If you're short on cash or ideas for what to get your special someone Valentine's Day, I feel you. Did the holidays not just happen? Rather than scramble up some overpriced chocolates or tacky stuffed bear, opt for one of these DIY Valentine's Day gifts. Thoughtful, original and affordable, you'll definitely score points from your significant other — and won't go broke in your effort.
1. Candy Bouquet
Why buy a bouquet of flowers for Valentine’s Day? Sure, they’re pretty, but they’re also pretty expensive, useless, and they’ll die within the week. (Harsh but true.)
Here is a bouquet that I guarantee your significant other will love more than flowers. With a block of florist’s foam, some bamboo skewers, packing tape, and a bag of Valentine's Day candy, you can create a one of a kind candy bouquet. I can’t guarantee that it will last a week, but it will be way more delicious than a bouquet of flowers.
All you have to do is cut a small block of florist's foam to fit whatever you want to serve as your base (i.e. a mug, vase, pot, etc.). Next, use small pieces of packing tape to secure the candy to bamboo skewers cut to varying lengths. Once you have all of your candy on sticks, arrange the sticks into the florist's foam like you would arrange a bouquet of flowers.
Cost of supplies:
White mug: $0.88
Kebab skewers; $0.97
Florist foam: $2.47
Two large bags of assorted Valentine’s Day candy: $4.98 each, ($9.66 total)
Packing tape: $1.12
Total cost for candy bouquet: $15.10
2. DIY Chocolate Covered Strawberries
You know those fantastic fruit bouquets that are so delicious, but ridiculously expensive? You don’t have to pay $60 or more for chocolate covered fruit for your loved one this Valentine’s Day.
All you need is:
A pound of strawberries: $3.48
6 oz of chocolate: $2.48
Wax paper: $1.37
Melt the chocolate in the microwave by cooking it in 15-second bursts and stirring in between. Don’t let it overcook or it will scorch and be useless for dipping. Once the chocolate is smooth, just dip the strawberries in the chocolate and lay them out on the parchment paper to set.
Total cost for one pound of chocolate covered strawberries: $7.33
3. Date Night Certificate
Don’t waste your money going to an over-priced restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Give your partner the gift of a home-cooked meal instead. Present them with a bottle of their favorite wine, with a gift voucher attached to the neck of the bottle for “one home-cooked Valentine’s Day dinner.”
Even a home-cooked steak dinner will be less expensive than eating out, and you can spend as little or as much as your budget allows.
If you want to go all out, create a date night basket by grouping together the voucher for a home-cooked meal, a bottle of wine, their favorite candy, and a Red Box movie.
4. Homemade Goodies
Whether your Valentine loves cookies, cupcakes, brownies, or Rice Krispy treats, homemade goodies cost next to nothing and will mean way more to your significant other than any store-bought box of candy. So dust off your apron, crack open that cookbook (or just ask Siri for a recipe) and start baking.
5. Valentine Cookie Cake
Giant cookie cakes are a huge crowd pleaser so don't be surprised if this earns you Best Valentine Ever status. To make this bad boy all you actually need is a tube of sugar cookie dough, icing and piping bags (or just plastic baggies with one corner snipped off).
While your oven preheats, simply roll out the cookie dough into the shape of a pizza, follow the baking directions on the packaging, and decorate your DIY cookie cake once it’s cool.
Total cost of a DIY Valentine cookie cake: $2.50 for the cookie dough (+ whatever you spend on icing or sprinkles)
6. Love Messages Album
Nostalgia makes for a great Valentine’s Day gift. Go through your Facebook account and old emails and print out every lovey-dovey or flirty message exchanged between you and your significant other since the time that you met. Use a photo album to separate the messages, and make sure to date the messages if possible so that you can put them in order. Your valentine will love seeing your history in writing, especially if you've been together a long time.
Total cost o fa love messages album: Price of a photo album
7. 365 Reasons Why I love You
On little slips of paper, either print or write out 365 reasons why you love your partner, and place all 365 pieces of paper into a box. Reasons can range from a quality (like funny or patient) to a moment or memory (your first vacation together). On Valentine’s Day, tell your partner that you don’t just love them on Valentine’s Day, you love them every day of the year. To remind them of that fact, they are to pull out one piece of paper every day until the next Valentine’s Day.
Toal project cost: Price of a box
8. DIY Coffee Mug
Is your babe a big tea or coffee drinker? Making a one of a kind mug is a great and inexpensive way to show them you care.
You only need three things to make a DIY mug:
A white mug (Walmart has white mugs for $0.88, if not, you can usually find them at the Dollar Store)
Oil-based paint Sharpie markers ($12.97 at Walmart, but they last for dozens of projects and you probably already have some if you're a DIY pro)
Access to an oven
Use the markers to create your own unique design or message. Once you’re done with your design, put the mug in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Be careful when removing your DIY mug from the oven (it's hot!) and don't touch the design until the mug has cooled completely (the marker might smudge).
Total cost for a DIY coffee mug: $13.85 (or more likely $0.88)
9. Framed Map of Where You Met or Fell In Love
A framed map of where you met or fell in love is a great Valentine’s Day gift. For this project, all you need is a frame and two pieces of computer paper. You’ll need to print out a map of where you first met or fell in love. You’ll also need to cut out the shape of a heart in the other piece of paper to serve as an overlay on the map. You can either write the coordinates of the exact location or write a little love note on the bottom of the framed picture.
Total cost for a framed map: Price of the frame you buy (mine was $6.88)
10. Something Uniquely Creative
We're not all bakers or crafters but we each have something we excel at. Are you a musician? Write your loved one a song. Are you an artist? Paint them a picture. Whatever you’re good at, use your talents to create a Valentine’s Day gift that your significant other will adore. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to show them that you care. You just have to give a gift from the heart.