DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day coming up at the end of this week (and maybe because both Pinterest and Michaels have been emailing me Valentine’s Day crafts for weeks now), I’ve compiled a list of 14 do-it-yourself gifts to give friends, family or that special someone in your life on the 14th of February.

*Disclaimer: This is probably one of the cheesiest, most nauseatingly-lovey-dovey things I’ve ever written. I apologize. Proceed with caution.

1. Baked Goods

You’ve all heard the saying: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” But after a few minutes on the internet you’ll find that food and “nomming” is the way to pretty much anyone’s heart.

You could go to the store and pick up something pre-made (believe me, Publix, Walmart, Target, etc. all look like they threw up Valentine’s Day right now) and yeah, it’ll most likely look and taste great. But you can show that you put in some time and effort by baking it yourself.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Funfetti Glazed Donuts (my boyfriend is obsessed)

Brownie-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heart-Shaped Cake

2-Ingredient Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

Chocolate Fondue

2. Homemade Cards

After reading every witty way to say “I Love You” Hallmark’s staff came up with this year you still haven’t found a card that describes how you feel about (insert person’s name here).

Why not make your own?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You grew out of the card making stage back in third grade, I know. It sounds juvenile. But if the point of Valentine’s Day is to remind someone of how much you care for them, then isn’t putting in the time to make that person a card the perfect way to do it? It is the thought that counts!

You could go all third grade and pull out your markers and a piece of printer paper. Or you could check out this Pinterest board solely devoted to creating classy homemade cards.

3. Man Bouquets

Who ever said you can’t give a man a bouquet on Valentine’s Day? I discovered the concept of a man bouquet last fall when I was trying to come up with a 21st birthday present for my boyfriend. One of my sorority sisters gave me the idea and I found several Pinterest boards dedicated to the concept, such as this one. It’s an easy project that you can personalize to the man in your life and will show him you thought about his interests and likes!

4. Homemade Meal

Instead of dealing with the crowds, why not stay in this year and cook your own homemade breakfast, brunch, or dinner? The meal could be a gift or a fun activity you do with your special someone.

Allrecipes.com has compiled a list of Valentine’s Day appetizers, Breakfast and Brunch, Desserts, Drinks, Main Dishes and School Favorites recipes.

And delish.com promotes itself as the “Valentine’s Day Headquarters for Romantic Recipes” which can be found here.

If all else fails just cook each other’s favorite meals! It could be as simple as EasyMac…after all, spending time together is what really matters.

5. Framed Photo

One of the easiest gifts you could give is a framed photo of you and that special someone. Buy a classy frame from the store or a wooden one that you decorate yourself, stick a picture in, and you’ve got yourself an instantly meaningful gift!

6. 52 Reasons Why I Love You

This is a really simple project that is spreading like wildfire across Pinterest. Take a deck of cards, punch holes in them, hook them together with ribbon or a ring, and write a reason on each card for why you love the other person. Here is a link to a tutorial on the project: http://www.52reasonsiloveyou.com/

7. Gift Baskets

All you need is a basket and knowledge of what the person you’re creating the gift for likes. Fill it with flowers, candy, stuffed animals, baked goods, movies, music, pictures, tshirts, coozies, notes, etc. Really, anything the other person likes and/or anything Valentine’s Day related.

8. Build-A-Bear

Building your own bear for that special someone makes for a personal gift…but building one together would be bear-y special (I did warn you in the disclaimer, remember?).

So head out to your local Build-A-Bear Workshop, choose from their regular or Valentine’s Day themed stuffed animals, and make a memory with your significant other that will last a lifetime.

9. Candy Tin

There are kits at the stores and how-to directions online for making candy. Buy a cute Valentine’s Day tin (or decorate one yourself) and fill it with homemade candies. Or, if you’re making tins for several people, buy an assortment of candy at the store and use that to fill the tins. Complete with a personal note and voilà you have a simply sweet gift!

10. Homemade CDs

All you need is a blank CD and Windows Media Player or iTunes and you can create a playlist for that special someone in your life. After you’re satisfied with the song selection, burn it onto the blank disk, write a title on the CD and then store it in a case.

Make sure to include songs that mean something to you and the other person, such as “your song” or anything that is significant to events in your relationship.

Here’s a link to TIME’s Valentine’s Day Spotify Playlist for some inspiration!

11. Sharpie Mugs

Shopping for a coffee or tea addict? Purchase a plain mug and sharpies in your preferred colors and then watch this youtube tutorial to make a personalized mug. Fill it with hot chocolate, teas, or coffee and you’ve got yourself an easy present!

12. Flip Books

Remember those old-fashioned little books the trouble makers in school would make in the movies? Those ones where you flip through and it looks like a movie playing right in front of your eyes? If you’re artistically inclined, why not make a Valentine’s Day flip book that tells someone how much you love them?

If you’re a budding artist you can always draw out a book. But if you’re like me and can’t draw to save your life, here’s a tutorial on how to make one with photographs.

13. Coupon Books

When I was younger I remember picking out Mother’s Day cards that came with coupons for your mom to redeem for hugs, 15 minutes of dusting…pretty much anything little kids grimace at the thought of but moms love.

Why not turn this idea into something you and the person you’re giving it to will love?

Head over to The Dating Divas and check out their Homemade Coupons tutorial, which you can personalize for a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, or parent!

14. Unconventional Date Night

This last idea isn’t exactly DIY but gifts don’t always have to be physical items, right?

What does a typical date night include? Dinner? A movie? Dessert?

Valentine’s Day is a special occasion so why not think outside the box and surprise the girl or guy in your life with something new and exciting to do together?

Here are a few suggestions:

Volunteer together

Visit the shooting range

Make a time capsule

Go rock climbing or hiking

Make a bucket list of things to do in your area and then go do it!

Visit a theme park

Go rollerblading or ice skating

Go-cart Racing

Mini golf

Visit a zoo

Make a movie together

Make your own kites and then go to a park and fly them

Visit your local animal shelter and play with the kittens and puppies

Make a fort in the living room and then watch movies

For more ideas visit: http://niftydateideas.com/index.html

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