it all off later, right now, you’ve got to make sure you find that perfect tie or box of chocolates before they’re all gone!
Or…you could make a gift.
DIY gifts are often more environmentally friendly and cheaper than mass produced ones. An their value does not come from the company that made it or the price tag, but from the time and thought you put into it, commodities worth far more.
My personal favorite Valentine’s Day DIY gift to give is chocolate truffles. Partially because I love working with chocolate and partially because I can give them to both friends and acquaintances of either gender. Not only are they easier to make than you’d think, but they cost less and taste better than the worth-it’s-weight-in-gold chocolates you buy at the mall. Epicurious has a perfect chocolate truffle recipe.
Martha Stewart, godmother of all things domestic, has adorable Valentine’s Day crafts that can be used as either gifts or decorations (or both). Surprising a loved one with their favorite breakfast or dinner in a room decorated for the holiday doubles not only as a gift, but also as a memory.
Martha shares a tutorial on how to make Crayon Hearts that you can hang by the window.
If your loved one spends a lot of time cooking, a Heart Shaped Potholder will remind your recipient of your love each time he/she pulls a tray of chocolate chip cookies from the oven (I’m sure if you make it out of blue fabric and dinosaur print, it won’t look that girly and you can give it to a him).
This Conversation Piece is both elegant and sweet. Set it on a night stand, and it becomes a perfect gift to wake up to.
Whew. This is a ton of pink and hearts. Here’s something to balance it out before we continue (don’t worry, there’s a gift involving the Millenium Falcon coming up).
Ok, two more from our domestic godmother.
1. Often, a candy bar coupled with a sincere letter is more than enough. Here’s how you can make a Chocolate Wrapper to personalize the milk chocolate Lindt bar that will win over a heart by wooing the stomach. (And since we’re talking chocolate, here’s a tutorial on how to make a Han Solo in carbonite chocolate bar)
2. Traditional Papercut Hearts will never go out of style, especially when they use an old German technique called scherenschnitte.
I really like Eric Wilhelm’s approach in the Popular Mechanics article “10 DIY Gifts for your Sweetheart this Valentine’s Day”. He writes:
If your significant other’s friends receive “I love you’s” of various forms, and you don’t also have one to give, there can be trouble. So, stick with what you know—building cool stuff—and think of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to make something special.
Crafting a Green World has 10 DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him (although, they work just as well for all the hers in your life too). Some include a custom Kindle case, iPhone gloves, and a custom mouse pad.
Of course, I have saved the best DIY Valentine’s Gift for last: a Millennium Falcon Wall Light! And yes, that hyperlink is to a tutorial on how to make one:)
What are you making for the loved ones in your life? Tell me about it in the comments box below to be entered to win a copy of Pantone’s Guide to Communicating with Color in the February Giveaway!