Valentine's Day is a time to show love and thoughtfulness toward romantic partners. Show your significant other how much you care by giving a homemade gift from the heart he or she can display as a reminder of your love. These DIY gift ideas are great for men and women of all ages.
Sentimental Photo Frame
Show off your sweet side with a personalized photo gift featuring your song or any love song that expresses your feelings. This project is easy for anyone who can read and write, but it will take an hour or more to complete because of the practice run and need for a steady hand. Couples of any age can make this gift to house a prom photo, wedding picture, or any other candid image. Choose a masculine frame with a black-and-white picture to make the gift for a guy, or pick a decorative, feminine frame and a pink Sharpie to make if for a girly girl.
What You Need:
- A wooden or plastic picture frame with glass and matting
- Fine point, black Sharpie marker
- Standard ruler
- Blank copy paper
- Complete lyrics from a love song
- Photo of you and the recipient
- Search online for the lyrics to your song or any other love song the recipient will recognize. Print off the complete lyrics.
- Make a practice template. Cut the blank copy paper down to the size of your frame matting. For example, it might be 8 x 10 inches.
- Trace the matting cutout onto your piece of paper and cut the rectangular piece out of the center of the paper. You should have an exact copy of the frame matting, only in paper.
- Decide if you will use a horizontal or vertical photograph. If using a horizontal photo, begin writing your song lyrics across the top long edge of the paper template. If using a vertical photo, do the same only on the short side. Continue from left to right down the template until you have all the lyrics on it.
- Analyze your template to decide the best way to place the lyrics. Now you are ready to make the final product.
- Write the lyrics on the frame matting using the Sharpie and a ruler to guide a straight line.
- Put the matting back in the frame and then secure the photograph in the matting and close the frame.
Message in a Bottle
Send the one you love a clear message about your feelings with the ultimate romantic gesture of a keepsake message in a bottle. If you need a fast, easy, inexpensive gift, this is the one for you. Even though it's not difficult or expensive, it is really thoughtful, cute, and sentimental. Since the gift is essentially a personal note from you, the message in a bottle works great for new couples who don't know each other inside and out or have a lot of pictures and mementos. This romantic project takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
What You Need:
- One clean, empty, clear glass bottle - any size, with or without lid
- Patterned or colored paper
- Ribbon or string
- Embellishments like sand or confetti - optional
- Cut a piece of ribbon about 18 inches long.
- Cut the decorative paper into a square with equal sides 1-2 inches shorter than the bottle.
- On the plain or faded side of the paper, write a love poem or love note and sign it.
- Roll the paper into a long, thin tube that will easily fit inside the bottle's opening.
- Tie the ribbon around the center of the paper tube with a loose knot and leave equal lengths of ribbon hanging on either side.
- If using embellishments, add those inside the bottom of the bottle.
- Pull the excess ribbon up as tall as you can and insert the paper into the bottle while holding the ribbon.
- If the bottle has no lid, you can simply leave the string hanging out the top opening and tie it in a bow. Alternatively, you can cut down a bottle cork to fit in the opening. Make sure you leave at least one piece of ribbon hanging out the top of the bottle with the cork in place so your love can easily remove the message.
- If your bottle came with a screw-on lid, poke a hole in the center of the lid. Thread the ribbon through the lid and screw the lid on the bottle.
Make your love a hidden compartment book where he or she can hide sexy items or mementos from your relationship. This project requires a serious time commitment (perhaps a couple hours) since you'll need to cut through hundreds of pages in a thick book to create the secret compartment. Couples with lots of frequent houseguests or nosy kids will love this secret gift that helps them keep romance alive and out of view from others. Keep the spark alive in your relationship when you use this hiding place as a spot to stash romantic or sexy love notes on a daily basis.
What You Need:
- One thick, hardcover book about 6.5 x 9.5 inches with a paper jacket
- Standard Sharpie markers in any colors
- Angled box cutter or sturdy craft knife
- White glue
- Small paint brush
- Small cardboard, plastic, or metal container and lid - no thicker than your book
- Remove the jacket and turn inside-out so you have a blank book jacket.
- Use the markers to create your own book cover with a catchy love-themed title. Personalize the cover by using your name as the author and include a quote or phrase you say to each other as the back summary. If you want a more streamlined look, create a cover in a word processing program on your computer and then print, cut, and glue it to the original book jacket.
- Open the book to the first page of text. Make sure you leave the first few pages like the title page and table of contents as they are.
- Place your container centered on the first page of the story and trace around it entirely.
- Use the cutter/knife to start cutting about 1/4 inch outside all of your traced lines. This allows the container to fit snug, but also be removed.
- Depending on your book thickness and your cutting tool, you'll probably only be able to cut through a small amount of pages at a time.
- Keep cutting out the container shape until you reach the last page of the story. Leave any author or blank pages in the back of the book intact.
- Paint a thick layer of glue onto all the sides of the cavity you have cut out in the middle of the book. This helps the pages stick together without having to glue each one separately. Allow time to dry.
- Slide the container into the hole you've created in the center of the book. Make any extra cuts needed to help the container fit flat.
- Close the book with the container inside to make sure it lies flat.
- Replace the new, customized book jacket and add a memento or love note inside the hidden container.
More DIY Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
The heart of a Valentine's Day gift is the thought and emotion behind it. If you've got a small budget or want to show off your commitment with a homemade gift, these ideas work well for men and women.
- Customize a romantic coupon book using free, printable Valentine's Day themed coupons. Download the template, print, then handwrite coupons for things like hugs, kisses, or a romantic dinner.
- Give a gift that keeps on giving when you make an easy homemade year of love notes. Stack a couple packs of Post-It notes and write the instructions "peel off one note each day" or something similar on the top note. On each successive Post-It write a love note, quote, or phrase so your loved one has a new, personal message from you every day of the year.
- Make a home spa gift basket with DIY bath salts, homemade soap, and handmade candles to give your partner a chance for total relaxation alone or with you.
- Download the free printable template to make your own wine label and then attach it to a homemade bottle of wine.
- Purchase or make a blank journal and then mark pages where you've left a love note with a folded origami heart bookmark.
- Make your own chocolate or vanilla lip balm using simple ingredients like beeswax and coconut oil. Add a tag with a fun phrase like "Your lips will need a lot of love when I'm done with them!"
Thoughtful Expressions of Love
Homemade Valentine's Day gifts say a lot about your feelings toward the recipient. The thought and time committed to each gift you make sends the message that you care and are invested in the relationship.