Often considered a marketing invention to help boost sales in an otherwise slow economic period for retailers, Valentine's Day needn't be another excuse to express love through our capalitistic, consumeristic ways. There are plenty of options to give without hitting the mall, so this year CH decided to put together a list of homemade Valentines gifts (and kits).
If you're short on time and/or motor skills, see CH's 2006 Valentine's Day feature for some of the more unconventional products out there.
Lovebird Candles (pictured above right), featured in the current issue of ReadyMade, transform tall boy cans and a metal ashtray into a silver votive that projects a romantic image onto walls. Our friends at the magazine were kind enough to make a pdf of the project exclusively for CH readers, which is available for a free download here.
Make the luxury of breakfast in bed painfully cute with heart-shaped fried eggs (left). With a heart shaped-cookie cutter and a little experience in the kitchen, you can even make the whole breakfast love-themed by using the same technique to make heart shaped pancakes and toast. Visit Cut Out and Keep for detailed directions.
If the eventual demise of flowers depresses you or your Valentine, something more permanent might win their heart. We've seen flowers made out of paper and even Tampons, but never out of junk. These Junk Box Flowers (above right) might not smell as nice, but will last longer as a token of affection. This one is made from parts of a hard drive, floppy disks, thin metal, brass wire and glue, but plenty of household objects lying around make good substitutes. For the how-to, suggestions and more images visit Instructables.
We all have a few hundred, possibly thousands, of photos locked up in our hard drives or buried in Flickr pages. A Digital Photo Frame (above left) uses an old laptop and an application called Slickr to display a rotating selection of photos of you and your Valentine. Not for the casual tinkerer, see Popular Science for the labor-intensive project instructions.
Made from LEDs and a circuit board, this little gift says "I Love You" in blinky lights (above right). The kit requires some basic soldering and is $10 from ThinkGeek.
For a sweetheart with a sweet tooth, Absinthe Lollipops (above left) are a contemporary take on the old fashioned drink. If you can get your hands on the active ingredient, they're easy to make and the ultimate aphrodisiac. Have them for dessert and they will get anybody in the Valentines mood to celebrate. Go to Cut out and Keep for the full ingredient list and recipe.
Since the Suck UK Sun Jar designed by Tobias Wong is sold out why not make one for your Valentine? This solar powered LED-lit cookie jar (above right) is easy to make and you only need a handful of components and tools. Using a solar cell, battery and LED light, the jar collects sun during the day to use at night. Instructions on how to make the Sun Jar are available at Instructables.
via Ready Made.
Layering chocolate decadence with spiked ice cream, Naughty Ice Cream Sandwiches ensure a Valentine's Day filled with the requisite dose of chocolate and booze. Created by food blogger Pinch My Salt for an article highlighting aphrodisiacs, the thin Kahlua chocolate chunk brownies and Bailey's-infused vanilla ice cream manage to squeeze in three aphrodisiacs (coffee, chocolate and alcohol). You can see the other entrants here.