10 easy DIY Valentine's Day gifts

Don't worry about February 14—these thoughtful gifts are perfect ways to tell someone how much they mean to you any day of the year.

Red, white, pink, and chocolate sweets on a white plate, sitting on a napkin with pink hearts Photo: Karolina Grabowska

As much as I love the cute marketing of Valentine’s Day and gift myself a new plushy every year, I do believe all the best gifts are homemade. I also know how hard it can be to find inspiration when you’re consumed by schoolwork. To save you some much needed brain power, I have compiled a list of some awesome—and easy—homemade Valentine’s Day gift ideas just for you!


1. Baked goods

They say the key to a person’s heart is through their stomach so what better gift to give on the day of love than sugary baked goodies! In the spirit of full transparency, I am not the best baker in the world, so I can’t supply you with any personal recipes. However, as an avid researcher, I can lead you to three delectable recipes crafted by talented chefs that are so easy that even I can follow them. Here are the instructions for red velvet truffles by My Heavenly Recipes, Oreo M&M cookies by Lifestyle of a Foodie, and jam-filled hand pies by Better Homes & Gardens.


2. Chocolate-covered strawberries

Unlike baking, there’s virtually no way to mess up chocolate-covered strawberries. So if you want to make your Valentine a sweet treat but are worried your cooking abilities might set off smoke alarms, this is for you. All you need is a stovetop (or microwave), chocolate chips, wooden skewers, parchment paper, and, of course, strawberries. Upon heating the chocolate to a smooth consistency, dip your rinsed and skewered strawberries to the stem and then place to the side to cool. Once you get the hang of it, feel free to decorate them with sprinkles or icing to make them even more V-day appropriate!


3. Beaded word bracelets

In the last year we’ve seen a rising trend in beaded word bracelets. While usually coded with Taylor Swift lyrics, you can easily replace the message to fit your needs. For inspiration, I recommend picking up a bag of those heart-shaped candies to snack on while you craft and stealing the lovey-dovey phrases. If that fails, spelling out your person's name or putting your initials together will never go wrong—stick to the basics!

If beads aren’t your thing, check out this heart-themed friendship bracelet tutorial by The Neon Tea Party!


4. Heart-shaped trinket dish

As someone who habitually collects odds and ends—earrings, dice, and all things sparkly—a small dish to hold my trinkets would be the dream gift. The creation is simple: all you need is Crayola Air-Dry Clay and paint. Just shape your clay into a heart-shaped bowl, set out to dry somewhere out of harm's way, and then paint when hardened. Everything you need to know can be found on the Crayola website. Please note that Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and similar clays, take 72 hours to dry completely, so this should not be a last-minute gift.


5. Date jar

Don’t get the wrong idea—I think this gift works for couples and friends! It’s easy and cheap to make but also shows your desire to continue spending time with your person. All you need are three different colours of popsicle sticks, a jar, and a pen. On one colour, write date ideas that you can do outside; on another, ideas you can do at home; and on the last, ideas that cost money. With these categories, you’ll have date inspiration for all those tricky moments when you can’t decide what to do!


6. Open when letters

Open when letters would be the perfect gift for anyone whose love language is words of affirmation. There’s nothing better than a token of affection that you can read over and over again! If you didn’t know, open when letters are pre-written letters that are opened at specific times. They can be written based on different events, such as “open before an exam,” or different emotions, like “open when you’re feeling sad.” You could also write a letter per each month of the year. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to label the envelope of the letter with the occasion it should be opened!


7. Pocket hug

If you’re looking for something original but affordable, consider sewing your special someone a pocket hug they can carry with them wherever they go! All this entails is some felt, stuffing, a needle, and some thread, all of which can be obtained at the dollar store. This tutorial by Bugs and Fishes explains the process in simple steps. If you want to make the project more your own, consider making the pocket hug into a keychain for more functionality or stuffing it with beads to create an extra special stress ball.


8. Personalized card deck

Picture it with me: a deck of cards turned into a book of 52 reasons why you love your person! Assembly is as follows: using a hole punch to put two holes in each card along the left side and then secure into a “book” format using two binder rings. Besides the set-up, the creativity is entirely yours! You could either write your messages directly on the cards or go down a more scrapbook-esque route, collaging the cards with coloured paper, stickers, and pictures. Pro tip: it might be easier to decorate your cards before assembling them together.


9. Home-cooked meal

Personally, I think a meal together is one of the best gifts we can give each other. Nothing says “I love you” quite like carving out time to spend with that special person. While cooking dinner would be traditional, I think there’s something extra special about cooking someone breakfast. It shows your affection through dedication and it’s exciting knowing you’ll be on your person’s mind for the rest of the day. Check out this article by Food of fun breakfast recipes!


10. Knitted scarf

Living in Canada, especially on the E`ast Coast, we all know that February can still be very cold which is why I think a handmade scarf is a perfect gift for Valentine's Day. I love this idea especially because you can personalise it with your person’s favourite colours. If you don’t know how to knit, it may seem well out of your talent toolbox, but it’s much simpler than you’d imagine. Another reason I love this idea is because a scarf is the easiest knitting project. For an amazing guide, check out this tutorial by Sheep & Stitch.