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Valentine DIY Inspiration and Instruction

I really love Valentine's Day.  It's a celebration of love and friendship and there's a big sale on all kinds of chocolate in the middle of the month!  There's so much to love about this time of year! There are years when I decorate my home, and get as serious about mailing out my Valentines as I do my Christmas cards.

But this is not one of those years.  I began to accept this reality last night after I failed to crochet or knit a fifth or sixth heart (different patterns yielded different disasters), and completely embraced it after I tried to take adorable pictures of my daughter for photo cards and got this:

I got a nice in-focus picture of her sock before she completely scurried away.

As festive as I feel, I don't know how much holiday crafting I'll be doing for this particular holiday.  I do know I probably won't be making something awesome (or something that seems awesome to me), and writing all about it on here.  But that's okay!  You probably didn't want to copy my ideas anyway!  But this won't be a tiny and unhelpful post.  No sir/ma'am!

This post is a roundup of all the helpful posts this blog already has!  I did the searching for you, and now I have a head full of ideas for projects I may just have to make time for anyway.  Ready?  Okay!

First off, we have to talk about decorating.  Valentine decorations are my favorite part of Valentine's Day, right after the actual Valentines.

Here's a guest post from a designer on how to decorate your home for Valentine's Day.  There are nice ideas for how to brighten up your home, and I think it looks festive without being too over-the-top.  You could follow some of her tips and leave your decorations out for the whole rest of the month.  Speaking as someone who has a pumpkin on a ledge and a plug-in Santa in my living room, this appeals to me.

If you do want to get a little more overt with your decorating, these posts may help.  The post "Paper Crafted Party Ensembles" shows some of the Valentiney ideas in the book Party Ensembles.  And this post has some wonderful banner inspiration pictures.  I love banners, and who wouldn't after seeing this?

If you want to sew or crochet some Valentine's gifts, then you're in lucky.  Pink and red and button-covered luck.   The post "Crochet for Valentine's Day" has project ideas and links to Leisure Arts ebooks and pattern books.  Super, super cute.

And here's a free pattern for a pin cushion jar topper. This would be a perfect gift to make your crafty loved one smile. Or, you could just decorate your craft area for the season.

I love this idea.  You could fill the jar with pink buttons or purple or red ones.  Or small bobbins of thread.  Or small balls of scrap yarn.  This is a really pretty way to dress up something practical without getting crazy with the whimsy.

Another sweet gift (or decoration) is the felt heart ornament.  I know I already said I won't be doing any big crafts for Valentine's Day this year, but this doesn't seem so big.  A couple of these would look nice hanging on a door, or over an entryway.  Who wouldn't love to have more love around the house?

I know, you probably love this as much as I do!  Especially with the embellishments. So sweet.  Click here to read the post.

If you're one of those people who makes candy or cookies as gifts, God bless you.  (You're probably getting the 'not a cook' vibe from me right now.  You're reading me right.)  I don't cook much, but I do love eating.  Homemade treats are such a nice way to let someone know you love them.  I mean, you're giving them nourishment!  Or at least a sugar rush!  People tend to be appreciative either way.  Here's a post with a recipe for sugar cookies (sugar!) and here's a recipe for some very fancy-looking chocolate candies.

Raspberries are involved.  You KNOW things are getting fancy now!

 If you want to go the extra mile and present these presents (ha) in handcrafted style, here's a post for Valentine's Day gift bags.  I don't know why I'm getting to be more and more of a sucker for buttons as embellishments, but I am.  It really may have had something to do with writing this post.  I seem to have converted my own self my own self just by uploading a few photos.  It's not too hard to see why, though!

I linked to this project in a Christmas post (and now that I've gone back and read it, I'm really sad that I've already made the 'present your presents' joke once before), but it was originally written for this time of year, and I think it's just precious.

I know I didn't include any links or pictures about making your own Valentines, but I think that's best left to your imagination.  My only advice would be to do the first thing that pops into your head.  And also maybe find out how much someone hates glitter (so sad!) before you put any on his or her card.  I think any card, but especially a Valentine, is most beautiful and meaningful when you come up with the idea yourself.  Even people who don't consider themselves big crafters tend to go for more handmade and personal gifts for Valentine's Day.

I think it's just the nature of the holiday.  You may buy a small Christmas gift for everyone in your office, but you probably don't do that when February rolls around.  (Unless you're one of those people who does the classroom Valentines with suckers.  Trust me, you're everyone's favorite person. Those make my day!)  You don't send Valentines out of a sense of social obligation, or because someone sent you one.  You send them to your dear friends and your close family.  You're telling people you love them, and it only makes sense to make your card or gift more personal by making it yourself.

Also, I once sent a Valentine to a teenage boy that just was a stamp of a black raven sitting in a leafless tree and I wrote "You are all alone." across the top.  It disqualified me from giving card-making advice to anyone ever.

I hope these links helped, or at least got you more in the mood for the holiday.  And I especially hope you have fun trying some of these ideas out!  I might be getting more into the spirit myself now!

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