Did you know that Valentine’s Day is the third most expensive holiday in the United States? Americans spent approximately $23.9 billion on Valentine’s gifts in 2022, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. Extravagant purchases like electronics, jewelry, and designer items can be appealing and thoughtful. Unfortunately, they can also lead to debt. This doesn’t mean you can’t be generous but be mindful of your finances if you decide to give big.
One great way to save money is by making the gifts yourself. Homemade gifts can be constructed with items lying around your house or inexpensive materials from the grocery or craft store. Whether you’re gifting your significant other, BFF, or other loved ones, there is something for everyone on the list.
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DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
These budget-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts will show your love, appreciation, and even your creative skills
Bath and spa items
Homemade bath bombs, bath salts, and soaps can help create a spa-like experience at home. These can all be made with easy-to-find items, and you can find a wide variety of how-to guides online to get started.
Here are a few of our favorite items:
Bath bombs come in different colors, shapes, and sizes (although they are usually round). You can even use a heart-shaped mold to make a heart bath bomb for Valentine’s Day. Once a bath bomb is placed in the tub, it will fizz and dissolve, releasing fragrant extracts and soothing oils along with its color.
When buying essential oils for bath items, pay attention to the purpose of each oil. Lavender oil, for example, is known to help with stress, pain, and sleep. Peppermint oil, on the other hand, is commonly used to increase energy and aid digestion.
Much like bath bombs, bath salts can also extract toxins from the body and provide a calming effect. However, they have less of a chemical reaction and do not contain citric acid. All-natural ingredients like Epsom salt, Himalayan pink salt, and Dead Sea salt are known for helping reduce pain and soothe sore muscles.
Homemade bar soap can be made through either a hot or cold process. The hot process uses external heat, and it is recommended to wait one week before using the soap for a harder bar. However, most soaps can be used the following day. The cold process utilizes internal heat produced in the soap-making process and the bars will usually harden in four to six weeks.
Does your loved one have a sweet tooth? If so, give them a taste of this delicious, easy-to-make Valentine’s Day treat. While it’s convenient to buy chocolate-covered strawberries at the store or online, they can cost a whopping $40 per dozen.
Luckily, this is an easy DIY dessert that only requires two ingredients: strawberries and regular or white chocolate.
First, be sure to wash and dry your strawberries. Keep in mind they must be completely dry, or the chocolate may not stick properly.
Next, use the stove or microwave to melt the chocolate and stir until smooth.
Lastly, dip the strawberries in the chocolate and place them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
You can also make the chocolate pink by adding a drop of red food coloring to the white chocolate. To finish it off, feel free to add toppings like drizzle, sprinkles, or chopped nuts.
Homemade scented candles
The warm, comforting fragrance of a candle is hard to resist—especially for remote workers. If your loved one goes through multiple candles, this might be the gift for them. Large store-bought candles can cost anywhere from $15 to $30. Fortunately, you can make them at home using natural wax, essential oils, a wick, and a mason jar. Candle-making kits include everything you need, and these can also be gifted so that the recipient can make their own homemade candles.
There are various DIY paper gifts you can make. The type of paper you use will depend on the gift, and you don’t have to be an expert crafter to design something unique.
Date night idea jar
Think of creative date ideas that you and your partner currently enjoy or want to try. For instance, you may have wanted to see a movie at your nearest drive-in theater. Or perhaps you want a more budget-friendly date like staying home and cooking a new recipe together.
Write your ideas down on slips of paper and place them in a jar. If you want to get creative with the decorations, paint the jar and use colored paper or ink. You and your partner can take turns picking a slip out of the jar to decide your next date.
Hanging picture frame
Photos always make a great gift. And creating a hanging frame for those memorable times makes them even more special. You will need some time to plan and prep your design before getting started. This project can be done using construction paper, and there are many online resources with step-by-step tips to help you put it together. Your design can be as colorful, decorative, or minimalist as you want.
Roses are a thoughtful and classic Valentine’s Day gift. To mix things up and save some money, you can create a bouquet of paper roses. The best part is they won’t dry out after a few days. There are a couple of different ways to make this beautiful gift out of construction paper. You can also get creative and make other types of flowers using different colors. For example, red and pink heart-shaped paper flowers are perfect for Valentine’s Day!
DIY Valentine’s Day cards
Gifts are often accompanied by a card with a heartfelt message inside. These cards can also be made from home using paper, pens, markers, stickers, or any other decorating material you would like. If writing and crafting aren’t your strong suits, you can find many free printable Valentine’s Day cards online.
A handmade bookmark is a perfect last-minute gift. Much like Valentine’s Day cards, these can also include a thoughtful message surrounded by decorations of your choosing. Cardstock or scrapbook paper is ideal to make your bookmark thicker and sturdier, and you can also laminate it to make it last longer.
Use your other talents
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show off your skills through DIY gifts. Your gift will be more unique and heartfelt than a store-bought one because it was made by you.
If you’re a skilled artist, for example, you can draw a custom portrait of you and your special someone for them to frame and hang up. If crocheting is your talent, you can knit a heart to put on a keychain. The possibilities are endless when it comes to DIY Valentine’s Day crafts.
Spread the love on a budget
You don’t need to spend a lot of money or go deeper into credit card debt to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead, keep things simple and say “I love you” with a gift you put time and effort into that’s from the heart.