As Valentine’s Day approaches, people everywhere are running to the stores to buy gifts for their significant others. Every shop has a Valentine’s window display or at least a very prominent section of the store, featuring pinks, reds, chocolates, flowers, teddy bears and all the usual stuff that we assume we need to buy. The idea of spending a bit of cash on someone special is a nice gesture, but for some of us, we don’t know whether to spend the money (is he my boyfriend...???) or to save it for a shopping spree instead. No matter your reason, there are ways around it. Below are a few ideas for gifts to buy your significant other/boyfriend/almost boyfriend that don’t involve breaking the bank. But they also show that you’ve put in a little more effort rather than picking up the first thing off the shelf at the store.
1. Hand-made Gifts
If you’re an arts and crafts kind of girl, then this is perfect for you. If you don’t think you are, then don’t worry; these gifts don’t require Picasso-like skills. These are the kinds of gifts that are more meaningful and from the heart. They also don’t require spending too much money. Homemade gifts are great, because most often they are things that people will actually use, rather than something from the store that usually ends up in a drawer somewhere.
Customized phone cases: This is a thoughtful, customized gift that shows you know what he likes. Put a picture of his favourite vacation place or one of his dog so that he can look at it every day on the back of his phone. Check out www.inspiremycase.com to customize the perfect phone case.
Monogrammed Mugs: I found this really cute idea for monogrammed mugs at www.designmom.com/2010/11/diy-monogram-mugs. Put his letter on the side of the mug and maybe throw in a few chocolate or candies when presenting him with the gift!
Album covers: If your boyfriend is into music, then take his favourite album cover, blow it up, and put it in a frame. It’s a kind of cute memorabilia that’s still somewhat manly.
2. Home-cooked meals or Baked Goods
This is another customizable idea that is great for Valentine’s Day. It is especially effective if your significant other likes to eat! Punchfork.com has some great recipes – I really like it because it has the same enticing picture effect that restaurant menus do. If you aren’t the best cook, then try baking instead! You can’t really go wrong, especially if you’re following a Pillsbury recipe. If you’re up for some more adventurous baking these red velvet brownies look delicious: http://smells-like-home.com/2011/06/red-velvet-brownies-with-white-chocolate-buttercream-frosting/
3. Gift Basket
Buying a bunch of small things is also a great way to show you’ve put in a little more thought. Perhaps his favourite movie on DVD or memorabilia of his favourite team. You could also go with a theme on this one – his favourite snacks or sport. Arrange them in a small gift basket with a bow and you’re set.
If you want to be a little more creative with this, you could also pick items based on places you’ve been or dates you’ve been on. For example, if he took you to a movie on your first date, you could throw a couple of movie passes in there.
4. Photo Collage
This is probably a better idea if you’ve been dating for a while; putting together a bunch of photos of the two of you in a book or a frame is a great keepsake. Photos from that road trip you took or that time you were forced to attend your great aunt’s birthday party – it all makes for a great reminder of the times you spent together.
Apple has a great way to put all your special photos together in a glossy-finish album book. How to go about doing that here: http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/cameras/best-photo-book-10-reviewed-1043329/3#articleContent
5. ABC’s and 123’s
Write down all the things you love about your significant other – based on either numbers or letters. You could give him a calendar and on every month’s page write down something you like about him or something he’s done for you. If you’ve been dating for one year, you could write down something you did together that month or something you hope to do together for the next year.
You could also collect his favourite treat and on each one, write something you admire about him starting with each letter of the alphabet. Example – A for affection, B for brave. It’s the same concept as candy heart messages but more personalized. Gather a bunch of his favourite candy – Hershey’s kisses, let’s say – put a little sticker on each one, write down something lovey-dovey, and put them in a cute container. This website has some great printable labels you could use to put on the jar, box, etc: http://www.eighteen25.blogspot.ca/2012/01/free-download-made-with-love.html
Hope you all find the right gift for your significant other this Valentine’s Day!