Whether you bitterly hate it or pink fluffy heart it, Valentines Day is but a few short sleeps away. Here are some ideas for quirky crafty DIY ideas for both couples and singletons that hopefully won't have you retching or grasping for that third Martini...
Custom piece by Gemma Milly www.gemmamilly.com
Lets just get one thing out the way. There is no excuse for schmaltzy Valentines gifts or activities. Banish all thoughts of petrol station cards, malting teddies, cheap chocolates and overpriced restaurants. With just a little thought and effort, you can change Valentines from a mainstream, mass produced tack fest into something a little more thoughtful and personal.
Call us old fashioned but there is just something lovely about handmade gifts. There is a time and a place for diamonds, cashmere and sumptuous candles, we hasten to add, but handmade gifts take more thought and time and are far more personal. It doesn’t matter if it’s been lovingly crafted by you or by someone else, the fact that something unique has been created by hand, with all its wonks and flaws, is lovely. And of course, if you’ve done it yourself, there’s the added bonus of it being cheaper and ranking high on the smug scale too...
Knicker making kit available from Liberty
1) What could be more appropriate than making your own knickers for Valentines? This would be brilliant to do with friends over a few glasses of wine. Or perhaps your other half could choose the fabrics and trimmings? On second thoughts, depending on your partner, that could also be a hideous idea… We’ll leave that to you. A kit is available at Liberty, The Make Lounge offer knicker making courses or you could try following a tutorial online.
2) Commission a custom portrait, or buy a distinctive print. If you don’t fancy your own drawing skills (stick men, anyone?!) then utilise the drawing skills of someone else. Send a photo of you and your loved one of the illustrators featured in our gallery and they will turn it into a completely unique custom piece. Spooning squirrels: Print by Sandra Dieckmann www.etsy.com, Mother and baby: custom piece by Abby Wright abbywrightillustration.co.uk, Old lady with cat: Print by Rebecca Hendin www.rebeccahendin.com Prices upward of £40.
3) Leave love messages around the house. Use some colourful washi tape (Available from Papermash or Liberty) to stick love notes to the bathroom mirror or bedroom door. Attach magnets or blue tack to scrabble tiles and spell out a suitably cheesy message on the fridge, carton of milk, underwear drawer…
4) Arrange blooms in several different jars and tins and decorate with ribbon and lace. It doesn’t take long and makes even the cheapest bouquet of flowers look gorgeous.
Knit your own Boyfriend kit available at Liberty
5) Single? Crafty? Dreading Valentines?! Banish boredom on Valentines day by knitting your own Boyfriend! Why, what else?!
6) Ok, ok I know we said there’s no excuse for schmaltz, but we’ll make an exception when it comes to love hearts. Partner or no partner, Valentines is at least an excuse to indulge in a bit of love-heart loving. Learn to crochet little love hearts (or buy them here) and make into badges, shoe clips or earrings. Cut out a heart shape from some non-fraying fabric and sew on to a t-shirt or jumper, like this. Make a tiny love heart stencil and paint your nails with hearts. Embrace it, we say! Crochet hearts from Lemons for Lemonade www.etsy.com; Heart jumper by Cotton & Curls cottonandcurls.blogspot.com
Jam filled butter biscuits from BBC Good Food www.bbc.co.uk
7) Maybe you’d prefer to express your love gastronomically? We ardently approve if so. Make love heart sugar cookies, pink peppermint creams, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate fudge…. (Wow, we’re getting a sugar high just writing this) Give to give to colleagues, friends, family members or, of course, your loved one. Home made, cheap, and who doesn’t love a sweet treat, hmm?
What are your Valentines thoughts? Love or loathe it? Have a crafty idea of your own? Do share below…
by Hannah Bullivant