Unique Valentine's Day Gifts
Forgot that Valentine’s Day is around the corner? Me too. But that doesn’t give us a pass to hit up the chalky chocolates, creepy teddy bears and sappy cards at the drugstore. We found a bunch of free printables, easy recipes and quick DIY projects that will help it look like we planned this all along.…
Show your wit and tasteful visual sensibilities with these free printable cards from graphic designer and artist Samantha Hahn. And if cupcakes and jellyfish aren’t your bag, she has a whole gallery of other designs that are yours for the giving. (Make sure to check out her “Valentine’s Day’s for Suckers” vampire card.)
Get your free printable designer Valentine’s cards from Samantha Hahn.
Cardboard cup holders just aren’t green friendly and their wastefulness really gets on my nerves (along with decaf brews and people who call espresso “expresso”). This cute little knitted version, which can be used on to-go cups in addition to the mugs it was designed for, would be a conscientious AND convenient gesture. It’s made in only an hour.
Get the free knitted mug holder pattern from Chronicle Books!
In February 2008 during a fit of whimsy, I acquired a set of parakeets named George Burns and Gracie Allen. At the end of that month, I took in a cat named Cookie. Suffice to say, I was terrified to come home during the days that the two pet factions overlapped. George and Gracie swiftly found a loving new home. Is this relevant? Not so much. But I think we would’ve all been better off if I just whipped up a few cute fabric birds from the lovely Spool Sewing company instead.
Get the free fabric bird pattern from Spool!
Chocolate mousse is one of my go-to recipes when faced with last-minute guests. The only challenge is keeping the ingredients handy and, you know, not eating it all. But anyway, it’s easier to make than pudding. And pudding is pretty easy. (Feel free to try the Grand Marnier Chocolate Mousse recipe that’s photographed here from Epicurious.)
Get the quick chocolate cinnamon and cherry mousse recipe from Epicurious.
Whether you use pre-packaged dough or from-scratch stuff, sugar cookies just look so naked without some sort of decoration. So why not try this neat icing swirl technique? Basically, you frost each half of the cookie with a different color, then drag a toothpick to-and-fro between the colors to make artful curves. Fancy but fast.
Check out more Valentine’s sugar cookie decorating ideas from Chollingsworth!
Put your own spin on the classic Valentine’s confections with the help of an edible ink marker. You can find them at baking supply shops, certain craft stores and the odd gourmet food shop. Whether you go sincere or silly, you’re only limited by what can fit on the back of a teeny little heart. (As for me, I’d go for a non-sequitur like “Tupac Lives”.)
Find edible ink marker pens from Jo-Ann!
I’m a sucker for retro school cursive fonts, so this is right up my alley. But, I’d probably amend the “No” to include “(on opposite day)”.
Get the free printable retro Valentine from Indie Fixx!
I don’t know if it’s because I occasionally have the taste of a '70s housewife, but I was ecstatic when I saw these truffles made from OREO COOKIES. That’s right. No fussy ganache-making or anything, just crushed up Oreo cookies and all the cream cheese your heart desires.
Get the free recipe for Oreo truffle treats from A Southern Fairytale!
With just a few stitches, a plain piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper is suddenly worthy of an “aww” moment. Now you have a good reason to use the fancy embroidery floss that you just bought for the pretty color. (Though wouldn’t it be fun in the DMC glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss?)
See how to create an embroidered Valentine card from Tracy Elaine!
You can use bistro-style dishtowels or any red checked fabric to make a sweet length of bunting. It gives even the plainest, most boring doorway an instant party atmosphere.
Get the free gingham bunting tutorial from The Green Gal!
I vaguely remember making these candy valentines way back in Girl Scouts. They made me the most popular girl in the second grade, up until this girl named Jenny showed up on Star Search. But I digress. With a roll of Smarties, some Lifesavers, a stick of gum and a rubber band, you’ll create a little airplane that will charm anyone.
Check out the candy airplane Valentine from Evelyn Is Here!