Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and while that means a lot of people are starting to plan something special for their sweethearts, us DIYers have to get an early start. (You know, to let the paint dry.) While my wheels are turning for what I want to do for my main squeeze this year, I thought I might help you out by sharing what I was able to pull off in years past.
Back in 2009, I was looking to sweep a man (Ryan) off his feet. A couple weeks before Valentine’s Day I bought Ryan a nice robe (that he still wears today) and a Websters Dictionary. The robe was the easy costly part; the dictionary was the sentimental part. I had spent every day leading up to the night turning all 753 pages highlighting every word that defined what he was to me and what I saw in him. Using materials and tools from my mom’s scrapbooking closet, I decorated the dictionary cover to make it look a little more festive. The gift was complete with a love note written on the inside of the cover.
The morning of V-Day, I stopped by Wal-Mart for plastic wine glasses, pink napkins, red heart shaped paper plates, heart shaped butter-fingers (his favorite), string, and balloons – the works. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that was the last thing I ever purchased from Wally World.
With black fingers from the ink of the book, I successfully blew up the balloons and tied them to the dictionary. It was go time. Ryan came to my apartment that night and I revealed my best work to date. It’s hard to top a rooftop Valentine’s dinner surprise, especially one where you thumbed through every page of the dictionary.
The year after that, I dug out a red heart shaped plate from the epic year before and wrote a little love note on it. After I taped that puppy to the bathroom mirror, I decided the rest of the room needed some sprucing, so I strung red party paper around the shower and ceiling. We still have that plate today.
In 2011, I took on making the same cake Ryan’s mom made him for Valentine’s Day growing up. Frosting and all. I remember it being one of my few successes in the kitchen… all the more reason to keep the tradition in this joint.
I wasn’t the only one loving through food, Ryan treated me to strawberry crepes for breakfast.
By February 2012, Ryan and I were engaged, and I was ready to melt my man’s heart again. This time around I picked up a deck of cards from Target, and in true Target fashion also picked up an adorably sweet picture frame that I thought would be nice for a wedding picture. (Target = sidetrack shopping.) You can read how I kicked the T-habit here.
For the frame, I placed a piece of paper on it that read “I Do 2012.” As for the cards, it was back to counting the ways I love my man. On each card, I wrote something I loved about Ryan. I improvised without my mom’s scrapbook goodies and taped paper to the front of the box to spruce up a bit.
As for 2013 and 2014, I can’t for the life of me recall what we did. Did we eat out or cook at home? I have no idea. What I do know, is that I got the DIY itch. We’ll see what transpires.
Update: I remember what we did for Valentine’s Day 2013! It finally hit me today. We had just made the move from the Boston area back to Knoxville and we weren’t really looking to spend outside the necessities. I don’t know how I thought of it, but it was money saving gold. I recreated our first date. I packed a picnic basket with fruit, nutella, and a bottle of wine and took us back to the same park Ryan brought me to on our first date.
Depending on your first date, this could be a sweet way to show your honey that you care while saving some jingle in your pocket.