Modern Day Cupid: DIY gift baskets not at the grocery store

Final products of Nicole’s Valentine's Day cards. (From left to right) “I love you deerly”, “Ur the cats meow”, and “You have a pizza my heart”. Photos by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Valentine’s Day, the day of chocolate hearts and so much red you could almost barf. Yet, we love to buy a ton of cheap stuffed animals. How about this year we give the Hallmark industry a break. Here are a few ways to make your loved ones, friends and yourself feel special this February 14.

DIY Gift Baskets: For your Valentine, here are a few ideas of what to throw into a loving gift basket.

The Lover: For the one person that makes your heart skip a beat.

  •        Lip Balm
  •        Furry blanket
  •        A box of chocolates (Classic)
  •        Mint gum
  •        Lip Scrub ( Make your own using un-petroleum jelly and sugar)
  •        Essential oil


The Crude: For the person who always takes the joke a little too far.

  •        Condoms (Let’s start off strong)
  •        Liquor (To loosen them up)
  •        Red underwear
  •        Sex position dice
  •        Risqué conversation hearts

The Corny: For anyone with your mom’s sense of humor. (Most come with punny cards)

  •        Conversation hearts (Original)
  •        A honey bear jar/ “Uh-huh Honey” card
  •        Bath Bomb/ “You’re the Bomb” card
  •        Custom M&Ms
  •        Strawberry apple sauce/ “I Love Your Face Up In The Sauce” card

The Narcissist: For the person you love more than anything in the world, you.

  •        A heart shaped box of chocolates (the most expensive because you’re not dropping that money on anyone else)
  •        That piece of clothing you’ve had your eye on
  •        Your favorite movie
  •        A special little take out box


Different Kinds of Gift “Bags”: Not all gift bags are boring. Get creative and put together something your Valentine would never suspect.

  1.      Old School Shoe box: We all remember the paper wrapped shoe boxes that were filled with Valentines from classmates. Bring it back this year by decorating a shoes box for your loved ones and fill it with their favorite things.
  2.      A Fondue Kit: A great gift for chocolate lovers. Fill a box with a bag of chocolate, sprinkles, mini M&Ms, Red Hots, giant marshmallows, Vanilla Wafers and skewers.
  3.      Cocktails On-The-Go: Place a bottle or mini can of soda inside a mason jar. Then tie a mini bottle of liquor to the outside of the jar and place a cute straw inside of the jar.

DIY Valentine’s Day Cards


  1.      “I Love You Deerly”
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Materials: A piece of paper, red and brown ink or paint, black pen

Step one: Fold the card in half. Then use the red ink to create six thumb prints on the front.

Step two: For the heads turn them at angles. the tips of your thumb prints should be touching. These are the heads.

Step three: Make two more thumb prints horizontally. They should be connected to the heads, these will be the bodies.

Step four: Then paint your thumbs red. You want to place these two prints about the deer, at an angle. The tips of your thumbs will connect at the bottom to create a heart shape.

Step five: Then use the pen to draw antlers, eyes and a nose on to the thumb print to make it into a deer.

Step six: You want there to be two deer thumb prints. Then write “I love you Deerly” or any other pun you can think of.


  1.      “You have a pizza my heart”
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Materials: A piece of paper, a black and red pen

Step one: Fold the paper in half to create the card. Then sketch a piece of pizza on the front.

Step two: Add a cute face to the piece of pizza and decorate the rest however you like.

Step three: Then add “You have a pizza my heart “to the front.


  1.      Water Color “Cat’s Meow”
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Materials: A piece of watercolor paper, watercolor paints and pens

Step one: Fold your piece of paper in half and sketch out the head of a cat into the front.

Step two: Use the water colors to fill in the head of the cat.

Step three: Use the pens or water colors to paint on “You’re The Cat’s Meow” on top of the cat’s head.

  •      TIP: A water color technique is to use more water in certain spots. It will give a faded look to the color. The more water the lighter the color. Be careful not to use too much water or else it will make the paper fall apart.

Skip out on the overpriced candy and DIY your heart out this year. Happy Valentine’s Day!