Big heart, small budget

Love is a many splendored thing ... unless you're short on cash

Love is a many splendored thing ... unless you're short on cash

February 07, 2006|by SARAH JOHNSTON

This Valentine's Day think outside the box of chocolates. Share your feelings with a heartfelt, homemade gift. Here are half-a-dozen ways to say "I love you!" that are less expensive and more personal than a dozen roses.

Key to my heart

Forget about wearing your heart on your sleeve let your special person wear it on an ankle.

Materials: faux pearls, 3/4-inch padlock and key set, elastic thread, needle.


Step 1: Thread a needle with 15 inches of elastic thread and knot one end. Thread enough of the pearls onto the elastic so the strand will fit around the recipient's ankle.

Step 2: Hang the padlock and key from the anklet.

Step 3: Knot the ends of the thread and cut off any excess.

Sweet dreams

Be the last thing your honey thinks of when they go to bed, and the first thing they think of when they wake up.


Materials: broken-in graphic T-shirt (prewashed please), scissors, pins, needle, thread, ruler, cotton batting (from an old pillow or the craft store).


Step 1: Turn T-shirt inside out. Using a marker and ruler, draw a square, centered over the graphic on the shirt, to the size you want the pillow to be.

Step 2: Draw another square around the first one, at least one inch bigger on all sides.

Step 3: Pin the front and back of the T-shirt together along the outline of the inner square.

Step 4: Cut through both layers of the shirt along the lines of the outer square.

Step 5: Sew three sides and three quarters of the fourth side along the outline of the inner square, removing the pins as you go. You can sew by hand or machine.

Step 6: Turn the shirt right side out and fill with cotton batting until satisfied with the form and fluffiness of the pillow.

Step 7: Sew the opening of the pillow closed.

Memory lane

Take a stroll down everyone's favorite path.

Materials: map of your town, shoe box, glue, stickers, keepsakes (photos, ticket stubs, playbills, postcards, seashells or anything from anywhere you've shared a memory together).


Step 1: Cut map to fit the lid of the shoe box, including the edges, and glue on.

Step 2: Use stickers to mark important spots on the map, i.e. your school(s), houses or first date.

Step 3: Fill the box with keepsakes. If you have the available resources to make one, include a mix CD with "your songs."

Special scent-iments

Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory.

Materials: soap base, soap dyes, soap mold (hearts or flowers), glass measuring cup, fragrance (a few drops of women's perfume or men's cologne), soap glitter (optional), wooden popsicle stick.


Step 1: Follow the package directions on the soap base to melt soap in glass measuring cup.

Step 2: When the mixture stops steaming, add dye, fragrance and soap glitter.

Step 3: Stir mixture with a popsicle stick.

Step 4: Holding measuring cup close to the mold, carefully pour mixture in.

Step 5: Place mold in the freezer. Remove from freezer when soap is hard and easy to pop out of the mold.

Light my fire

Nothing says romance like candles and flowers.

Materials: votive candle (red or pink), clear glass votive candleholder, bag of artificial flower petals (red or pink), glue gun and glue gun sticks.


Step 1: Glue inner tip of petal to the base of votive candleholder. Continue gluing petals around the candleholder, staggering petals, until the pattern of petals resembles a flower. Make sure the finished holder sits flat to avoid a fire hazard.

Step 2: Insert votive candle into holder.

Chocolate rendezvous

If you feel it's not Valentine's Day without the chocolate, this is for you.

Materials: pretzel rods, white chocolate chips, red sugar crystals or red sprinkles, wax paper, clear cellophane bags, red curling ribbon, scissors.


Step 1: Melt chocolate chips in microwave.

Step 2: Dip three-quarters of a pretzel into melted chocolate.

Step 3: Roll chocolate-covered pretzel in sprinkles.

Step 4: Place sprinkled and chocolate-covered pretzels on wax paper. Allow to cool completely.

Step 5: Place cooled pretzels in cellophane bag, and tie with red ribbon. Curl ribbon.

- Some ideas inspired by YM, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen magazines

The Herald-Mail Articles