Over the commercialism that is Valentine’s Day, but still want to show the love of your life that you think they’re real swell? These V-Day gift ideas are thoughtful, creative, silly and best of all, affordable. Plus, your sweetheart will be impressed that you took the time to make make something with your own two hands, rather than simply swiping a credit card and calling it a day.
Scroll on to see the most cheap and cheerful DIY Valentine’s Day gifts that don’t suck.
Create a secret email address and send it love letters, sweet thoughts and pictures
The earlier you start this free gift, the better. Pick an email address that includes your lover’s name or maybe some goofy nickname, like firstname.lastname@example.org, and then, from your own email, begin sending the new address love notes, lyrics to a song you both love, a silly selfie you snapped together or a moment that occured that you didn’t mention out loud but wanted them to know you recognized. On Feb 14, send your special someone the login details so they can browse the aggregated content you’ve compiled.
Make something edible that doesn’t involve baking
Snacks. Everyone loves snacks, but not everyone loves baking. Something like white chocolate-covered pretzels dipped in heart sprinkles are super simple to put together, and inexpensive, too. Plus, they’re so much more thoughtful than some store-bought version in a box.
Start a jar of memories, past and present
This jar of memories is in the same vein as the email address, but in physical form. Find a glass jar (maybe finish off that almond butter at the back of the fridge and wash out the container), cut out strips of white or coloured paper, write a past memory you’ve shared together on each one, fold and add them to the jar. Slap on a bow and you’ve just made an A+ present that is almost guaranteed to cause wet eyes. Then, as the year goes on, you can both add new memories to the jar.
Thrift a copy of an old book they love
If your lover is a reader, thrift an old or original copy of a book they adore. It’ll take some hunting, sure, but the look on their face when they unwrap an original copy of Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea or their favourite Calvin & Hobbes book will be so worth it.
50 reasons why I love you
Buy 50 (or 100, if you’re extra creative) packaged chocolates like Hershey Kisses or mini Reeses cups at a bulk food store and cut out pieces of paper similar in size to the Hershey Kiss’ paper tab or the bottom of the peanut butter cup. Write down reasons why you love your love and glue or staple each paper piece onto a chocolate. When you’ve written down all of the reasons, load the candies into a jar, make a “Reasons Why I Love You” label out of construction paper and tape to the front of the container. (Now you can determine how much they love you back based on whether or not they keep the love note wrappers you painstakingly wrote.)
Build a boozy bouquet
Not all humans appreciate fresh flowers. Instead, put together a bouquet of beer alongside savoury treats like breadsticks, pepperoni and cheeses. If your lover isn’t into beer, switch things up for small bottles of liquor or wine. Enjoy responsibly and, of course, together.
Declare your love on a chunk of wood
If you’re the outdoorsy type, pick up a piece of wood fallen in the forest on your next hike, or find the time to sneak off to a trail you’ve walked before. Find a spot on a branch or stump and then carve your names or initials into the wood. Bonus points if you can find a piece of fallen timber that will actually sit flush against a table or shelf.
Paint a dinosaur gold and stuff its mouth with hearts
Pretty much anything coated in gold paint will make a winning V-Day gift. But this plastic prehistoric creature, which you can pick-up in the children’s section at any dollar store or toy store, will look especially fierce yet lovable once given the metallic treatment. Cut out hearts from red paper and glue them in and around his mouth, and, boom, your bae has a new book end/paper weight/really awesome piece of art.
Conversation stones are designed to get couples talking about things they may never have thought to share. Dollar stores (or sometimes thrift stores) will have bags of these clear glass pebbles. Type up a handful of questions (use the list here for some ideas) and print them off. Then cut out each question into a small circle and apply it to the underside of the stone using a thin layer of glue. Add them to a small box or spread them out on your dinner table at home for an amusing evening.