DIY Your Valentine’s Day
Marion Jackman | Friday Feb. 10th, 2023
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but candies, cards, red hearts, teddy bears, and roses have invaded our town. That’s right, it’s that time of year again. Ready or not, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For many, the tradition means a frantic search for the perfect gift for loved ones. Instead of braving the stores and fighting the crowds, why not take a break from tradition and try something a little different, a little more meaningful, a little more unique, and maybe even a little cheaper?
Time to put your craft skills to the test with these three DIY ideas for a sweet, romantic Valentine’s gift. Whether it’s a masterpiece or less than perfect, they are sure to love the effort and creativity put into making one of these gifts. After all, it's the thought that counts.
A homemade candle is a super customizable and affordable way to surprise your loved one. Show them how well you know them by using their favorite color, favorite scent, or even favorite flower. Decorate it with glitter or flower petals. This project allows you to explore your creativity. They’ll be sure to think of you every time they light this one-of-a-kind gift.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Pre-tabbed candle wicks
Hot glue gun or glue tabs
Metal pouring pot and saucepan or double boiler
Soy candle-wax flakes
Color dye blocks or chips
Essential oils or candle scents
STEP ONE: SNIP THE WICKS
To judge how long a wick you’ll need, cut the wick a few inches taller than your mason jar. Once trimmed, secure the metal disc to the center of the bottom of the jar using hot glue.
STEP TWO: I’M MELTING
To measure the amount of wax you need, simply fill the mason jar twice with wax flakes.
Once you have your wax measured out, put water in the bottom of the double boiler or saucepan. When you are ready, place the wax in the pouring pot or the top of the double boiler and set it over the heated water. Once your wax is completely melted, remove it from the heat.
STEP THREE: CUSTOMIZE IT
After the wax has cooled a bit, it's time to add your dye, fragrance, and /or glitter. Now is the moment to show your special someone how well you know them. Are they the pink, flowery and sparkly type, or do they prefer woodsy scents and cool colors?
STEP FOUR: DON’T SPILL
When the wax has cooled, pour it into your mason jar in a slow, steady stream. No need to rush… when done, sprinkle flower petals on top of the wax if so desired.
STEP FIVE: PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Once the jar feels cool, trim the wick about 1/2 inch from the top of the candle, and you're done. It’s now ready to be given as a unique, one-of-a-kind gift that’s sure to make your partner think of you every time they light it.
Tip for cleaning your pot: If residual wax is stuck in the pot, don't panic! Simply place it back on the heat and let the wax melt again. Once the wax has melted, use paper towels to wipe it clean and follow with a soapy hot water scrubbing.
Couples’ Snow Globe
Want to make a gift that your partner in crime is sure to cherish for years to come? Why not a fun snow globe that features a cute couple's photo? Imagine swirls of glitter or confetti raining down around a picture of the two of you. How romantic.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Self-Adhesive laminating pages
Glitter and/or confetti (2 tablespoons per globe)
Clear glue (2 ounces per globe)
Warm water (1 cup per globe)
STEP ONE: SEAL YOUR LOVED ONES IN PLASTIC
Print off the picture you’d like to use; double-check that it can fit into the jar. Then, laminate the picture using the self-laminating pages. When it is sealed, cut away any excess laminating sheet from the image, but be sure not to cut too close. Leave a sealed edge around the picture to avoid water leaking through gaps. Then fold down the bottom edge of the picture so that the image can stand on its own.
STEP TWO: DECORATE
Using a glue gun, carefully glue the picture and decorations onto the bottom of the lid. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Anything that's waterproof can be used as decoration. Plastic mini balloons, ceramic hearts… the sky’s the limit.
STEP THREE: MIX IN STUFF
Measure out and add about 2 ounces of clear glue into your jar. Then pour 1 cup of warm water into your jar and stir the mixture with a spoon until its dissolved. No one likes clumps of glue.
STEP FOUR: MAKE IT SPARKLE
Pour in 2 tablespoons of glitter (or however much your heart tells you) and stir thoroughly with a spoon.
STEP FIVE: PUT A LID ON IT
Take your lid (make sure the glue holding your photo and decorations are dry) and put it face down into the jar. With luck, the lid should rest evenly on the rim. Do we need to specify more clearly the two parts to a Mason jar lid? Even though she mentions the outer piece below, I’m not sure… maybe w/ illustrations it will be enough.
STEP SIX: SEAL THAT SUCKER
Take the outer piece of the lid and secure it as tightly as you can. Use those muscles. For extra protection, glue the lid to prevent leaking.
STEP SEVEN: SHAKE THAT THING
Make sure your snow globe is entirely sealed by shaking it carefully at first. If there is no leaking, then it's done. You did it; you’ve made a lovely gift that they’re sure to treasure. Give yourself a well-earned pat on the back and go out into the world knowing that you won Valentine's day.
Arts on Fire
Not really feeling up to an arts and crafts project? Does your family keep you away from sharp objects? Are you prone to accidentally setting things or yourself on fire? Does the thought of making a gift from scratch seem daunting, but you still want to give something personal and unique? No problem! Check out Arts On Fire, located at 200 S. 23rd Ave. in Bozeman. Not only are you kept away from an open flame, but the hard part of creating a gift is already done. All that's left is the fun, the memory-making, and the decorating.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Nothing but a smile (and your wallet)
Arts On Fire is a locally-owned Paint Your own Pottery Studio; it couldn’t simpler to create a beautiful gift with their expert help. No reservations are needed. They have a large selection of ceramic pieces you can choose from. Once you pick out what you’d like, all that's left is the painting! They have countless glazes you can take advantage of and, once you are done painting, all you have to do is leave your ceramic masterpiece with a friendly staff member and they fire it for you. In my humble opinion, I think that this would be a wonderful date idea! Picture it. The two of you waltz into Arts On Fire together and pick out a piece to work on. Maybe you’ll pick out gifts to give to one another, or maybe you both work on the same piece together? All that matters is that the two of you are together and create a warm, happy memory filled with laughter, love, and maybe a little spilled glaze. In a few days' time, the piece or pieces will be returned to you, fired, and ready to be admired.
At the end of it all, it doesn’t matter if you buy or create the perfect gift. What truly matters is that your favorite person feels loved and appreciated. All of us at Bozeman Magazine wish you and everyone else a happy Valentine’s day. Go make it special.