10 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Sweethearts and Friends

Get inspiration for ways you can make the day special with DIY cards, decor and treats

By Laura Gaskill / Courtesy of Houzz.com

Valentine’s Day is almost here — and whether you’re planning a sweet kid-friendly celebration, a romantic dinner for two or a fun and festive “Galentine’s Day,” we’ve got you covered. Read on for handmade card ideas, decorating touches and a sweet, chocolatey cocktail.

1. Whip up a hot chocolatey cocktail for your valentine. Woo your sweetheart (or treat yourself) to a mug of homemade hot chocolate, with or without a splash of bourbon. For a party, set up a bar cart with all of the ingredients and let guests mix their own.

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2. Frame a meaningful photo. Dig out your own wedding photos or those from your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding, and have one framed. For a heartfelt photo wall, cluster a group of family wedding portraits.

3. Make kraft paper cards for friends. These homemade valentines are easy and economical. Use white paint or a paint pen to write your message on plain kraft paper cards, and finish with a berry candy.

4. Celebrate enthusiasm for good design with a witty card. Whether you or your sweetie is an architect or you just love good design, these clever cards are sure to elicit smiles this Valentine’s Day.

5. Host a Galentine’s Day tea party. Celebrate friendship with a tea party, complete with crafty projects (like DIY pompoms), sweet treats and strong tea brewed in your best china.

6. Share a favorite food. Whether you choose to give a home-baked treat (like a loaf of banana bread, as shown here) or pick up your valentine’s most-wished-for food from a local bakery or market, nourishment makes a simple yet meaningful gift. For an extra-special touch, wrap your parcel in paper, tie it with baker’s twine and finish with a personalized tag.

7. Make corsages with the kids. Wish there were a way to keep that bouquet of gorgeous flowers with you all day? There is! Get the little ones in on the Valentine’s Day festivities by working on this craft project together, and transform a few blooms from the florist or farm stand into sweet wrist or pinned corsages

8. Paint a kraft paper table runner. Whether you’re planning a party at your house or need a quick way to jazz up the lunch tables at your child’s school, this DIY project couldn’t be easier. Grab some pink paint or a thick paint pen and a roll of kraft paper, and write large “X”s and “O”s down the center for a (nearly) instant runner.

9. Take your Valentine’s Day table to the tropics. It may be February, but your drinks don’t have to know that! Bring a dash of the tropics to your table with little paper umbrellas stuck into heart-shaped slices of fresh fruit. Tropical soundtrack optional.

10. Make a statement with flowering branches. If you’re tired of classic red roses, consider something different and reach for the most luscious-looking armful of flowering branches you can find — from a flower shop or, if you’re really lucky, clipped from the yard. It will make a stunning display and last a long time.