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DIY Devotion

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Handmade Valentine’s Day decor shows your loved one how much you care.

spacesdesignFEB2015There’s no need to break the bank on Valentine’s Day. Granted, flowers are nice, and chocolate is a given — but when you’re setting a romantic scene to surprise your partner, you can do a lot of the decorating yourself.

So, grab a pack of construction paper, a few pieces of felt and your sharpest pair of scissors. We’ve got a collection of high-quality, low-cost ideas to help you celebrate your love in style.

A Rose by any Other Name… To craft a bouquet your loved one will love, turn to tissue paper. Layer eight squares of paper over each other, and trim the corners slightly — no need for perfection here. Accordion-fold the stack, and fasten it in the middle with a pipe cleaner. Carefully fan out the two sides of the stack, so it looks like a bow. Then, gently pull one piece of tissue at a time up toward the middle, creating a bloom that will never die.

Heartfelt Garlands First, print or draw a heart on card stock, and then cut it out — this will be your template. Lay out a few pieces of felt in red, pink and white, and trace as many hearts as you can fit on the felt. Use a craft knife to make two small, horizontal slits about one-half-inch apart in the center of each heart. Thread a red ribbon through the slits, and continue until you’ve threaded all of the hearts onto the ribbon. Voila: a sweet Valentine’s Day garland that can hang in your doorway, adorn your table or bedeck your bed!

Gorgeous Glass A few plain mason jars transform into gorgeous candle lanterns with just a touch of glitter. Mix a dab of clear-drying Elmer’s glue with water to create a thin solution, and brush it on the inside of a mason jar. Sprinkle a few pinches of glitter inside the jar, cap and shake! Tap the bottom of the jar to remove extra glitter inside. Once the jar is dry, place a tea light inside for a sparkling addition to your decor.

The Picture of Love Print eight to 10 copies of photographs of you and your loved one. Choose photos that bring back great memories, like vacation snapshots or anniversary portraits. Mount photos on a large piece of red or pink poster board, and use gold or silver metallic ink to write down how each photo makes you feel. Prop your poster where your loved one will see it when he or she comes home from work.

Playful Paper You can use any kind of paper for this riff on the classic paper chain — from construction paper to sheet music or even old magazines. Cut paper into one-inch, lengthwise strips; fold strips in half; and cut. Staple two strips together at the bottom, then tuck the top ends of the strips inward to form a heart-shaped curve. Staple. As you create the next heart, loop one side through the first heart to create a paper chain that can be used for decoration wherever you like.

Not crafty in the slightest? That’s okay too. The important thing is to show your partner you care, in whatever way feels most natural to you — this could be a home-cooked dinner, a few vouchers redeemable for household chores or even a day trip to a place you two have been hoping to explore. Use your imagination!