Five Steps to the Perfect DIY Valentine

Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to think about how to express your love. However, you don’t need to empty your bank account to make meaningful gestures. In fact, some of the most touching and wonderful Valentine’s Day surprises are DIY in nature, costing very little or nearly nothing at all. Here are five steps you can follow this February.

1. Think about what your partner likes

Plenty of expensive Valentine’s Day gifts are actually very impersonal, often catering to the consumer’s idea of what the holiday is supposed to be about. Instead of conforming to what you think is expected of you, start by thinking about what your loved one truly cares about. For example, some people love receiving openly romantic gifts while others would genuinely rather get something of practical value. Meanwhile, one person might want a material object they can keep while another would prefer something that revolves around an experience.

2. Consider gifts that chronicle your relationship

If you’ve been together quite a long time and are with someone who loves to relive happy memories, there are plenty of DIY gifts that will work well. You might consider making a photo album with one image per month or year you’ve been together, or you could create a scrapbook filled with mementos (such as restaurant cards, plane tickets and notes you’ve written to each other).

3. Be creative

If you have an artistic streak, drawing or painting your partner (or your home) might be a way to create the perfect gift. It’s also worth considering making homemade jewelry, baking a batch of sweet cupcakes or looking up a recipe for handmade chocolates. Meanwhile, if your creativity is linked to music, learning how to perform your partner’s favorite song can be incredibly meaningful (as well as entertaining!). At the end of the day, however, almost any DIY gift will be creative in its own way.

4. Think about what’s missing

Even the perfect relationship could use some improvement. If you think about how to improve your relationship, what ideas come to mind? Consider using some of these ideas to inspire your DIY approach to Valentine’s Day. If you feel you could stand to take more responsibility around the house, creating a collection of vouchers for your partner to redeem can be a nice gesture. For example, some can relate to chores, while another might involve making dinner each night for a full week.

5. Put your love into words

Finally, almost anyone would appreciate being made aware of the reasons that their partner thinks they’re special. Making a list that reflects all the reasons you fell in love will show that you don’t take the relationship for granted and should prompt a deeply enjoyable discussion of your favorite memories. Alternatively, writing a love poem is a classic DIY gift that is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Even a short, heartfelt sentiment in a card can be very moving, so if you find it difficult to express yourself then don’t worry too much! – Dr. E. C. Gordon