Three Free last-minute Valentines gifts

10 February, 2013

I saw a tweet this week from a magazine, something like “Our list of Valentines gifts for under £50″…

I almost spat out my tea and the just-dunked biscuit I was inevitably munching (this womb-baby is a total biscuit fiend.) UNDER FIFTY QUID?! I did chuckle. It was the kind of creative pride in the list; “Behold! We have unearthed some items you can buy to show your love, and they cost, like, less then the weekly shop!”

What a parallel universe I live in. I don’t think I’d spend half-a-hundy on ANYTHING that wasn’t a grocery bill, or an electricity bill, or another kind of necessity. One hundred million percent NEVER EVER on a pressie! Blimey, Tim is lucky if he gets a pair of socks (fresh from his clean laundry pile.) (Jokes.) (Sorta.)

I don’t think I’d ever spend that kind of money on a pressie because I am completely confident that the love felt from a gift has absolutely nothing to do with the amount it costs, but the amount of thought gone in to it.

There is an equation, I read about it in The Book of Very Serious and Scientific Calculations for Life, under the Gift chapter:

Thought x intention = love felt

Settled then.

Of course, it is all very well for the people who are glue-wizards and stitching-queens to say this, but what about people who don’t know their papier-mache from their decoupage? Well, I STILL think there are options. In fact, here are three.

As long as you have access to a bit of paper and a pen, these three gifts are free, can be created quickly in an emergency and will no DOUBT provoke love to bubble up, spring-like, in the recipient’s belly and come gushing forth all over you this Valentines Day.

The first comes from one of my favourite bloggers, Kat from Eco Empire. It is completely genius and involves folding a piece of paper into one of those fortune teller things that were all the rage in the playgrounds across the world in 1995. You fill it with date ideas and get it out once a month. It shows an absolute commitment to special time spent together, and a real care over thinking of the kinds of things you’d like to do together.origami valentines date craft

The second is from a blogger I have just recently found and whose creativity and writing I am really enjoying, Evie S.  On their eighth year anniversary she did a little illustration, summing up their time together in numbers. What a cool way to think about the things you have been through together, and see where your journey has bought you.valentines illustration

Lastly, this is one I did a few years ago for Tim – 52 reasons I love you. Back then I did it on a pack of cards I tied together with ribbon. This year I have scrawled them on 52 hearts I cut out. A reason for every week this year. Some are pretty silly “You make the BEST gosh darn porridge every morning” (He really does.) And others speak more about his nature, the Who that I see more every day even though we have been together for YONKS.

a jar filled with reasons i love you valentines

The very best bit about this simple gift is how much it makes you dwell on all the things you love about them. You think 52 is impossible after you have poured your heart into the first 7, but since finishing it I keep thinking of more. (Sorry, bit yuck, eh.) I put my 52 reasons in a jar, because, you know me, if it can’t go in an old jar? Not interested.

52 reasons valentines craft

So, magazine, take your unthrifty fifties. My Valentine is getting a piece of paper. Cos as Plato said, or was it Ghandi,  or Yoko Ono…  (Hmmm, I’ve got a feeling I’m getting closer…) Money can’t buy me love!

Quick and free valentine gift ideas

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  • Emma 10 February, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Great post & I love your ideas…especially the 52 reasons & the summing up one. Will have to get busy- you’re so right- it IS the thought that counts 🙂

    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Apart from chocolate, I should have added that into the equation above… chocolate counts WAY more than thought.


  • nyssapod 10 February, 2013 at 5:18 pm


    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks Lovely lady! x

  • Zoe @ecothrifty 10 February, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Love the 52 reasons I love you idea – really lovely.

    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      If you had any more time/ creativity there is LOTS more to do with it, eh? x x

  • lally young 10 February, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I love your posts they always make me laugh! I have made a card [very blue peter], got him two bottles of ale and a box of thorntons which was has price [Im such a cheapie!] and one of those cards he loves to have in his wallet! Came to the grand sum of… toot tooot toooooooooooooot £4.50! So get lost Moonpig with yer £35 bunch of dead when arrive or wilted roses!!!
    I was going to make an ATC but the last I made him the dog ate it!! Or was it someone else !!! [ kids will eat anything!!!]

    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      Ohh, cracking up here. Totally, TAKE THAT! Love your thriftiness x x

  • lally young 10 February, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Sorry the choccos were half price! I need to wrap them up. He took me to my favorite walk a few years ago, that was very romantic. Plus give a man beer and he will love you forever!!!! tee heee

    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Hehe, you make ME laugh x

  • Yelly 10 February, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    LOVED the suggestions! Thanks! This has given me a brilliant idea! 🙂

    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      What, what is it!!! Are you gonna do a version? x

  • Naomi @ Upcycled Creatively 10 February, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I love your idea Lucy, thanks for sharing. I did something similar …I absolutely LOVE black pepper -it has to be the freshly ground variety. Anyway – when my husband and I were going out I used to say to him that I loved him EVEN MORE than pepper! It kind of turned into our little ‘thing’. One year I cut out lots of little paper hearts and put them in an old glass pepper mill and gave that to him. Another year I filled up a mini jar with pepper corns and put a heart on the top. What is really cute is that if we go anywhere to eat that has those little packets of pepper, he’ll pick one up and give it to me as a little present 🙂

    • Lucy 10 February, 2013 at 10:47 pm


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  • Valerie 12 February, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I am glad you said that at the start about spending £50, because if the rest of the world is to be believed everyone else seems to spend a BOMB on presents for each other. I genuinely believe that even if money was no object I would still recoil at spending £50 on one bottle of aftershave. I am still complaining that the charity shops in my street are charging £15 to £20 for ladies coats, but that’s a whole other topic lol. Today I left the card shop without a valentines card because they were quite expensive and more importantly, as ugly as is actually possible. I will definitely be collaging one myself.

  • Vicky Gray 14 February, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Love these ideas!
    We don’t tend to buy each other stuff for valentines day but I did make hubby some heart shaped choc chip shortbread 😀 (ok I also burnt it a little but it’s the thought that counts!) Also made a card with our sons footprints shaped like a heart- homemade is definitely the way to go! x x

  • Lorna 14 February, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I’m just in the process of making some scrummy hand and body scrubs for valentines presents for great friends but also so that me and my lovely husband (who is well and truly in touch with his feminine side!) can have a pamper evening tomorrow!!

  • Kate Williams 14 February, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Brill ideas! Me and husband are celebrating tomorrow by having two whole hours on our own! A miracle!! We haven’t got each other cards or anything tho as I don’t see how giving money to hallmark means you live someone! (Or I’m tight and forgetful. One of them anyway…)

  • Becky 15 February, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Gorgeous ideas Lucy!

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