Adorable D.I.Y. Valentine’s Day Gifts

Summer Ingalls, Staff Writer

   Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! But, there is no need to stress about a gift for your loved ones. Luckily, there are tons of do-it-yourself gift ideas that are easy to whip out without too much time, money, or effort. And hey, what’s better than something handmade, right? 

 Wind chimes     

   Reduce, reuse, recycle! This first gift idea is an upcycled innovation and is oh-so-cute. Transform humble cookie cutters into wind chimes that are ideal for hanging on the front porch. All you will need for this gift is twelve inches of bendable wire, oven-baked modeling clay, twine, three large heart-shaped cookie cutters, three medium heart-shaped cookie cutters, and three small heart-shaped cookie cutters. First, take twelve inches of the bendable wire then make a heart shape out of it, then set aside. Next, you will be working with the modeling clay to make another heart, so make sure to lay something down, like wax paper, to avoid a mess. When done forming a heart out of the clay, punch a whole in the top of it so that it can hang at the bottom of your windchime. You can also write a cute message on it before baking like “I love you!” just to make your gift extra sweet. Now, put that in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes and check on it regularly. Now, you will need to punch holes in the crook and point (where the two halves of the heart meet at the top and bottom) of each of the heart-shaped cookie cutters. 

   It can be tricky! So, take your time. Now cut three lengths of twine long enough to fit each spread out cookie cutter. Working with one length at a time, thread in this order a large, then a medium, and then a small cookie cutter onto the twine, knotting above and below each cutter so that it stays in place. Repeat with remaining twine and cookie cutters. Now, take the twine lengths and wrap them around the heart shaped wire above the large cookie cutters at the top of the chime. The heart will act as a separator so that the three strands don’t touch. After they have been wrapped around the heart, take the excess twine lengths at the top and tie them in a knot so it can hang. Now, tie a knot with the excess twine at the bottom of the chime and then cut off the ends. Take one strand of twine and thread through the hole of the ceramic heart and tie that to the other knot you just made at the bottom, so it dangles. Now you’re all done! Your Valentines can hang these wind chimes wherever they like (


   For those a bit shorter on time or motivation, this next craft is much simpler than the previous one. For this gift, you will be making your own hand painted lantern. You will need a mason jar with a lid (doesn’t matter the size), a small candle or tea light, at least two colors of acrylic paint (the more the better!), and colored yarn. First, paint stripes on the mason jar with any design, but hearts and cherubs would be timely. Maybe even add a special message, too. It is recommended that you paint them on the interior of the jar, but painting on the exterior would work fine. Luckily, acrylic paint dries fast, so set the painted jar aside for ten minutes to dry. If the paint looks too thin or streaky, add as many layers as needed until it is to your preferred opacity, letting it dry in between coats. Once the paint is completely set, place a small candle or tealight inside. Screw on the lid and embellish with a piece of colorful ribbon and you’re all set (


  This next gift idea is perfect for friends, teachers, family, and neighbors: bread loafs! What better way to show someone you love them than with a basket full of carbs? You can use one of your favorite homemade bread recipes or buy some from your local store or local bakery. Put them in a cute bag or box and decorate to your liking. Place in a basket with multiple loaves or just give them out individually. Then tape on a cute message like “I loaf you” or “Somebody loaves you” and you’re all set ( 


  UC High Senior Alyson Dominguez is a master at last minute DIY gifts. Her favorite is making homemade candles. “I love making candles for people, because it is so easy to make them personalized. Once you know someone’s favorite color and scent there is absolutely no way they won’t love their candle,” said Dominguez. Dominguez recommends using the following: a pot, stove, wax, wick, container(s), fragrance (optional), color (optional), and popsicle sticks. Firstly, start off by placing the wick. Before you pour the wax, place your wick into the appropriate container. Dominguez likes to use an empty candle container that was previously used — both eco-friendly and budget-friendly! Next, you will need to heat the wax; set up a pot over the stove and turn on the stove. Now, add the wax and allow it to melt. Add your color and fragrance to the melted wax in the pot, if desired. Be sure to turn off the stove! Carefully pour the hot wax into the container. Dominguez likes to go around her neighborhood hood and collect fallen flowers to place on top of the candle before it cools. Use skewers or popsicle sticks to help keep the wick in place. Let the wax cool completely and then trim the wick down to size. Top off with writing a cute message with paint pens on the container or tie some ribbon or yarn around it. Now you’re done! 

   Don’t show up empty handed to this year’s socially-distanced gathering or date night. There is no excuse, especially with how much time we spend at home these days. Make your significant other or loved ones something special this year to show just how much you appreciate them.