Top 10 homemade Valentine’s presents

Best homemade Valentine's projects round-up
The ten best homemade presents for the day of lurve

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day.

Whether it’s the memory of all those agonising February 14ths at primary school, hoping that someone would leave a card on your desk, and the crushing disappointment when nobody did. (The only year worse than the barren years was the time someone did leave me a card and a heart-shaped rubber (that’s an eraser, of course, not the other kind) and then hid behind a bookcase while the rest of the class chanted that we were “sitting in a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g…” An early lesson to me that getting what you wished for doesn’t always make you happy as I cringed in embarrassment and rubbed out the page where I’d written our names festooned with hearts.)

Or the memories of all the meals out as a student in a relationship, where we played grown-ups and sat in a hushed restaurant full of couples, all eyeing each other and paying over the odds for the special Valentine’s menu that came with a glass of bellini.

Or the times early in a relationship where I’ve tried to avoid the schmaltz and ended up going to see a depressing film at the cinema (The Pianist one time) and felt a bit jealous of all the other happy people having a meal as we caught the bus home, miserable after the harrowing experience we’d just been through.

Even now, with a fiancé and a baby, and no option of going out to do anything, I still object to the huge commercialisation of the whole thing. The main aim of the day not to show our love for someone, but to line the coffers of the high street.

And every year, I say I’m not going to do anything for Valentine’s Day this year, because it’s so commercial, yadda yadda yadda. And every year I crack at the last minute and do something.

Well, what’s the other option? To be that grumpy bugger who can’t even tell their partner how much they love them on Valentine’s Day.

So, with two weeks to go until the big day of love, this year I’m ahead of myself and I’m going to make something really nice for my partner. Something homemade. That I’ve thought about. And which doesn’t take too much time or money.

So, here’s my round-up of the ten best homemade Valentine’s ideas that I’ve seen out there on the internet. I hope something here catches your eye.

Ten best Valentine's tutorials
Best Valentine’s ever?

1. Love bugs

I suspect these bugs by Dandee are the all-time best Valentine’s present that has ever been created.

Schmaltz-free, funny but still super cute. They’re meant for children, of course, but my insect-crazed partner would absolutely love these.

You can get a printable pdf for the jars on her blog and then it’s just a question of hitting the toy shops for some suitable beasties…

(And who wouldn’t want to start their Valentine’s Day preparations by staking out the toy shops, rather than battling the hordes in a florist for some flowers that seem to have mysteriously trebled in price over the past few weeks.)

Top 10 homemade Valentine's
Oh to be Sarah!

2. Felt envelopes

I first saw these adorable miniature felt Valentine’s envelopes by probably actually last year, a little too late to do anything with them.

The hand-stamped name on the front is an especially lovely touch, along with the felt heart sewn on to the card.

Who knew a Valentine’s card could be so romantic and classy at the same time?!

Head over to probably actually for more information: Be Mine.

Top 10 homemade Valentine's presents
No pink here!

3. Funny Valentine

I absolutely love the blog Delia Creates. Its author, Delia, somehow manages to juggle looking after three kids (one of them still a baby), with making the most amazing projects, taking the most stunning photos, and writing it all up for her blog. With just one baby of my own, I read her articles in awe and wonder what on earth I’m doing with my own time. (Yes, I guess I just answered that question, ha ha.)

She always makes really appealing projects for holidays and these Funny Valentines boxes are no exception. In bright, cheery colours, each box has a joke on the outside and some sweets inside.

See all the details, including a template for the boxes, here: Funny Valentine.

Top Valentine's homemade presents
Yum yum

4. Felt hearts

It seems like felt and Valentine’s Day just go hand in hand; here’s another cute felt project from the Purl Bee.

These fluffy hearts are a really simple sewing project that can be filled with sweets, trinkets or even a little love note.

I think even the most inexperienced sewer (ahem, *raises hand*) could manage to stitch these together.

As ever, with the wonderful Purl Bee, the instructions are super clear and illustrated with lots of great photos. See the tutorial here: felt candy hearts.

Top 10 homemade Valentine's ideas
Glorious!

5. Hanging hearts

My Valentine’s surprise for my partner last year was to fill the small room bedroom in our temporary apartment in Hong Kong with hundreds (okay, maybe tens) of hanging origami hearts. It looked amazing, but it did take me all day to complete (and sadly I didn’t take a photo…)

These wonderful heart garlands by dottie angel, however, sound far simpler to make and would have an even more dramatic effect as you really could completely fill a room.

(I have to say, being a serious bibliophile, I couldn’t bear to chop up an actual book to make these, but a magazine or newspaper would work just as well.)

To make them, see the Have a Heart How-To.

Homemade Valentine's presents round-up
South Bank dating

6. Valentine’s paperweights

Okay, as I’ve called this blog post the “top ten” Valentine’s presents, I feel a bit arrogant having included something of my own in it, so let’s just rename it now the “top nine presents, plus something I made,” instead…

I am pretty pleased with this idea though: a paperweight with a vintage map inside that shows the place where you first met or first went on a date or got married.

It doesn’t look obviously Valentinesy, but has a lovely romantic significance.

See my post Valentine’s paperweights for more info on this one, along with some other ideas for images you could put inside the paperweight.

Best homemade Valentine's projects round-up
Sweet heart

7. Heart cake

A homemade cake for Valentine’s Day would please most people. A pink heart nestling inside is just the (wait for it…) icing on the cake. (Aaaay thankew.)

This cake looks amazingly impressive to me, but Kara’s explanations of how to construct it on her Butter Hearts Sugar blog make it sound like (wait for it…) a piece of cake. (Isn’t that one of the most appealing blog names you’ve ever heard, as well?)

Get the full details here: Heart inside Valentine’s cake.

Round up of the best homemade Valentine's presents
Pencil pushing

8. Just write

Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t love a pun? If there is, they’re certainly not friends of mine…

So, these fantastic “just write” Valentine’s pens are, well, just right for me.

There’s a really clear tutorial and free pdf with the heart artwork all on the blog positively splendid. The simplicity of these (along with the pun) really appeals to me.

Find more info here: Pencil arrow Valentines.

Top ten homemade Valentines projects
Please, have my heart

9. Vintage card

As with every other subject under the sun, there is a wealth of amazing copyright-free vintage imagery for Valentine’s Day on the Graphics Fairy blog.

This lovely Valentine’s Scots boy is holding a particularly plump looking red heart.

To make a unique card, just print out the image on the right hand side only of a horizontally aligned piece of paper, fold in half and add your message to the inside.

Stick the word “Valentines” into the search on the blog and you’ll find a plethora of other appealing images as well.

Round-up of the best homemade Valentine's presents
Fried love © Carey Nershi

10. Fried egg heart

Don’t want to go overboard, but still want to show your beloved you care? Follow the tradition since time immemorial to show someone they’re a bit special to you: make them breakfast in bed.

There’s something about sneaking out of the bedroom, clanking away in the kitchen, and reappearing with a laden breakfast tray that warms the cockles of every recipient’s heart.

This heart-shaped fried egg, nestled in a piece of toast will spread a bit of Valentine’s love, all in the time it takes to cook an egg…

Get the full how-to from Reclaiming Provincial: egg in the basket.

So there you have it. Ten homemade projects sure to put a smile on your Valentine’s face.

For even more suggestions, take a look at my Pinterest board Valentine’s sweetness. And if there’s a great project you think I should have included, do post a comment below and let me know about it. I always love to hear from you…

Related articles:

Advertisements

Weighty issues: Valentine’s gifts

No jibber jabber from me today, just a few pictures.

I revisited the paperweights I made for Christmas and used Valentine’s Day images to create some nice, weighty, non-cheesy Valentine’s Day presents.

For a detailed step-by-step for making these (and a lot more jibber jabber), see my post on how to make your own paperweights. Today, I’m just sharing a few more options for images to put inside…

Heart paperweights

Give your loved one your heart this year. Captured and encased in a glass dome paperweight, ha ha…

Two different options here. I can’t quite decide which one I prefer at the moment.

Both images were from the Graphics Fairy blog: black and white heart and colourful heart.

heart paperweight DIY
From aorta to vena cava, I love you with all my heart.
valentines heart paperweight DIY
Another heart, this one with colours. Which is nicer d’you reckon?

A relief from business

This image really made me smile: a little Bob Cratchit type man, sitting and reading a Valentine’s letter instead of a financial report (or, at least, that’s what I imagine he normally reads).  Image found from Clip Art Etc: Valentine’s day.

Make your own Valentine's paperweights
“Quite a relief from business” indeed

Map paperweight

Finally, I think this is my favourite (and most romantic) idea: a paperweight with a significant location displayed. You could use the place you first met, went on your first date, got married etc.

I used a vintage London map here, but you could always just use an ordnance survey map, or whatever’s easier to lay your hands on.

map paperweight DIY
Wouldn’t it be romantic if your first date was a long walk along the South Bank and you gave this paperweight of that location? (Sadly, not where my first date was, so for me it’s just a nice image…)

And just because I particularly like this idea, here’s the side view as well. Graphic for this found on the Graphics Fairy blog: vintage London map.

Map paperweight from Wolves in London blog
Yup, I really am showing you a second photo just so you can see this from the side. Lucky you, eh?

So, tell me, what would you put inside a paperweight for your Valentine?

Related articles:

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

This post is linked at the following link parties. Do go and visit and see what others have been up to this week…

Katie’s Nesting Spot, Creative Juice at Momnivore’s Dilemma, Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Creek Cottage, Glued to my Crafts, Serenity Now.

Top 20 tutorials for homemade Christmas presents

Like these ideas? I’ve got more! Take a look at 17 homemade Christmas presents too…

Top 20 tutorials for homemade Christmas presents

Last year, I was in Hong Kong for six months over Christmas so I had to buy presents online for my family back in the UK. Despite the fact I was on what I cheerfully referred to as a “sabbatical” (read instead “long holiday”) and wasn’t earning any money, I felt a bit sad that I wasn’t with the rest of my family for Christmas and wanted to make sure I sent nice presents over.

So I over-compensated. I spent £800 on presents. £800! And that’s not on presents for everyone, just my family. And to clarify again, I don’t mean aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. No, I mean mother and siblings and siblings-in-law. Eeeeeep. I didn’t even buy everyone grand amazing presents, I just did that thing where you see something cool online and it costs £15 or so and you think “Oh, that would be a nice little present for x” and you buy it and then you forget you’ve bought it and you keep on going until you’ve got five “little” presents for x and accidentally spent a fortune.

Anyway, lesson learned this year, and the plan is to spend nothing at all and make presents for everyone (or at least only spend money on supplies…)

With this in mind, here’s a round-up of 20 appealing-looking tutorials for presents. I’ve only made a few so far, but I’ll keep you updated on any successes (or amusing failures…)

20 homemade Christmas present tutorials | Wolves in London

You can find more craft projects that I’m planning on making at my Pinterest board I could make that. Go on, follow me there, you know you want to.

Knitting

I’m normally tempted to go all-out on knitted presents, but this year I am trying to keep the selection small, as this is one of the slower ways of making presents and I have less time on my hands than normal, what with a four-month-old to look after and the past few weeks spent making presents for my partner’s birthday. Here, then, are a few quick and simple knits:


1. Baby aran bodysuit
by Eileen Casey.

I absolutely adore this little cabled romper suit (and the cute baby in the photos…)

I’ve had the pattern saved in my Ravelry queue for ages and a Christmas present for my baby is the perfect excuse to get it out of the queue and onto the needles. By the way, if you’re on Ravelry too, do friend me. I’m here: Wolves in London.

If this romper suit is  just so much adorable cuteness that you can’t actually bear to stop knitting once you’ve finished it, there is a matching hat and booties to go with it too. All for free. Amazing…

2. Bella’s mittens. A free pattern by Marielle Henault found through Ravelry. These look lovely and snuggly with a big thick wintery cable pattern. I’ve already started on these, in fact, and the first mitten knitted up super-quick.  I’ll dedicate a separate post to them, once finished.

3. Selbu Modern hat. This looks so elegant and comfy. Free pattern found through Ravelry (as always!) I’ll be making this for the same sister who is getting the mittens. I’m currently trying to decide whether to match yarn or just make two completely different items. Hmmmmm…

4. Cable knit socks. Classy, woolly sock pattern from the Purl Bee. These would be perfect for wearing under wellies or boots, or just for slouching around the house.

5. Cornish dormouse tea cosy. I know, I know, it’s amazing isn’t it? Not a free pattern, sadly, but surely worth $3.99…

Bath and beauty

6. Citrus sugar body scrub. I followed this tutorial from Maybe Matilda to make up a tub of sugar scrub for a friend earlier this year after she had a baby.

She said it smelt so delicious that she had to taste a little bit to try it.  If that’s not high praise, I don’t know what is.

(Disclaimer: no matter how gorgeous your scrub smells, I don’t advocate eating it…)

7. Bath Fizzies. Simple sounding instructions from the Martha Stewart website.

8. Also from Martha Stewart, these grass soaps look amazing…

There is something about the presentation here that is so fantastic. There are lots and lots of different soap making projects on the website so I definitely plan on buying some melt and pour soup base and having a crack at a few of these.

9. Bergamot and coconut skin salve. Even the name of this sounds delicious, doesn’t it? I’m going to try and find some nice vintage tins to put it in.

10. For all my bath and food creations, I plan on printing out and attaching some homemade labels. I was inspired by this post on a thousand word’s blog. She’s made a whole hamper for her friend’s birthday with matching labels on all the products. So gorgeous. There’s a raft of great labels to download and use on the World Label blog.

Sewing

11. I’ve been planning a quilt for my sister and her husband for some time. I bought some stunning Liberty fabric a few years ago and it’s been sitting waiting to be transformed ever since. Consequently, I’ve been storing lots of quilt tutorials, so can offer a few options:

12. Lavender and cedarwood bags in matching fabric to the quilt. I met up with my sister the other evening and was gratified to see that she was wearing the snood I made her for Christmas two years ago. Less gratifying to see though, was that there were a couple of holes in it — however, gratifying again, that when I pointed this out, she was genuinely annoyed at seeing them and said they have got a serious moth problem in their new house. So, lavender and cedarwood bags are an essential. I won’t actually be following a tutorial for this as it’s pretty straightforward, but there is a great tutorial on Martha Stewart’s site that also tells you how to print your own designs onto fabric first.

Wood

I’m not entirely sure where I’d be finding big slabs of wood, but if I do I will certainly be making…

13. These amazing chopping boards by Centsational Girl and

14. The Design Sponge pencil holder

Prints

15. This must be one of the simplest ideas for a present ever. Print out some beautiful vintage bookplate designs and cut to size! I’ve come across a few different free graphics for these, so I’ll be putting together a combination of the ones I’ve found at The Graphics Fairy (pictured on the left), Design Sponge and Benign Objects (links take you directly to the bookplates). I think I’ll also make some little envelopes to hold them all. Will cut some to size out of card, stick one of the bookplates that is inside on the front and embellish the insides using the Guardian’s guide to making envelope liners. It’s a really simple idea, but hopefully will be appreciated  by the bibliophiles in my life…

16. I’m going to have my first crack at grown-up potato stamp printing, inspired by the tutorial for this stunning feather-printed gauze blanket. I think I will try and craft mine into a scarf, however.

17.  I’ll be following my own tutorial for transferring printed images onto fabric to make some more printed T-shirts, this time for friends’ children. I’ve been storing cool free graphics to use for this. The advantage of doing this is you can make the perfect T-shirt for their tastes. One friend’s son is crazy on horses, so he’ll get a horse T-shirt and I am already excited about how much he’ll love that…

Food

18. I’ll be making some more of the delicious apple and sage jelly that I cooked in September.

This is a really perfect homemade present: hard to find in the shops, a bit unique, looks beautiful and, best of all, utterly delicious…

19. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Turkish delight. I’ve never tried to make it before, so I don’t know how well it would turn out, but this turkish delight recipe from the Guardian sounds pretty simple.

20. These peppermint hearts from Flossie Teacakes blog (love that name, don’t you?) originally got on my radar as a potential Valentine’s Day present. But I think they’d be great for Christmas too: all wrapped up in a nice box, with a jolly ribbon tied on. I think I’ll make up a couple of batches of these to use as “back-up” presents, just in case I forget to buy someone something…

So tell me, what have you got planned for your DIY Christmas presents? And what amazing tutorials have I missed off this list? Please share anything fabulous you’ve seen or created by posting a comment below…

Happy Christmas-crafting…

Update:

I’ve made a few of these projects now, so I’ll add links here to anything I’ve tried out

soap square
Lavender soap

My favourite of the completed Christmas presents was definitely the homemade soap. It went down really well with the recipients and I made so many I’ve used a fair few myself! Read more about it: how to make your own soap

Knitted hot water bottle cover
Hot water bottle

I managed to get a fair few things knitted in time, including the lovely Bella’s mittens, along with a hot water bottle cosy and a nice slouchy cable hat. See more photos and details of all at  Christmas knitting

Printing on fabric
Printed T-shirts

After printing more T-shirts, I put together some tips for transferring images to fabric, along with photos of some that I made

Homemade bookplates
Bookplates

The bookplates were certainly one of the simplest but most appealing of all the homemade presents. See the finished bookplates and the cute little envelopes I made for them (ahem, even if I do say so myself…)