DIY Valentine's Day hints
February 3, 2005 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Other than the "Choo Choo Choose You" card, what are some cool things to make for my wife this Valentine's Day?
posted by fletchmuy to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite Valentine, in my low-rent sort of way, is some sort of representation of my hands with thumbs bent and touching and index fingers touching, palms down. The space in the middle looks like a heart. Xerox, digital photo, handprint, whatever, it's a nice personal [and inexpensive] gift to make. Other cute-but-cheap valentines include potato prints, cork stamps, chocolate covered something [this is stupidly easy to do] or, more simply, dinner. Flickr has a valentine tag with some images that might be inspiring [along with the choo choo choose you card as well].
posted by jessamyn at 10:00 AM on February 3, 2005

How about writing a love letter? That's what I plan on doing this year. For some reason, I really feel the need to convey the reasons I love her and tell her how eternally grateful I am for her being the biggest and best part of my life.
posted by mmascolino at 10:10 AM on February 3, 2005

Made from scratch dark chocolate brownies. Always makes the girls I know happy.

3/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
5 & 1/3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. water
12oz (one bag) dark chocolate morsels
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325.
Grease an 8x8 pan.

Put flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
Put sugar, water and butter in a pot and melt it on the stove.
When it just starts to barely boil, turn off the heat and pour in half the morsels and the vanilla extract.
Stir until smoothish and stir in the eggs one at a time.
Once smooth, begin to stir in the flour/baking soda mixture a little at a time.
Once it is all evenly mixed dump in the rest of the morsels, stir 'em up, pour it in the baking dish and stick it in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Make sure you lick the spoon and clean out the pot afterward.
posted by sciurus at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2005 [2 favorites]

I second Jessamyn's dinner suggestion for home-made goodness. If you have the skills, a gourmet, candle-lit dinner is a sure winner. I went with Beef Bourguignon (Burgundy Beef) last year. [For vegetarians, not so much.]

Also, a romantic/sexy/funky mix CD or MP3 playlist is a nice personal touch, and helps set the mood.
posted by Man O' Straw at 10:20 AM on February 3, 2005

a bowling ball with "fletchmuy" engraved on it?
posted by mookieproof at 10:21 AM on February 3, 2005

If you look around a bit, you can find a heart-shaped cake pan pretty cheap. Chocolate is pretty traditional on V-Day, and a heart-shaped chocolate cake is especially nice. Assuming your wife likes chocolate and you know how to cook, I'd especially recommend the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Tort from Rosy Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible, but anything chocolate would be thoughtful.
posted by anapestic at 10:34 AM on February 3, 2005

Buy some red nail polish, and paint her toenails.
posted by iconomy at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2005

-- a treasure hunt. Give her little clues that lead to chocolates or whatever she likes.

-- cook her a big, romantic mean (use candlelight at the table).

-- make her a coupon book: one free back massage, three free passes on doing the dishes, etc.

-- write her a long love letter. You can use email, but nice stationary would be better. Describe everything you love about her. Make it a letter she will keep and reread for years and years.

-- make her a custom crossword puzzle with clues about your lives together.

-- (this may not be possible, but) call her boss, and explain that you want to do something really romantic for your wife. Ask her boss to give her a day off. Then take a day off yourself. Surprise your wife with a one-day day off together, in the middle of the week. Go do something special that day, or just stay how and ... well, you know...

-- if she's into this sort of thing, buy her a stripper (male? female? both?)

-- take a special photo (of the two of you on that vacation you took to Italy five years ago or whatever), have it blown up, framed and wrapped.

-- book yourselves for a day at a spa. Surprise her with it. Or, hire someone to come give you a massage in your home.

-- buy her a live bunny, kitty, hamster, etc.

-- make her queen for the day: make her breakfast in bed, get into the shower with her and wash her hair (scrub her back, etc.)
posted by grumblebee at 10:38 AM on February 3, 2005

don't forget aramaic's mind-bendingly cool gift from a "what to get for an anniversary" thread a few months ago.
posted by jessamyn at 10:47 AM on February 3, 2005

Lush cosmetics make an excellent chocolate body massage bar. A good rub with one of those might result in a good rub for yourself. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
posted by pookzilla at 10:54 AM on February 3, 2005

buy her a live bunny, kitty, hamster, etc.

IMHO this is never a good idea for anyone at any time. I believe most humane societies agree with me.

Back o/t, how about a backrub of unlimited duration (and outcome, wink wink)? Or send her an embarrassingly gigantic bunch of flowers at her office on V-day. Or several bunches of flowers, deliveries timed throughout the day.
posted by scratch at 10:58 AM on February 3, 2005

Make a scrub, don't buy. Absurdly easy.

Kosher salt, raw sugar, or coffee grounds
chocolate ganashe or melted chocolate (this is mainly for scent)
grapeseed oil

Mix in whatever proportions you'd like, and warm before using.
posted by oflinkey at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2005

I was once given a home-made butterfly. My SO fashioned the body out of wire, and then handpainted with watercolors a variety of wings to interchange.

I liked it so much that the next year, he made me a mobile of them - small wire butterflies. He painted the wings for those, to, but I think that using tissue paper would work, too, and make them lighter.

Every single person who sees them comments on them - I don't think they were particularly difficult to make. And, obviously, you could do things besides butterflies. They're just special to us.
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:42 AM on February 3, 2005

A bouquet of her favorite origami flowers, or maybe a bouquet of normal flowers, with one origami flower in it, that way you don't look cheap, and she gets an easily saved momento. There are tons of great origami pages, some linked through metafilter, but the easiest would be to search for " + origami". Lillys are not too difficult, and look nice.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great ideas everybody!

(and LOL mookieproof)
posted by fletchmuy at 1:01 PM on February 3, 2005

Sorry for the derail, but dammit! I made the Choo-Choo-Choose-You valentine in 2001. I think it's even been mentioned here on MeFi before. Now Boing Boing has anointed this guy the creator and I lose all the credit. *grumble*
posted by web-goddess at 1:29 PM on February 3, 2005

web-goddess: I downloaded your version -- THANKS!
posted by jacobsee at 1:42 PM on February 3, 2005

web-goddess - I used yours last year and it was a spectacular success. I knew that my sweetie was the right one for me when he immediately understood the origins and none of my friends had any idea.
posted by Coffeemate at 2:12 PM on February 3, 2005

Jack Karaoke: I've given origami flowers, and they got a better reaction than an expensive bouquet, just because she knew that I'd spent hours working on it, rather than just mindlessly plunking down some cash.

I'll take this opportunity to randomly pimp Joello's series of charts and graphs.

I'm of the opinion that any gift is good, so long as it shows an understanding of who the recipient is. I hope my girl agrees with me :)
posted by mosch at 2:58 PM on February 3, 2005

The best gifts are those that show you're listening. Which means something she's really into, amplified. Rarity, difficulty and individuality make things more romantic.

The best gift I've ever given was a dozen longstemmed shots. Tiny airplane bottles of booze hotglued to fake flower stems. Only works for the alcoholic in your life. Or maybe the claymation short of bunnies trying to draw out the message, spelling it wrong and giving up.

The most romantic gifts I've gotten are ones that seem stupid to the rest of the world but show me that he's listening and remembers the details. A Tiffany bracelet with my handle engraved on it (GUX). An old-school Merlin. Cans of OK Soda. BLAZING SADDLES on Super 8.

If you've got the time/effort, I'd get a blank book or scrapbook and try to list out/find artifacts of everything that reminds you of her. (ie: picture of a Volkswagon bug cut from a newspaper with a little story about how you remember this one time that you played slug bug until your arms ached. The label off a Snapple bottle because when you first saw her, that's what you were drinking.) There are a million memories that you can walk through -- when you met, you first made love, the songs that remind you, the movie you saw together, whatever.

At least, it would work on me. Then again, so did a Rocko's Modern Life animation cel.
posted by Gucky at 3:01 PM on February 3, 2005

Response by poster: web-goddess, I hereby Choo Choo Choose your original version of the Choo Choo Choose You card. Sorry for inadvertently publicizing an imposter's version (but you can blame kottke this time, since he is where I heard about it).
posted by fletchmuy at 3:39 PM on February 3, 2005

Gucky, if my partner ever gave me a rocko's modern life cel or a cool movie on super 8, i'd be starryeyed too. it isn't just you.

things that show you're listening and that form another layer of "only we two share this moment" are often good and inexpensive--what they ask of you is your attention/focus, not your money.
posted by ifjuly at 12:22 AM on February 4, 2005

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