Stop digging into your pockets and start creating projects this Valentine’s Day
By Astrid Cunanan, Contributor
It’s been a crazy year, to say the least, but with Valentine’s Day around the corner, what’s a better way to show how much you love and appreciate your partner than with a handmade gift? As they say, the best gifts are the ones that come from the heart.
However, you don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This day is also a time to commemorate platonic friendships, so there is no need to stay in bed binge-watching Bridgerton for the second time with your pals Ben & Jerry.
Here are seven ways to show some love to the people you want to celebrate on this Valentine’s Day, without breaking the bank.
1. Coupon book
As a child, I was thrilled to see coupon books in the mailbox. I would use them to play pretend ‘cashier’ — this Valentine’s Day, I am bringing them back. You can easily recreate this with things already lying around your home. All you really need is some construction paper, scissors, markers and some endearing and humorous ideas to fill up your book.
I cut the paper to mimic the shape of a classic “admit one” ticket. It’s completely up to you how many coupons you want to include, but I would recommend anywhere between 5-10 pieces. Here are some ideas to start you off:
1. One romantic home-cooked dinner with dessert included and bottomless wine.
2. A one hour back massage, candles, oils and spa music included.
3. Adventure Day! Visit somewhere new with all costs covered.
To put the book all together, I poked two holes and used brad pins to secure the papers. If you don’t have brad pins at home, no worries, use string instead.
2. Handwritten letters
I recently got my hands on a wax seal set since I absolutely adore the ‘dark academia’ vibes it gives off. In addition, it motivates me to write and send out letters the old-fashioned way. Taking the extra time to do this by hand rather than sending a quick message or email leaves a long-lasting impression on the person and shows you truly care.
If you want to take this a step further, state on the envelope when you want the receiver to open the letter! For example, “open when you’ve had a bad day” or “open when you need a confidence boost.”
3. A decorated jar of reasons
This next idea allows for a lot of customization. All you need to purchase is a jar, some decorations and construction paper. These are items that can all be found at your nearest dollar store. Here are some ideas to fill up your jar:
1. Cut your construction paper into little hearts and note multiple reasons why you love them.
2. Get some popsicle sticks and think of some date ideas. If you want to get on Monica Geller’s level of organization, you can even colour coordinate the popsicle sticks into different price ranges.
3. Taking some inspiration from advent calendars, fill up a jar with written sweet nothings or compliments. Just make sure you add enough for them to open one a day for a month!
4. Origami flowers
Who doesn’t love receiving flowers? Especially flowers that don’t perish! This next idea takes a unique approach to the classic flowers and chocolate gift for Valentine’s Day and all you need is origami paper, which can be bought at Michaels or on Amazon. Next, just head to YouTube and find a tutorial on how to make these gorgeous flowers.
These next projects come from viral TikTok videos, however, these are special because they are crafts you can create with whoever you are celebrating with.
5. D.I.Y. board game
Board game sales have soared during the past year, however, we all know board games are on the expensive side. A cheaper and cuter alternative is to design your own board game.
You can take inspiration from the snakes and ladders board game and input random questions you have to answer about each other. To put a fun twist, make this a drinking game! For each question they get wrong, they have to take a shot (but make sure to drink responsibly!)
6. Bent candles
Spice up your living space with these funky candles that have taken over my TikTok feed. This only requires one thing, which is taper candles — bonus points if the taper candles you use are muted colours.
1. Submerge these candles under warm to hot water for a minimum of 10 minutes.
2. Take them out of the water and start bending or twisting! If they harden just submerge them again until you get the final product you want.
3. Grab a peeler to flatten out the new candle base so it doesn’t tip over.
4. Bonus: Try shaping your candles into two sides of a heart that come together to make a full heart.
7. Painting date
There’s no need to be an artist to have a painting date. Just put on your favourite music playlist and start painting. For an ultra-romantic time, go on a road trip to the mountains and park the car in front of beautiful scenery. Grab some blankets, hot chocolate and strawberries and paint away! The options are endless, but the most important part is to be in the moment and enjoy each other’s company.
Even though Valentine’s Day this year might look a little different for you, I hope you are able to find an activity within this list to spread some love. Happy crafting!