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Amy Lorentzen, Associated Press, Published February 07 2013

There’s still time to craft a gift from the heart for your Valentine

Don’t worry if you’ve yet to find something special for loved ones this Valentine’s Day. You can easily and inexpensively add extra heart to gifts by making them at home.

Popular homemade gifts include aromatic candles and bath salts, personalized photo frames and customized scarves. Jo Pearson, an expert with the national arts and crafts supplier Michaels, says vintage lace and traditional red hearts are trends this year, and can easily be applied as stamps, stickers and appliques.


Light up your holiday with beautifully shaped and scented candles. Many craft stores carry candle-making kits, some requiring only a few minutes of microwaving. You can choose the color of the wax and add scented oils to fit your Valentine’s preference. Try scents such as chocolate fudge, sugar cookie, ginger, sandalwood or rose. Silicone molds are available in many shapes and sizes. Or, Pearson says, personalize a glass votive candle holder with scrapbooking embellishments such as beads, charms or other baubles – which come in just about any theme. Glue dots allow for no-mess application.


What’s more personal than a special picture of you and your loved one? To adorn a frame, use scrapbooking stickers to incorporate your Valentine’s favorite interests. You can use a hot glue gun to adhere ribbon to the frame, or use a stencil and paint to add extra interest. Photo books are also a memorable way to tell your story as a couple, highlight special vacations or show off children, grandkids or pets. Create one online at sites such as Shutterfly.com and Snapfish.com. Many photo centers offer a selection of small albums that serve the same purpose and fit into a pocketbook or briefcase. A bonus for last-minute Valentine’s shoppers: They can usually have your prints ready in about an hour.


For an extra perk in the morning, you can flavor coffee beans for your Valentine. Buy roasted beans and then add a few teaspoons of food flavoring oil per pound. Or use spices such as vanilla beans or cinnamon to add depth to ground coffee. Offer up the java in a Mason jar or a new mug, which can be personalized with glass or ceramic paints.


Whether your gift is store-bought or handmade, make it even more appealing with a handcrafted card or wrapping paper.

Simply stamp a plain piece of paper and add ribbon for homemade wrapping. You can use a kitchen sponge and cut to your desired shape for a do-it-yourself stamp.