Despite all the hype that surrounds Valentine’s Day, it’s easy to let the day sneak up on you. If you find yourself scrambling at the last minute for ways to make the day special, but don’t want to make a late night trip to the grocery store for overpriced candy, stuffed animals, or flowers, then you’ll love these quick and easy ideas.
To help you make the most of the day, we took a look around and some our favorite craft-inspired blogs and website and found ideas that are not only easy but can be done, for the most part, with items you probably already have on hand.
From DIY cards and crafts to simple meals to local events, we’ve got your Valentine’s Day covered…even if you’re in a hurry.
Valentine’s Day Crafts:
Paint Swatch Bookmarks
All you need for this crazy-easy idea is paint swatches in whatever colors your kids like and a heart-shaped hole punch. Punch out heart shapes, or simply add personal messages in each square. Then top it off with some ribbon and you’re done! Have your kids sign them and pass them around at school…or keep them for yourselves. The best part is that thanks to this idea from Danielle at Pretty Extraordinary, you’ll finally have a use for all of those paint swatches left over from your last home improvement project!
Heart Shaped Toppers
Leave it to Martha Stewart to have plenty of ideas for holiday décor! But unlike some of her more intimidating undertakings, this couldn’t be easier. To make these heart-shaped toppers, all you need is some colored or patterned paper, scissors or a large heart-shaped hole punch, some glue sticks, and lollipop sticks or toothpicks. Punch your hearts out of the paper or cut them by folding the paper in half and cutting a “half-heart” along the folded edge. Take two hearts and glue them back to back with the lollipop stick or toothpick in-between. These festive and fun “toppers” can be put on top of breakfast (pancakes, muffins, etc), used to decorate lunchtime sandwiches, adorn dinner, or, of course, take the cake as cupcake decorations!
DIY Conversation Heart Banner
This is the kind of project that makes even me feel like a crafty person. Ginnie from Hello Little Home not only offers this super-easy idea, but she also offers a free downloadable, printable template. So all you need to make these adorable love-themed banners is some paper, a printer, scissors, and string or ribbon, Download and print the colorful hearts, cut them out, punch holes on either side of each, and string them together. That’s it! Valentine’s Day decorations = done.
“I Love You Because” Board
I love this idea because it’s not only super simple, but it’s relevance last long after Valentine’s Day. Ness from One Perfect Day is the inspiration behind this family-oriented craft. All you’ll need is some colorful paper, scissors, a little glue, and some creativity. You can make one board for the whole family, or individual boards for everyone. Simply cut hearts out of paper, write special messages on them or “reasons why I love you…” then glue them on a large piece of paper, cardboard, poster board, etc. Hang them on your kids’ door to find on Valentine’s morning or gather around as a family and decorate it together – before, on, or after Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day Fortune Tellers
Who doesn’t remember predicting who you and your best friend would marry using nothing more than some paper, a colored pen, and the names of your crushes? “Fortune tellers” have been kid-favorites for years. Get easy, printable templates and instructions here (thanks to Gabrielle of Design Mom) or channel your inner sixth-grader and make your own. You can customize them with special “love notes” for each child, or make it a fun activity that you all do together.
Valentine’s Day Foods:
Heart Shaped Bacon…what’s not to love?!
Ok, so this isn’t so much a recipe as bacon in the shape of a heart…but c’mon. Bacon! Simply shape your bacon into hearts while cooking, then place it on top of eggs, toast, or whatever you eat with your bacon on Valentine’s Day morning. It’s a fun..and delicious…way to say I love you (and bacon)!
Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
Gina Homolka, the genius behind the Skinny Taste blog and cookbooks, offers this Valentine’s Day treat: Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes. Yes, please. Not only is this a breakfast you can keep making all year, it’s a super fun way to kick off Valentine’s Day morning. If you don’t have a heart-shaped pancake mold, just put your batter in a pastry bag or a plastic zipper bag with a corner cut off, and squeeze the batter into a heart-shape, then fill it in.
P.S. This would be a great place to use the heart-shaped toppers we told you about above!
Valentine’s Day S’Mores
Not only will these be sure to please your kids, they couldn’t be easier. Using your traditional s’more ingredients (with the addition of heart-shaped marshmallows — available at most grocery stores – and some sprinkles) these tasty treats are made in the oven for an easy, no-mess treat. This idea and recipe comes from Carrie Sellman at The Cake Blog and we know it’s one we’ll come back to year after year!
Richmond Area Valentine’s Day Events:
Last but not least, if you’re looking for fun “date” or activity idea for you and the kids, don’t miss these great local happenings!
Head to the Gayton Branch Library for Valentine’s Day crafts from 10:30am – 11am. Ages 2-5. Free.
Storytime for Tudor Tikes at Agecroft Hall
Join storyteller Pamela Bomboy for a special Valentine’s Day story time at historic Agecroft Hall. There will be special songs, stories, and activities perfect for preschoolers! 10:30am – 11:30am. $5/person.
Valentine’s Day Party
The Ashland Library will be hosting a special Valentine’s Day party with treats, games, and more. For grades K -5. Free.
“Dinner for Two” at Chick-fil-A Tuckernuck Plaza
Perfect for a parent-child date or for the whole family, Chick-fil-A Tuckernuck Plaza will be offering table service, linens, live entertainment, and plenty of special treats.
For more events, be sure to visit our full calendar here!