By Cassandra Gonzalez
Do you feel like giving your love (or friend) something special this Valentine’s day? For those who are crafty or want to go outside the box this year, then check out my top ten picks for DIY Valentine’s gifts!
A Jar of Reasons Why You Love Them
- A mason jar
- Two pieces of fabric of your preferred colors
- A button
- Hemp string
- Paper & pen
- Pass a fair amount of hemp string through the button.
- Wrap the string around the jar, and don’t forget to keep the button in the center of the jar.
- Cut out a piece of fabric of your choice and place it beneath the button.
- Cut out pieces of paper that are small enough to fit in the jar.
- Cut out a squared shaped piece of fabric that can be placed between the jar and the lid.
Homemade Chocolate Brownies w/ Romantic Toppers
- Brownie mix
- A non-stick pan
- Ingredients mentioned in the brownie mix
- 4 teaspoons of unsweetened baking soda
- Cooking spray
- Dee 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter
- Straight medium sized white straws
- Thick pink or red fabric
- Small plastic kebab sticks
- Glue (of any kind)
- Heat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of 9-inch square pan with foil.
- Grease bottom only of foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box. Cool completely, about 11/2 hours.
- Using foil to lift, remove the brownies from the pan. Remove foil. With deep 3-inch heart shaped cookie cutter cut out the brownies.
- For the toppers; cut out the two sides of the end of the arrow from the piece of fabric.
- Glue the end of the arrow onto the plastic kebab and stick it in the brownie.
Mason Jar Prism Light
- Mason jar
- Round glass decorative elements
- e3600 glue (or any glue rated for affixing to glass)
- Ribbon or twine
- Tea light
- Apply E3600 glue in small patches in a well-ventilated area with your brush. Apply glue to a small area on jar, working from the base of the lid downward.
- Add glass elements over the glue. Take your time planning out the design, as some round glass elements may be bigger than others. Once the area is dry, move on to the next, slowly covering the body of the mason jar. (This process took me a few hours, so no rush!)
- Once your glass has completely dried, remove lid top and tie a pretty ribbon or twine around the lip of the jar. Insert tea light into candle and watch the light cascade around your room!
Gourmet Candy Hearts
- Silicon heart shaped mold
- Ghirardelli chocolate chips
- Ghirardelli White chocolate melting chips
- Andes Mint Baking Pieces
- Chopped Walnuts
- Heath Baking Pieces
- Festive Sprinkles
- In the first layer, make sure to only use a light single layer of the toppings.
- Boil the chocolate by using the double boiler method. Slowly melt 1 package of the milk chocolate and white chocolate, and stir them frequently.
- Once you melted chocolate is smooth, remove the cups with an oven mitt, and place them onto a towel near your work space.
- Get a little bit of chocolate onto a spoon and begin adding milk chocolate to half of the hearts. And white chocolate to the other hearts. Be careful not to get chocolate everywhere, so your end result is prettier.
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups
- 1 package of Red Velvet Cookie Dough
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 24 pretzel loops for handles
- ¼ cup red candy melts
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits Mini Marshmallows
- Heart shaped sprinkles
- Cut the cookie dough rounds in half. Roll them into balls and coat with sugar.
- Bake in a greased silicone mini muffin pan at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Allow the cookie cups to cool completely before removing them from the pan.
- Melt the candy melts in the microwave. Dip the pretzel handles in the melted candy coating and attach to the sides of the cookie cups. Place cookie cups on their sides in the mini muffin pan to harden. (This step is VERY time-consuming. Leave the handles off if you don’t have the extra time.)
- Bring the cream to a boil in the microwave. Whisk in the hot chocolate mix and pour in the chocolate chips. Allow them to sit for 3 minutes and then gently stir until smooth. Cool in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Pour the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups. Top with mini marshmallows and heart shaped sprinkles.
- Store in the fridge.
Heart Bath Bombs
- 1/4 c baking soda
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp citric acid
- 2 Tbsp Epsom salts, finely ground
- 5 tsp coconut oil (DO NOT melt)
- 4-6 drops essential oil
- 4-6 drops food coloring
- A heart-shaped mold or cookie cutter
- Mix cornstarch, baking soda, citric acid, and Epsom salts with a whisk. Mix in the coconut oil (remember NOT to melt) until mixed together well. I found a fork or my hands worked best for mixing at this step. Add essential oil and food coloring, and mix well. ( if the mixture isn’t sticky enough, add a drop of water and quickly mix.)
- Continue adding water dropwise until the mixture will stick to itself when squeezed. Press into molds as firmly as possible. Let dry for a few hours, then remove from mold and let dry thoroughly in a warm location. This can take a couple of days, depending on dryness or wetness of your area. You can tell by touch. (If you want to mix food colors to make non-primary colors, mix them first before adding to the dry ingredients)
- Put the bombs in a pretty jar and give them away with instructions for the receiver to pamper themselves.
Strawberry Sugar Scrub
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 3/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- A container that can be sealed
- Put the freeze-dried strawberries in a Ziploc bag, grab a rolling pin, and crush the strawberries. And then crush them some more until they have a dust like structure.
- Once you’ve got your strawberry dust, add your cane sugar to it in a small mixing bowl. Basically you’ve just got more dust now. Then, add the coconut oil and the vanilla extract to bind it all together
- Place your scrub inside a container. (preferably a mason jar)
EOS Balm Buddy Treats
- EOS Lip Balm
- Elmer’s School Glue
- Elmer’s Double Sided Foam Mounting Tape
- Googly Eyes
- Paper Bows
- Heart Stickers
- Start by adding the bows to the top of the EOS container for girl Balm Buddies and to the front right under the opening for boy Balm Buddies, using the Foam Mounting Tape.
- Glue on some googly eyes.
- Add a small heart sticker for the nose
Yummy Oreo Cookie Pops
- 1 pkg, Double Stuff Oreo Cookies
- Lollipop Sticks
- White Candy Melts
- Pink Candy Melts
- Sprinkles of choice
- Parchment Paper
- Begin by firmly holding an Oreo between your thumb and middle finger. Place your index finger over the top of your Oreo and push a lollipop stick up through the filling of the Oreo. Stop once you feel the cream push up against your finger.
- Line a baking sheet or cutting board with parchment paper.
- Melt Candy Melts as directed and stir in small amounts of vegetable oil to thin for adequate coating.
- Dip each Oreo Pop into the Candy Melts and coat.
- Scrape the bottom of the Oreo off on the side of your bowl and place on parchment paper to set.
- Design each pop if desired with a Candy Melt drizzle and/or sprinkles.
- Allow your pops to fully set. If you’re in a rush, place your sheet in the refrigerator or freeze for 5-10 minutes.
- Carefully lift each pop from the sheet using a spatula or knife.
- Place in a treat bag or packaging of your choice and Enjoy!
Heart Friendship Bracelet
- 2 colors of embroidery floss
- Tape or clipboard
- Start by cutting 4 strands of each color, at about 24 inches each, for a total of 8 strands. Alternate the thread colors before tying them together in a knot. Remember to leave at least 3 inches of slack.
- Tape the knot to a flat working surface or clip onto a clipboard.
- Separate the threads into 2 sets, 2 of each color on each side. Arrange the strands in an alternating, mirror-image pattern with the outside threads matching and so on moving inwards.
- Start on the left side with the outermost strand and make a forward knot by creating a 4-shape over the 2nd strand, loop it under and back through the opening.Pull up and to the right to tighten. Make the same knot twice every time.
- Continue knotting over each color, towards the right, until the outermost color has carried over to the middle. This is one half of the chevron pattern.
- Pick up the outermost strand on the right side and make a backward knot, creating a reverse 4-shape over the 2nd to last strand, loop it under and back through the opening. Pull up and to the left to tighten. Don’t forget to knot twice!
- Continue onto a second row using the same method. Two normal, chevron rows are complete. Now, it’s time for a “special” row: take the 2nd outermost strand and make a backwards knot over the outermost strand. Knot twice.
- Repeat on the other side: take the 2nd to last strand and make a forward knot over the outermost strand. Knot twice.
- Complete the row by taking the 2nd outermost strand and make forward knots over each strand until it reaches the middle.
- Mirror the steps on the other side and connect the middle strands. The heart cleavage has been created and the third row is finished.
- Now repeat this special row again for the 4th row, taking the 2nd outermost strand and reversing the knot over the outermost strand.
- Mirror the step on the other side. This forms the outer edge of the heart. Now fill in the heart by finishing the row with 2nd outermost strand and making forward knots over each strand until it reaches the middle.
- Mirror the steps on the other side and connect the middle strands. Now, it’s back to a normal row again to close the heart. Make forward knots with the outermost strands, moving inwards towards the middle. Connect the middle strands.
- Knot another normal row and then 2 special rows to form another heart. Do you see the pattern? 2 normal, 2 special, 2 normal, 2 special . . . keep going until the bracelet is long enough to fit around the wrist.
- Finish the bracelet with a big knot and trim the ends.