There are a lot of Valentine’s Day haters out there — and for good reason. For a lot of people, Valentine’s Day has become less about expressing love and more about spending money. And on top of that, from chocolate boxes to one-time use greeting cards, it’s a holiday that appears to be inherently wasteful. It makes sense, then, that so many people think it’s a garbage holiday, based on outdated principles and ostentatious shows of “love.” But I’m here to tell you that it can still be about love and not be wasteful. You just have to be down to DIY your Valentine's Day.
My love for DIY Valentine’s Day stems from my childhood. My father is famous in my hometown for doing over-the-top valentines for my mom every year. His only rules are that it has to be cheap, public and embarrassing. Some classics include painting a two-story heart on the front of our house in whipped cream; attaching a sign that says “Stu Loves Joan” onto her car and making her drive it around for a full week; and using biodegradable paint to create a massive valentine on a snow-covered hill next to the highway. This year will their 32nd Valentine’s Day together and he’s still coming up with over-the-top the schemes to demonstrate his love every February 14.
Last year, I took inspiration from my dad and did my own over-the-top DIY Valentine’s Day project. My partner and I were living in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Thailand but somehow I managed to secretly paint and cut out 100 paper hearts of different sizes. I wrote one reason why I love him on the back of each one and then hung them from our ceiling with fishing wire. When he came home at the end of a long, long day of work, he opened the door to a hundred hearts fluttering around his head. He loved them so much he kept them up for over a month.
Interested in doing your own DIY Valentine’s Day but not sure where to start? Check out these 11 DIY Valentine’s Day gifts below.
1For The Artsy Type
My brother and sister-in-law are DIY geniuses. Seriously — those two know how make everything from vegan cookies that are actually delicious to their own heated flooring. Colleen demonstrates some of her awesome projects on her site, The Lovely Crazy, including this super simple DIY paper heart chain. It's cheap, beautiful, and so sweet. Perfect for an artsy valentine!
2For The Wine Lover
The obvious gift for a wine lover would be a bottle of wine but that's not DIY! So instead of (or in addition to) that bottle, why not make these rosé soaked gummy bears from A Beautiful Mess? In addition to being delicious and boozy, they don't require any actual DIY skills (all you have to know how to do is poor wine) so this a low barrier to entry option.
3For The One Who Can Never Find Their Keys
Does your partner always seem to lose their keys? (Do they drive you nuts running around searching for them?) Show them you noticed their pain and wanted to help by making this DIY leather keychain from Delia Creates. For an extra Valentine's Day touch, emboss it with your initials or your anniversary.
4For The Environmentalist
Caring about the environment isn't just for hippies anymore. (Thank goodness! Not that there's anything wrong with hippies, just that it's important for all of us to be caring about the Earth.) If your boo is trying to be a little more conscientious about their environmental impact, but just can't see to quit their take out coffee addiction, make them a personalized coffee mug from this Studio DIY! tutorial. Get cheesy with your initials in a heart or pull a quote from their favorite love poem if you want it to be Valentine's Day specific.
5For The Sugar Lover
Sugar cookies are the sweet, buttery treat that we get to indulge in a few times of year, Valentine's Day being one of them. If your boo has a sweet tooth like a third grader who's just had her first piece of candy ever, make them this frosted sugar cookie cake from Julie Blanner and watch their eyes light up in delight.
6For The One On-The-Go
For those of who spend half our life running from place to place, there's nothing better than a great, deep bag to throw everything into. This one is for all of you more advanced DIYers out there: a leather strap crochet tote from Delia Creates. It's beautiful, functional, and looks really fun to make.
7For The Cheeseball
And no, I don't mean literal cheese. (Although if you do want to DIY your own cheese, hats off to you!) These DIY Merit Badges from Now That's Pretty are like the corny, sweet, grown-up version of those coupon booklets you used to make as kid. Come up with some love and sex-specific ones that your honey definitely earned for this cutesy V-day gift.
8For The Effortlessly Chic
Infinity scarves are always in style and they're super easy to make. If your boo is hella fashionable (or just often chilly), make them this DIY infinity scarf from Girl Loves Glam. For maximum money saving (and additional cuteness) use an old t-shirt of yours.
9For The Foodie
If your honey is a foodie and you have trouble making ramen, it can be ahrd to cook for them. But this DIY Letter Crouton recipe from Now That's Pretty is so easy, even a kitchen newbie could do it. Might I suggest pairing these I Love You croutons with a simple homemade soup? Tomato is an obvious choice, for the color and ease, but borsht could work if you're feeling adventurous!
10For The Organizer
Some people really, really love keeping track of everything. If you read that sentence and thought, "TELL ME ABOUT IT!" then your partner is probably one of those people. Make their Valentine's Day with this DIY white board calendar from Now That's Pretty. It's an inexpensive, cute, thoughtful way to show you're paying attention.
11For The Nostalgic
Does your lover love to look through old snaps on Insta and sigh? Are they constantly taking photos of you looking "adorable"? Indulge their love of nostalgia by creating this DIY papercut album from Now That's Pretty. Start off the first few pages with some choice pics of the two of you together and then welcome them to fill up the rest on their own.
DIY gifts are a perfect way to save money, be less wasteful, and show your partner you care — and they just may change your opinion of Valentine's Day.