5 creative DIY Valentine’s gifts (on a budget)
Whoever said ingenie only do car insurance were very much mistaken. Because here we are, doing what we can to help you win the top bae award this Valentine's Day.
Switch your creative mindset on people, because these DIY gifts are guaranteed to make the special person in your life feel loved, appreciated and all squishy inside.
'Reasons why I love you' jar
Not one to leave to the last minute as this one will take a little while, but trust me - you'll get top marks for romance and creativity on this gift.
Get some pretty, coloured paper and start writing down all the reasons why you love your Valentine. Then, go and find a decent size jar, preferably with a lid (not one that says Nescafé on the front) to put your love notes in. Write a little message to stick on the front with instructions telling them to read one note each day.
If you're feeling really creative, you could colour code your notes into memories you've made, moments you've shared, or quotes and lyrics that make you think of that person.
TIP: don't use an enormous jar unless you're confident you can fill it! 365 love notes? Bring it on baby.
Favourite sweetie jar
Sticking with the same jar theme, and if you haven't got time for all the love-note-writing, this gift is thoughtful and super easy to make.
Go and buy your loved one's favourite sweets (you can use wrapped chocolates too) and fill up a jar with them. If you know they've got a couple of favourites, mix up the jar or make more than one!
Then write a little label on a nice bit of card, with a cute message. Something like: "You're such a sweetie" or "Sweets for my sweetheart" or maybe just "Share these with your Valentine" and hope that's you.
Tie some ribbon around the neck of the jar and away you go. Just don't drop it on route to their house - nightmare.
A book of lovely vouchers
No, we're not saying leave yourself penniless from buying a stack of shopping vouchers - this one's completely free. The only thing you have to spend is your time.
Kind of like doing random acts of kindness, you can make your Valentine a mini booklet with coupons of things you'll do for them.
Some ideas could be:
- Cinema date (a film THEY want to see)
- Breakfast in bed
- Car cleaning
- Pizza takeaway on me (not literally me, but yeah, you)
Once you're happy with your list, be as creative as you like with the tokens - then staple or tie them together into a neat little booklet. Maybe write some terms and conditions on the back with an expiry date - you know, just to avoid any rows.
TIP: only make vouchers for things you can ACTUALLY do. Don't promise them a flight over the Grand Canyon in a pink helicopter if that's a bit out of your budget.
Cupcakes from the heart
Nothing says I love you than a bit of home baking. And there's soooooo many receipes out there that even a child could whip up. But, if baking isn't your strong point, stick to a basic cupcake mixture for the sponge, then go crazy - but not too crazy - with the decoration.
Here's the ingredients you'll need for 24 cupcakes:
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g caster sugar
- 250g self-raising flour
- 4 medium eggs
- 4 tablespoons milk
- Pinch of salt
- 2 x 12-hole muffin tins
- 24 paper cases
Now to get baking:
- Set the oven to 190C, gas 5.
- Tip the butter into a bowl and beat it until softened. Add the sugar, flour, salt, eggs and milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Using a big spoon, or an ice-cream scoop if you have one, divide the mixture between all the paper cases.
- Put both muffin tins in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then swap over the position of the tins and bake for another 3-7 minutes. Wait until both trays are a light golden colour.
- Take the tins out the oven. Leave the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack.
And you're basically done! If you want to make some sugary icing to finish them off (erm, yes of course) here's a handy butter cream recipe. Then maybe sprinkle some edible paper hearts on top or some chocolate letters than spell out their initials.
One for the real romantics out there, and again - super easy to do. You know those thousands of photos you have on your phone that you never do anything with but post the odd one on insta? Well, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to bring them to life.
Print a selection of your favourite snaps together - say 10-12. You don't want it to look like a weird shrine. There's loads of apps out there like FreePrints that let you order prints straight from your phone, so there's no need to faff around with USBs.
When your photos arrive you might want to stick them to some card so they don't bend, then write a memory like: "That time we ate ice cream until we got brain freeze" under each one.
Pick up some brown string and some mini pegs (you can get both of these from any stationary department or craft shop) and securely peg up each photo.
You can present the photos already pegged up in a little box, or why not go one step further on the romance scale and hang them up as a Valentine's surprise on the day.
By Katey Gregory
Katey Joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of all things social and content. She passed her driving test in 2015 and her first car is a Toyota Yaris T3 named Tyrone.