3 Super Simple, Last-Minute, DIY Valentine’s Gifts

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I confess. I am a last-minute DIY’er. On the day before Halloween, I suddenly woke up wishing I’d made a homemade costume for my daughter. I wound up making some simple fairy wings from fabric and cardboard, knowing I could’ve done better had I started sooner.

Still, for those of us who procrastinate and can never seem to get started in advance, here are 3 easy Valentine’s Day projects that you can knock out in an hour or less. You probably have many of the items you need at home, or you can find them at your local Walmart or craft store. The best part though? They’ll look like you spent a lot more time and effort than that!

You Rock! Artwork

This simple piece of art speaks volumes, and it requires very little effort.

You’ll Need:

  • 8 x 10 canvas (or any other size you choose)
  • Collection of small rocks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil
  • Small paint brush
  • Paint


This probably goes without saying, but make sure you wash your rocks to get rid of any loose dirt, etc. Lay them on a towel or piece of scrap cloth and allow them to dry fully.

On the canvas, lightly sketch the words “YOU ROCK” and a heart outline in pencil. Lay dry rocks over the letters and heart outline to make sure you have enough rocks and to see how they’ll best fit together. This way, you can make adjustments before anything is permanent.

Once you’ve decided on your layout, use the the hot glue gun to attach the rocks to the canvas. Lift each stone from its desired position one by one, so that you keep the layout you’ve established. You can take this opportunity to erase any pencil lines that might be showing through. Once attached, allow the glue to dry fully. Then embellish the canvas with paint however you want. I chose a simple embellishment — I filled the heart and a Os with red paint.

Let it dry and voila! You’re done!

Message Frame

A photo is worth a thousand words, but a photo in a beautiful frame is worth many more! This idea was inspired by the need for a gift for my daughter’s teacher, who has been so wonderful to her and us in a year that has been tough on our family.

You’ll Need:

  • Plain picture frame
  • Paint pen
  • Meaningful photo

Many of us have empty picture frames laying around. I didn’t, so I grabbed one, made of recycled materials, from Walmart. Put your photo in the frame.

With a paint pen in a contrasting color (to the frame), draw a scale pattern along one corner of the frame. To create the pattern, draw a row of connected half circles, followed by another row connected to the one above it. Continue until you run out of space, or continue the pattern onto the glass for a small area.

NOTE: Before you draw on the glass, make sure you won’t be covering up important areas of the photo.

Write a special message for the recipient. In this case, I wrote “Best Teacher Ever,” though I ran out of space when I got to “ever.” Oops. My daughter made a card for her teacher that says “You are the best teacher I’ve ever had,” so the message is simply repeated on the frame. You can write whatever means most to you.

Add your photo, and you’re done!

Valentine “Mail” Box

While shopping for cute, recycled Valentine’s cards for my daughter’s classmates, I kept seeing cards that were enclosed in a “mailbox” that the child could use to collect their own Valentines. I couldn’t help thinking I could make something similar myself. The same is true for the cards, given that I’m a graphic designer, but I was also feeling lazy 🙂

You’ll Need:

  • A shoebox or other box with a removable or hinged cover
  • Tape and glue
  • Wrapping paper
  • Craft knife
  • Single hole puncher
  • 1 paper fastener
  • Card stock & printer
  • Mailbox label & flag template (Download Here)

Remove the cover from the box, and use your craft knife to cut a slot on the end, about 1/2″ high and 3″ wide. If it helps, you can sketch it first with a ruler and pencil to make sure your cuts are accurate — or you can just eyeball it like I did :). This will serve as the mail slot.

Cover the box and cover with cute wrapping paper. You can attach it with tape or glue — whichever you have on hand. Once the box is covered, use your craft knife to cut a slot matching the one on the box. Reinforce the opening with tape.

Print the mailbox label and flag template shown below onto cardstock.  Click the image to download a free PDF template.

Cut out the label, and glue it to the cover of the box. Make sure the arrow next to “First Class Mail” is pointing toward the mail slot. Cut out the two flag pieces. Glue them together back to back. Cardstock is relatively stiff, but glueing them back to back will give you extra strength so the flag will stand up better.

Punch a hole through the bottom of the two flag pieces that are glued together. Punch another hole in the side of the box cover, wherever you want the flag to go. Use the paper fastener to attach the flag to the cover. Pull the two back pieces of the fastener through the holes and secure it as tightly as possible. This will still allow the flag to move up and down, but it will keep it from rotating all the way around.

You’re all done! This box will serve 2 purposes. I will give my daughter a box in which she can carry the cards for her classmates, and a box in which she can bring home the ones she receives.

I hope you enjoy these simple projects, and I’d love to see them if you try your hand at making them!

More DIY Valentine’s Projects/Ideas:

Disclosure: I am a member of the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation to share a DIY Valentine’s Day project with you. I also received a $25 gift card to shop for supplies. Participation is voluntary and as usual, all opinions are my own.

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