Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thoughtful Valentine Day Gift Ideas that are Cheap

February is quickly approaching and that means Valentine's Day is too! For those of you that love a certain someone and don't want to go with the usual box of chocolates or the expensive route of jewelry, here are a few ideas that Nathan and I made for each other in the past that anyone can do. The beauty of these are that they are almost foolproof and are all very inexpensive to do. Another big plus is that you get props for making something thoughtful that took you time to do...huge brownie points for me in the love category (and I know for many other women).

In fact I asked the love of my life if he'd rather buy gifts or make gifts this year. My husband is all about frugality...more than me to be honest...but he chose the easy option and we bought ourselves a surround sound system we have been wanting for longer than I can remember :). Anyway, we have been thoughtful about our gift giving in the past, and I thought I'd pass some ideas on to you.

Idea #1:  A Heart Collage of some of your favorite memories

What you need:
  • Any frame in any size, depending on how many pictures you want to use
  • A large thicker piece of white paper...or one that will fit in your frame
  • Lots of pictures (your choice as to how many you can get a couple hearts per picture if you would like)
  • A heart hole puncher (I found mine for $9 at Hobby Lobby, but most craft stores sell them. I bought the medium sized puncher, but there are two other sizes to choose from. Don't forget to bring your Michael's or Hobby Lobby coupon)
  • Glue
I used a coupon and got 100 free 4x6 prints from Snapfish and went to town on finding aspects of each picture that I particularly liked the coloring off or the important features of the photo that I could heart punch out. After I felt like I had a big enough pile of hearts to choose from, I laid them out in a rectangular configuration that I liked based on the size of the frame that I bought. I also happened to have large drawing paper that was coincidentally the same size I needed for the frame. I put all of the hearts in their rows by eye-balling them, and then proceeded to glue stick the backs of them one at a time, and then placed them back in their place. It takes a little patience, but it goes fairly quickly. Once you're finished gluing them down you put them in your frame and wrap up your masterpiece!

Idea #2:  Decorative Bowl with Lots of Reasons why you love your Love

Several years ago Nathan made me a bowl of 700 reasons he loved me. Wowsers. Who knew you could love 700 things about a person!? Well I am super lucky and blessed to be married to a man who loves everything (well almost everything) about me (he hates sitting by me while I eat cereal for instance). I am also super lucky to have a man who is good about telling me that he loves me and who makes me a thoughtful gift every now and then. Since he did this years ago I have loved seeing this bowl every day as I get ready. I rarely take the time to look at what he wrote, but seeing it reminds me of his love for me, which is pretty dang awesome.

What you need:
  • Glass Bowl (or any shaped container that is see through and cool to look at)
  • Computer and printer (and paper :) )
  • Scissors
Nathan typed up his ideas over a few days time, with numbers for each reason. He then printed them out on nice paper and cut them out as strips. He folded each in half and put them in the bowl. That is it. Here are a few for you to see close-up:

All you have to do next is put your gift in a pretty gift bag and know that you have some major love and appreciation headed your way when it is opened!

 Idea #3: Photo Collage with Personalized Matting

Before we got married, nearly 12 years ago, I made this gift for Nathan for his birthday. The frame was the cheapest available at the time, and back then we had non-digital cameras and no editing software. Because of the lack of photo technology back then, our pictures are far from beautiful. However, I made this gift with love, and it still hangs today for us to see.

What you need:
  • Frame (hopefully nicer than my cheap plastic one)
  • Matting to fit the frame. I used a double black mat
  • Pen that will show up well on the matting. I used a silver gel pen
  • Pictures cut in a variety of sizes
  • Glue
On the top portion of the matting I wrote down excerpts from my journal that were about Nathan. I put a bullet point in between each excerpt. On the sides I wrote a timeline of us dating up to getting married. On the bottom section I wrote excerpts from cards he had written to me. It has become a fun thing to look back at and remember the magic of falling in love.

For other ideas you could write lyrics to your song together. Or write a letter. The possibilities are endless.

Here is a close up:
Well I hope that this helps you in creating a unique Valentine's Day gift. If anything it might get some creative ideas going for you that are way better than these ideas.

Please share what thoughtful (frugal) gift ideas you have made! I love getting more ideas for more gifts!


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