Make Valentines from Household Supplies
Paint samples, playing cards, sponges, sugar packets, matches are all taking up space in your kitchen and desk drawers. Think of them as an inexhaustible stock of Valentine-card-making props. Dead AAA batteries (“I get a charge out of you”), old lollipops (“I’m a sucker for you”), stray keys (“the key to my heart”).
Candy Cane Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
With some minor melting, candy canes can decorate cupcakes and gift boxes, or cards that will be hand delivered.
How to do it: Remove the cellophane wrapping from the canes and form hearts by placing them hook to hook and tail to tail on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 2 to 4 minutes (depending on the canes’ size) or until they stick together when you pinch the ends lightly. Cool thoroughly and remove with a spatula. If you want to make flat hearts with psychedelic stripes, bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Make Your Own Candy Hearts
Contrary to the grumblings of all those heart-day humbugs out there, Valentine’s is not some capitalist conspiracy created by purveyors of greeting cards, flowers, and candy. In fact, as far back as Roman times, love matches were made during a mid- February fertility festival. And in the fifth century Pope Gelasius officially declared February 14 Saint Valentine’s Day.
Make Gift Tags From Greeting Cards
Last year’s holiday and birthday cards may be too pretty to throw away, but they’re probably not meaningful enough to keep. Cut out hearts, flowers, or any other whimsical illustration from the card’s cover, avoiding handwritten notes on the opposite side, and stash them with your ribbons and wrapping paper.
Valentine’s Day Crossword Puzzle
Go to puzzlemaker and create a free customized crossword that incorporates words and clues from your relationship.
3 Down: What you hate to take out.
Quick Valentine’s Day Treat
In between dropping the kids off, picking up the dry cleaning, and making your to-do list for the week, you’re supposed to fit in romance? Try this easy trick: Melt a Hershey’s bar in a saucepan over low heat and dip some fresh strawberries in it to make a treat for your sweetheart. Let them cool on wax paper. Candles and canoodling optional.
DVDs for Valentine’s Day
Struck by a mad urge to play Cupid, you’re throwing a Valentine’s party. For instant ambiance, pick up an appropriately themed DVD―preferably a romantic favorite like When Harry Met Sally, Casablanca, or An Affair to Remember. Come party time, pop it in the machine, press Play, then mute the sound so the film can serve as a quiet but not-too-subtle backdrop for the evening. Bonus: If a partygoer gets tired of small talk, he can zone out and tune in to the on-screen romance until he makes his own love connection with bachelorette number three.
Create the Perfect Setting
For a romantic and fragrant centerpiece, float a few small orchids and some tea lights in a glass bowl.
Ketchup Bottle as Dessert Decorator
Run an empty plastic ketchup bottle through the dishwasher, then fill it with your favorite sauce or condiment. Drizzle some rosemary-scented olive oil across a bowl of white bean soup, a squiggle of fudge or raspberry sauce around the rim of a dessert plate. (If calligraphy is not your strong suit, practice on a paper plate or stick to abstract designs.) You’ll have a five-star-chef presentation in less than five minutes.