(be prepared to discover exactly how ridiculous/romantic I am when it comes to making things for loved ones!)
This Christmas I made an effort to create a lot of handmade gifts for friends and family – partly because everyone loves the personal touch of a lovingly homemade gift, and partly because I’m sort of skint, ha. These would all make great Valentine’s gifts, as they’re cheap, relatively easy, and romantic!
You take a standard deck of cards, and write down something you love about your partner onto each card. What’s great about this gift is that it can be as simple or as complex as you want – you can write the reasons straight onto the cards, or decorate the cards with stickers, paint, craft supplies, whatever you want!
For some, I drew/wrote directly onto the cards – this works well for the hearts especially. NB: if you’re using coated cards (and most are), paint a thin layer of gesso or modge podge onto them first, otherwise the ink will slide/rub off the card.
The royals are fun to alter too:
Some cards were completely covered with collage-inspired art, or pretty backgrounds I cut out from magazines and newspapers:
My partner loved this gift; I highly recommend giving it a go!
I also enjoy making my loved ones mix CDs. Mix CDs make lovely gifts for people who enjoy listening to music and discovering new artists, but perhaps don’t always have the time to explore new music. Plus, they don’t require a great deal of artistic talent to make.
My Dad has a very tiring, stressful job, so I made him a CD full of relaxing, peaceful songs to listen to on the way home from work. My Mum’s was a basic here-are-some-songs-I-like-that-I-think-you-will-like-too mix CD for her to listen to on her commute:
With both my parents’ mix CDs, I didn’t bother with anything other than disc artwork and a list of the songs on the back, as I knew they wouldn’t have the time to read a booklet full of info on their way to and from work.
My partner’s mix CD was a little more in-depth; the theme was ‘my favourite musicians’, and I included booklet with the CD detailing why I chose each song and why I loved that particular band/artist.
I hand-drew a simple cover (a drawing I found online which I copied by hand), as the detail was all in the booklet.
I made another mix CD for him, subtitled ‘Music to Listen To Through Headphones’. I chose a short list of songs that I love listening to, and made a booklet full of artwork to accompany each song, for the listener to read along with while listening to the CD.
Some songs which were chosen for their beautiful instrumentation were accompanied by text explaining what I liked about the song:
And songs that are just nice to listen to came with artwork that looked like this:
It took a little while to put together, but the process was fun and rewarding, and it made for a very personal and interesting gift. Again, this sort of thing can be as simple or as complex as you’d like!
And finally, I made a friend Eleri a memory jar, an idea I nabbed from tumblr - you write down all the good things that happen to you on little pieces of paper, and fill the jar; at the end of the year, read all the good things that happened to you that year! Just find a pretty jar and some ribbon to tie around the lid, and you’re all done