Gabrielle Brown

Last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas!

In DIY on February 10, 2013 at 5:00 am


Valentine’s day is just around the corner & if you’re anything like me, you have yet to figure out what you’re going to give your significant other/bff/parents/whoever else you generally give Valentine’s Day gifts to. (If you’re a planner and have everything all figured out please give yourself a pat on the back for me. I envy your skills.)

I want to celebrate feb.14th by making some cute, easy and original DIY’s for the ones I love this year. After having searched high and low for ideas, I’ve  narrowed my selection down to 10 things that would be realistically achievable considering how little time is left until the ‘big day’. Here they are:

1) A Terrarium


Terrariums are my favorite kind of indoor ‘plants’ because they look awesome and require very little maintenance. I’ve spotted them in stores and in MANY pins on Pinterest, but I’ve never really thought to splurge on one before. They’d make great Valentine’s Day gifts for just about anyone because they’re original and  highly customizable – you can add labels, stickers or notes to the jars and even pick different types of rocks and decorations! Check out this cute idea from Wit & Whistle  if you’d like to try to make one on your own.

2) Bookends 


I’m a bit of a bookworm and I know a lot of people who have shelves full of books too. When I saw this post by Natalme I decided I may just give them all Bookends for valentine’s day because they make good, practical gifts.

What I love best about this idea is that you don’t need to go out of your way to find a million different things in specialized boutiques just for one DIY; It’s super simple and accessible. A lot of us have old toys around the house that we haven’t gotten rid of – or if you have kids like Natalme, you probably have  toys your kids don’t really play with anymore.

If you don’t happen to have a few old toys you’d be willing to transform into bookends, there are plenty of affordable options. Try going to a dollar store, a second-hand store or even your local thrift shop; they’ll definitely have a few plastic animal toys for you to choose from I’m sure (the ones at the thrift shop are probably all donated by people tired of keeping them around the house that didn’t know you could make bookends with them… jk haha).

3) A list of things you love about someone on Post-its 

post-it hearts

It’s a shame, but I  generally don’t get the chance to tell people that I’m close to that I love them on a daily-basis (I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one either).

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to remind people what they mean to you and giving them a list of reasons why is basically like giving them a permanent ‘pick-me-up’ list they can visit any day of the year when they may need a reminder that they are loved.

I feel like writing down a list of things you love about someone on post-its would be a wonderful and inexpensive way to tell them you care. A simple list on paper would be cute too. You could always make it look vintage and tie it up with a bow. The main goal is to make someone feel loved. As long as you write from the heart I don’t think the format you present what you write  matters all that much.

Post-its have been used for many pranks, but also for the purpose of making someone else’s day a little brighter. My favorite use of post-its to date would have to be this Post-it heart piñata. If it were covered in reasons you love someone and filled with valentine’s day candy it would definitely make the sweetest gift ever. (I’m sure it could be made smaller too.)

4) A ‘Love Potion’


I have yet to have a Valentine’s Day where I didn’t hear or see a reference to Love potion number 9 (or the movie). I’m not sure what that says about me and the society I live in, but it’s the truth.

You can find cool gifts that fit the love potion theme on sites like Etsy OR make your own. I’ve found 2 alternatives to buying one of them is potable and the other makes a cute necklace.

I came across this cool idea for a colorful drink on youtube a while ago and thought it could easily be labeled a ‘love potion’ too. This would be great to give to a good friend  on Valentine’s day. If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of straining the vodka, you could always turn a bottle of wine into a ‘love potion’ by putting a label on top of the label that’s on the bottle.

For a kid-friendly/alcohol-free version, I would suggest combining Kool-Aid or juice and a clear pop like Sprite or 7-Up to fill the bottles. Another alternative would be to make this awesome glitter necklace.

5) I ❤ U coupons

coupon book example

The idea is pretty simple. Make a coupon book filled with favors you’re willing to do for someone and write I ❤ U on the cover. Make sure you’re actually willing to do what you write down – the coupons have the same meaning as an IOU note and are redeemable at any time until they’re all gone. (I guess you could put an expiry date on them too but that might send the wrong message. ;P) I like the way Frugal Mama explains what she did for her gift coupons…she makes it look so easy!  If you don’t want to make your own, but like the general idea you could always buy these fancy Love Vouchers next year.

6) Sharpie Decorated Mugs/Glasses

Sharpie mugs

When I saw a post on a blog called a beautiful mess about his & her sharpie mugs (a beautiful combination of a million things I absolutely LOVE – ie: Mugs; Sharpies; DIY’s and matching…) I knew I had to try it to see if it works.

For Christmas, I bought my boyfriend two matching mugs – about 6$ from Winners – and brought over my rainbow sharpies. We drew on the mugs together and were able to start over by washing them in the dishwasher; It was actually lots of fun. (Once I get a good picture of our finished product I’ll post it.) The only downside to drawing on mugs with sharpies is that even after you bake the design on your Mugs/glasses, you always have to wash them by hand if you want it to stay on. I still think this is one of the best gifts I have ever given and definitely recommend trying this for Valentine’s day.

7) Tea Bags


I absolutely LOVE this DIY; I never knew it could be so easy to make my own tea bags!

This may just be the equivalent of the ‘holy grail’ when it comes to the gifting of tea to tea lovers.

If you plan to give these out to a few people you could buy  a few different blends of tea in bulk and make a small ‘sampler’ of a few bags of each flavor.

(I really dig TeavanaDavidsTea and Steeps tea in case you were wondering :P).

I’m definitely going to have to try this ASAP.

8) Cook or Bake something


If you’ve looked through all of these and thought to yourself “I don’t really want to do any of these” may I suggest making food? Food (especially free food) is good; it’s an essential part of life and is safe because if anything goes wrong when you make it you always have the option to order some from somewhere else…. 😛

Find out what your Valentine likes and make it for them OR  introduce them to something you’re good at!

I personally like to make cookies or cupcakes. There’s so many options now that literally only require you to add a few eggs and some milk or water , mix it all up, scoop it out,  watch it bake and serve (decorating is optional, but I recommend it). Any hard work in catering to allergies is taken care of too with things like gluten-free cake and cookie mixes.

To add some Valentine’s Day cheer to your cupcakes you could add food coloring to white icing and make your icing pink or red and get a few valentine’s day candies to sprinkle on top and they’ll be ready to serve! 🙂

9) Create a playlist


The days of exchanging real mixtapes is sadly long gone, but CD’s and creating playlists on the internet for free can definitely make up for it. I love to create playlists for people that are just too far away for me to see every day, and doing it via the internet is both cost-efficient and fast.

Many playlist-generating sites only ask for links to songs you want on your playlist, and not necessarily just songs you have bought/own. You can make playlists for free on sites like 8tracks or create a video playlist on Youtube if you have an account.

Note: If you are thinking about making a playlist for someone out of the country, you should know that some sites are required to restrict certain songs and videos to specific countries; You may need to re-think your playlist accordingly.

10) Make a card

Retro-inspired valentine

When all else fails, a good old-fashioned Valentine’s day card is probably better than nothing at all. My mom still has every single one I ever made her – not saying this is something I revert to year after year or anything…. 😛

Have a happy Valentine’s day! 🙂 

Love, Gabrielle. xo

I Hope this post helped you decide what you’re going to make this Valentine’s Day. I would love to know what you decided on and if there’s anything you would add to this list. Send me an email or Leave me a comment!

  1. La La Love this ! I totally forgot that it was V-day this week, I will really need to get my act in gear and come up with something! I do got some great ideas from this !

  2. I will deff, be posting up on what I gave my boyfriend hahah ! Happy Early V-Day ! And thanks ! my rehab went pretty well yesterday !

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