Thursday, February 7, 2008

Crafty Valentine Gift and Card Ideas

My dear friend, Ben, has suggested that I make a post on Valentine's Day crafts and cards. I do tend to fancy myself an expert at homemade Valentine gifts. Until last year, I was only getting paid on the 15th of each month. As such, I NEVER had the money for store-bought Valentine cards and gifts for LOML*. I still think that the first one I ever made him was the best:
  • It was a 3-ring binder notebook with several sections in it. First, I found (online) and printed out information on the history and symbolism of Valentine's Day. Then, I searched for and copied love quotes and poems. Since I have also written some poetry, I made copies of my own love poems. The most time-consuming section was an alphabetic list of our special memories, places, laughs, connections, etc. I listed as many as I could for each letter of the alphabet (ex: B-Bojangles, Boating, Band house, Beach; C- Camping, Chocolate, Canoing, Coffee House, Camputer time; D-Dinner for two, Driving, Dessert, Downtown; and so on.) This took several days. I hole punched and placed the massive stack of pages in the binder. I think I called it "The Book of Love" or something like that. He seemed to really like it, especially my poems and the alphabetic list.
  • The year after that, I made a "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways" container of 100 reasons I love him. Basically, I cut out 100 slips of construction paper to the size of fortune cookie fortunes and wrote out some of the many reasons I love him (ex. I love that you don't mind giving me PDA, I love that you always try to take the scenic route, I love that you notice when I wear perfume, I love that you really listen when I talk, etc.) This could be done as a year-long thing and write out 365 of the slips. I placed the slips in a ceramic box that I made in college and encouraged him to pull out only one a day to remind him why and how much I love him. I think he ended up sitting down and reading the whole lot of them one day. He still has it.
  • Since then, my gifts have been rather low key. However, last year, I decided to delve back into the crafty gifts. I painted a small box black and added red hearts. I then made a key from silver polymer clay. On the box, I wrote (outside) "I'm all yours" (inside) "so here's the key to my heart." Corney, yes, but cute. An alternative to this would be using an old key and paint, glitter, or other decorations and then placing it in a card rather than a box.
  • There is always the old standby of the coupon book. Some ideas for coupons you can make include: foot massage, "fly and buy" lunch or dinner, breakfast in bed, get out of chores, get out of cooking dinner, pass on taking out garbage, pick of the movie or control of the remote, a car wash, car detailing, babysitting, a free night out with the girls/guys, a manicure, a back massage, some freaky bedroom stuff (if that's your thing), etc. These are so often truly appreciated, rarely used, and simple to make. Of course, you need to be prepared to follow through with them. You have a few options when it comes to "love coupons"
    • First, you can all-out make them. To do so, write out the coupon on a square of paper, decorate the coupon with "expiration dates" and cut lines, hole punch all the coupons in the same place, and bind them together with a ribbon, brad, or book ring.
    • Or you can check out these printable coupons from DLTK. The site does allow you to customize the coupons and provides a variety of images.
  • Baking a treat is always a great option. I've made cookies in the past because my (aunt Mary's) oatmeal cookie recipe is to die for. I'll share it at another time. Baking for someone shows effort, they can totally enjoy the gift, and it's not something that will take up much space. Of course, this all depends on your baking skills.
  • As far as making cards goes, there are so many different styles and methods from which you can choose.
    • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) has a few Valentine card ideas you can check out.
    • As well, FamilyFun.com has a long list of Valentines you can make.
    • I really like this tissue paper valentine from AllCrafts. It's so graphic.
    • These vintage Valentines (left) are way cool. There are so many possibilities for them. Off the top of my head:
      • I would either print them onto cardstock and then cut them out to use as they are OR
      • print them out on regular copy paper or something thinner and decoupage a gift box or trinket box OR
      • Make a collage card with these images
    • Lastly, an original card idea: make a flower by:
      • Cut out 5-6 petal shapes from construction paper and 2 circles for the center of the flower.
      • Glue the ends of the petals to one of the circles, then glue the other circle on top of that (sandwich the ends of the petals.)
      • On the 'front' of the petals, write "She/He (as applicable) Loves Me" on ALL the petals. (Doing a take-off of the he loves me, he loves me not petal-pulling time waster)
      • On the 'back' of the petals, around the edges of the petals, write your message/poem.
    • Love poems and quotes for the greetings in your cards are available all over the internet. Of course you can always be original, cheesy, and sincere with your message.
I hope you have a happy and touching Valentine's Day. I also hope that these suggestions have helped any of you searching for a Valentine's idea. If you have any questions about the suggestions and directions, just let me know and I will clarify. Remember that no matter what you choose to present to your sweetheart, make sure it comes from the heart!! Best Wishes!!

*LOML=Love of My Life

2 comments:

  1. Great job, Hope! Thanks for coming to the rescue. Those were some terrific ideas. I actually liked your original idea about the He Loves Me Flower best of all. I'll let you know what I do after 2/14.

    Ben

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  2. So glad I could help. Def let me know what you come up with!!

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