Struck By The Love Bug?

Standard

Valentine’s Day is a big holiday, whether you choose to forego it, participate in it, or all together ignore it. Personally, my husband and I usually wait to indulge until the day after when all the candy is on sale. We think we’re pretty sneaky that way. Some people though truly love to get in the spirit and buy wonderful gifts for their partner, although sometimes this can break your bank. I’ve created a list of
a few of my favorite crafty projects that make wonderful gifts and don’t break the bank!

1. Date Night at Home Jar
Date nights can be few and far between, whether you have kids, have busy schedules, or just can’t find the time. This is a great way to give yourself some fun ideas and create time for date nights.
• Depending on how in depth with this you want to go, you’ll want to grab between 5 and 30 or so popsicle sticks. You can decorate them (all Valentine’s themed, maybe even one for every month themed differently) and put them in a mason jar. Personally, I like mason jars because I think they’re adorable, but you could use any kind of container (or even come up with your own, share your ideas with me if you do!). Lastly, come up with creative ideas that you know you and your partner will enjoy (this is important – men, if she hates sports games, you’ll probably want to leave “go to a sports bar and watch the game” out, and women – if he hates chick flicks, you’ll probably want to leave “watch The Notebook together” out). Then, set a date each week, or month, or whatever you have time for, and pick a stick! Then you have no trouble deciding what to do and you can just enjoy yourselves.

Example ideas:
Take a stroll to the park and swing together
Pick a new TV show on Netflix and binge watch with snacks
Ride bicycles
Start a garden

2. Cookies in a Jar
My absolute favorite snack in the world is cookies. I’m serious, I could literally eat them everyday. This is one of my favorite crafty gifts because the recipient might even share them with me! Also, you get to use mason jars, which I am completely obsessed with. For the sake of those with peanut allergies everywhere (me), I’m going to share a recipe that doesn’t have them, but of course, you’re more than welcome to add nuts.
Feel free to get as creative as possible with decorating (use ribbons and such to spice it up!)

Here is a great recipe courtesy of Organized Christmas. They also have printable tags for those of us who don’t want to write this out for our giftees!

Ingredients
1⁄2 cuppowdered orange drink mix (Tang)
3⁄4 cupsgranulated sugar
1 1⁄2 cupvanilla baking chips
1 3⁄4 cupsifted flour, all purpose
1⁄2 teaspoonbaking soda
1⁄2 teaspoonbaking powder
1 canning jar, quart-size with lid and ring
Instructions
Sift flour before measuring, then stir in baking soda and baking powder.

Layer the ingredients in a clean glass wide mouth quart sized jar. For each jar, layer 3/4 cup granulated sugar, then 1/2 cup powdered drink mix, then 1 3/4 cup flour (mixed with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder), then 1 1/2 cups vanilla baking chips. Tamp the first three layers firmly to compact ingredients.

Attach a copy of Orange Dreamsicle gift tag, or create your own tag using the recipe instructions below.

Orange Dreamsicle Cookies Recipe
Preheat oven to 375°.

Empty jar into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg (slightly beaten)and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix until well-blended

Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until tops are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack until completely cool.

Makes 2-1/2 dozen

3. 52 Reasons I Love You.
This is probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, and I made it for my husband while he was deployed overseas. Sometimes, even when they’re here with us, we forget to remind the people we love how much we love them. This is a nice token that they will really appreciate and can cherish for a long time. We still go through (two years later) and read mine because it’s nice to be reminded.

First, you’all want to buy a standard 52 card deck of cards. (Note: the easier way to do this project is to buy vintage cards but I somewhat made them myself.)

If you buy the vintage cards, you literally just have to write a reason you love them on each card, hole punch them all twice, and stick some closeable book rings through, and wa-la! You have your finished “book”.

If you don’t, here’s what I did:
•Sand all the cards down in various areas to make them look “worn”.
•Make them “dirty” (you can also stain them a light brown).
•Either write directly on the card, or cut small strips of paper and glue them to the card to write on.
•Hole punch each card twice so you can make it a book.
•Put the book rings through, close them, and admire your finished product!

These are just a couple ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts, if you’re so inclined, that won’t break the bank. Of course, feel free to add your own flare to them and if you do, share them with me on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog!

20140119-124718.jpg