10 Creative Valentine’s Gifts

February 13, 2012

Valentine’s Day has long been a day of controversy. Some people consider it an opportunity to celebrate love and loved ones; some consider it a poor excuse for spending money; and others find it a sad reminder of the absence of romance in their lives.

Whatever your perspective, Valentine’s Day can be an occasion to celebrate your relationship with your partner, children, or grandchildren. The celebration does not require grand gestures, expensive flowers, or pricey chocolates; often the greatest and most memorable gifts are investments of time, spent laughing, learning, and living together.

We have gathered some fun (and inexpensive) ways to celebrate this Valentine’s Day.

10 Creative Valentine’s Gifts

1. Glass Etching

Etched Bottle: Photo by Vetiver Aromatics

While it may seem complicated, glass etching requires only four materials, plus the piece of glass you want to etch. Glass etching is a fun and fast way to personalize decorative pieces such as glass picture frames, vases, or drinking glasses. It is also a creative approach to putting your stamp on cookware that you loan. Consider etching a pair of wine glasses and giving it to your partner along with a bottle of wine to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

2.   Sweet Treats

Baking is a popular Valentine’s activity, and there are so many delicious and beautiful treats to choose from. Sugar cookies are a favourite, but Valentine’s Day can also be a time to test new treats, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find willing taste-testers. Try Lollipop Cookie Valentines, Sweetheart Cupcakes, Easy Valentine Sandwich Cookies, or a decadent Strawberry Brownie Pizza. For an edible treat that requires no baking, try Baking Cup Flower Valentines.

3. Home-Made Cards

While stores have plenty of Valentine’s Day cards, it’s hard to find one that expresses your thoughts perfectly. Make your own cards on the computer or with construction or scrapbooking paper. Pop-up cards are one of the most inexpensive, yet heartwarming ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day. Click here for a template and step-by-step directions to create your own delightful greeting.

4. Customized Candles

Some people avoid purchasing candles or giving them as gifts because of scent allergies. Unscented candles are agreeable options for people with allergies, and can be less expensive than the scented alternatives. Use candles, sheets of beeswax, and cookie cutters to create a customized candle that can add atmosphere to a celebratory meal, or be used as decoration and a reminder of time spent together.

5.  Photos

Celebrate your relationships by printing pictures and framing them. A framed picture is much more likely to be used and displayed immediately. Another way to display your photos is directly on wood. Photo transfers make durable, wooden-block decorations out of old or new photographs. The fun piece takes four simple steps to create, but overnight drying time is needed, so be sure to plan ahead.

Photo Transfer Video Tutorial

6.    Valentine’s Garlands

A Valentine’s garland is a beautiful addition to celebrations and gatherings, and need not be reserved for one day only. The delicate, pretty garland is a smiling symbol of care, and can be customized by colour, shape, and size. Graphic designer Olivia Kanaley provides a step-by-step tutorial.

7.  Framed Roses and Hearts

Photo by Jodi Nelson of Pleasant-Home.com

Picture frames can be found at second-hand shops, dollar stores, or maybe in your own basement or attic. To make this special decoration, use plastic rose petals and scrapbooking or other paper to create your own design.

8. Valentine’s Day Wreaths

This low-cost, high-impact wreath, made primarily of paper towel rolls, is a great way to teach children about reusing. It can be modest or elaborate, depending on how many sparkles and heart layers you add to your wreath.

9.  Children’s Hand Artwork

Creating this artwork is a wonderful way to spend time with a child and celebrate his or her artistic gifts. The finished product can be a memorable keepsake or a cherished gift. Try the Valentine Handprint Canvas or the Hands and Hearts art to preserve the child’s hand prints and send a message of love.

10. Time with Loved Ones

The final gift idea is the gift of time; time is valuable, and greatly appreciated. On average, people spend about $115 on Valentine’s Day gifts, according to an article published by The Globe and Mail. According to Statistics Canada, in 2008, Canadian chocolate manufacturers made $1 billion in revenue. In 2009, Canadian retailers sold $2.2 billion of cosmetics and fragrances. Yet time can mean more than the fullest bouquets and the glossiest gems. Visiting a friend, inviting someone over for a meal, or making plans to go out for coffee are simple yet significant ways to place value on others.

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