Cute Valentine’s Day Ideas
If your Valentine is clever, witty, or simply appreciates a unique gesture, our the sweet selections will have your special someone swooning over your thoughtful effort. For a gift that’s sure to delight from childhood through the precious golden years, the love letters writing set will surely amuse. Craft sweet, silly, or downright romantic notes that you and your Valentine can swap back and forth. Only your eyes will be able to decode the secret messages contained within, thanks to the invisible ink and blacklight UV pen caps. For the someone who is a regular on public transportation, Sophie Blackall’s book Missed Connections is sure to strike a chord. Before the days of Wi-Fi connectivity, people’s eyes wandered—and sometimes settled—on a complete stranger. Blackall recounts several of her own tales, as well as others. If your love is a journalist or wordsmith, 642 Things I Love (About You) will channel his inner Ernest Hemingway. He will search deep within to answer the clever and thought-provoking questions contained in the book. Or, perhaps traditional letter writing is more her fancy? Select an adorable heart-shaped wax stamp that can also be used with a traditional ink pad. Scroll through to find your own perfect pick.
Food-Inspired Friendship & Love Cards
These grown-up interpretations of Valentine’s Day cards will make your foodie friends chuckle. Send these to your friends and significant other instead of a cheesy Hallmark card with a sappy message. The pack of 10 cards features clever illustrations accompanied by witty food puns, like “Miso Happy,” “Well Done,” “Whey to Go,” “Sole Mates,” and “Heart You.” Include a personalized handwritten message inside—and if you want to add a little more to the gift, slip in a gift card to a favorite restaurant (or, a “certificate” for a home-cooked meal of their choice).
To Buy: $30; food52.com.
Make Your Own Music Box Kit
Equal parts charming and nostalgic, this tiny music box can play any tune the musician in your life wants. The kit comes with music paper strips, so the gift recipient can punch holes to create original melodies (for music novices, the Happy Birthday melody is included). The little box is compact and easy to tote around, so he can charm friends and family wherever and whenever—it will provide hours of old-timey entertainment. Don’t worry: when he runs out of music paper strips, he can easily buy a refill pack (and it’s affordable, too).
To Buy: $19; amazon.com.
Things I’d Do (But Just For You)
There are only a few people in this world you’d do anything for—and this book is for them. Whether you give this Valentine’s Day gift to your partner or best friend, they’ll feel extra special seeing all the silly, but heartfelt things you’d do for them. Illustrated by Jack Sjogren, the compact hardcover book features hilarious (and adorable) drawings and phrases, like “I’d make you a tiny hat in case your hat gets cold,” “I’d wake you up with donuts,” or “I’d reorganize your books however you’d like.” You’ll both have fun reading this together (and maybe brainstorm other things you’d do just for them).
To Buy: $13; chroniclebooks.com.
Let’s Avocuddle iPhone Case
Everyone needs a case to protect their new iPhone 7, so why not gift someone with a sturdy one that’s both useful and cute? This one was made for the avocado-obsessed in your life—the unique and playful design is guaranteed to garner some compliments. The clear case puts the iPhone’s original color on display, so the gift recipient can still show off his or her rose gold or shiny jet black devices. It’s made of soft polycarbonate—which means it can withstand any drops (klutzes will thank you). It’s available in both 7 and 7 Plus sizes.
To Buy: $40; shopspring.com.
Mylar balloons are ever popular these days—perhaps you’ve seen them at birthday parties or baby showers. Instead of purchasing some generic helium balloons at your local party store, gift or decorate with this soft pink foil balloon that says “Love” in a pretty script. To easily inflate the balloon, an inexpensive air pump is recommended. You can keep this balloon around well past February 14th—it’s reusable and can be refilled with air. It comes with string to hang it like a garland, so adorn someone’s workspace with the balloon as a surprise or put it on display for your Valentine’s Day party.
To Buy: $9; etsy.com.
Bonsai Tree Kit
In February, it may be too cold to do any outdoor gardening, but it’s an optimal time for any indoor plants to really get all the attention. If your partner misses spending time outdoors tending to the garden, gift them this bonsai tree kit so they can try the ancient Japanese gardening technique. It’ll look right at home on a coffee table or side table. The kit comes with pre-planted tree seeds, a terra cotta pot, propagating cover, and a bag of compost. For those who are new to the art of bonsai, there are also grow and care instructions included.
To Buy: $16; urbanoutfitters.com.
Meri Meri Valentines Cup Cake Kit
This is more sophisticated than anything you’d find at the party store. If you’re hosting a Galentine’s Day party or making treats for your child’s class, this colorful cupcake kit is all you need—just add some cake mix. The kit comes with an assortment of 24 paper liners—in a heart pattern, stripes, pink, and metallic. For a finishing touch, stick on the heart-shaped toppers that have fun phrases like “Hello Lovely,” “Big Hug,” “You Rock,” or “XOXO.” Your homemade cupcakes will never look more fun (or Instagrammable) than this—place them on a serving tray or cake stand and you’ve got a party-ready display.
To Buy: $17; asos.com.
Share these scratchers with your partner when they’ve done something especially great, like washing the dishes after a big dinner party, or finally cleaning out the gutters. Each one has a different romantic “prize,” whether it’s “Backrub Bingo” or “Romance Roulette.” They’ll be rewarded with a kiss, or shoulder rub, or a favor. The book has 100 lottery tickets, so you’ll have enough for every special occasion. Think of it as a way to surprise your partner during the mundane, everyday moments. Package the scratchers with a roll of coins, and they’re all set.
To Buy: $11; asos.com.
Me, You, Us: A Book to Fill Out Together
Your next couples’ activity doesn’t have to be a fancy (and not to mention expensive) massage or a dinner and dancing date night. Let your creative juices flow with this fun activity book that also doubles as a memory book that you’ll want to keep forever. Each page has a unique prompt that you have to answer or fill out, like the “The Dinner Party of Our Dreams,” or “If We Made Up Our Own Public Holiday.” It’ll provide endless hours of entertainment—and, who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new about each other (even if you’ve been together for ages).
To Buy: $13; amazon.com.
Williams Sonoma Marshmallow Hearts
Sure, you can go with the traditional heart-shaped box of chocolates this year, but these fluffy marshmallows are so much cuter. Instead of the usual cylinder marshmallow form, these pink-and-white hued sweets are heart-shaped. Eat them alone, on a s’more, or put them in a steaming cup of hot cocoa for a Valentine’s Day themed treat. They’re also a fun party favor if you’re hosting something for your friends or the kids this year—display a few on the buffet table or gift each of your guests a bag (it already comes complete with a red bow).
To Buy: $10; williams-sonoma.com.
Love Fortune Cards
It’s like a fortune cookie, but without the extra calories (and a lot more pink). These cards can be torn open to reveal a fortune or witty saying (think: “Love is all you need. And a good pair of heels.”) They’re a fun alternative to the classic Valentine’s Day cards or conversation hearts. Hand these out to your friends or coworkers as a little treat, or slip them into your partner’s workbag before they leave for the day. Each fortune comes with an envelope, so you can personalize it with the recipient’s name on the front.
To Buy: $8; papersource.com.
Heart-Shaped Macaron Kit
Who doesn’t love delicate and delicious French macarons? They’re especially perfect for Valentine’s Day. This kit makes it easy to DIY the ever-popular treat—which could be a budget-friendly option, since a box of these colorful confections isn’t exactly a bargain. Inside, there’s a silicone baking mat with heart-shaped impressions, a piping bag, six decorating tips, and a cap and clip for the bag. All you need are the ingredients and a steady hand. The aspiring baker will love trying her hand at making a batch—or pick one up for yourself and invite a bunch of girlfriends over for a Valentine’s Day-themed macaron-making party.
To Buy: $24; surlatable.com.
Secret Love Letters Writing Set
You and your sweetheart will be the only ones able to decipher these love letters, thanks to the invisible ink and a black light featured on each pen cap! Simply write your letter with one of the included UV pens, send it off (or place it atop her laptop, dresser, or pillow) and wait for her to decode it and respond with her own secret letter. Since the black light is only contained in these unique pen caps, nobody else will be able to intercept your declarations of love, no matter where you might accidentally leave one. Batteries are included for your convenience.
To Buy: $6; worldmarket.com.
Wax Seal Stamp
Seal your miniature letters, notes, and messages with this adorable wax seal stamp. Alternately, you can press the heart shape into ink for a more classic look. (Ink pads are sold separately in a wide variety of colors.) An encouraging note tucked into your child’s lunchbox will let him know you’re thinking of him throughout the day. Each stamp is individually print-tested, then wrapped in cellophane and placed in a paper bag for easy gifting. Alternatively, you can choose to order a kraft gift box or cotton bag (both of which cost a little extra). Just be sure to order this gift with plenty of time in advance: It ships from the United Kingdom.
To Buy: $5; littlestampstore.etsy.com.
Missed Connections Book
In Sophie Blackall’s debut book for adults (she’s already the proud illustrator of over 20 books for children!), she’ll have you pondering the “what if” of a missed connection. She brings the misadventures of soul searching to life in this collection of love stories told through illustration. Spoiler: not all stories are missed connections—there are several pieces of found love hidden throughout the book. Her introduction also includes her own personal experiences with the subject. Anyone who has caught a stranger’s eye while walking, taking the subway, or riding the train will be able to relate to this lighthearted tome.
To Buy: $8; amazon.com.
Me Without You
This delightful pocket-sized book is filled with color illustrations of scenarios that prove everything is more exciting when done as a duo. The authors are seasoned illustrators and operate a line of successful greeting cards, so it’s no surprise that this popular book has garnered so many positive reviews (and landed a spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list, to boot). With cute situations including “Me Without You is like Foot Without Shoe,” the intended recipient is sure to find respite in this cute book. This hardcover book is 96 pages, and is available for Prime delivery for any procrastinators among us.
To Buy: $9; amazon.com.
Pencil Gift Set
For the Valentine with a penchant for words or a job that requires them to use pencils all day long (writer, architect, or mathematician, to name a few), a set of writing instruments to get the job done and remind them how much you care. The set of nine is engraved with short sentimental phrases (“choose love,” “sparkle and shine,” “choose joy”) to keep them inspired all day long. Pencils come in a rainbow of colors from cool mint and powder pink to metallic gold and red. All nine come tucked into a clear cellophane bag ready for gifting—all you need is a bow.
To Buy: $13 for nine, swoonpartyshop.etsy.com.
642 Things About You (That I Love)
The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, a working community for temporary media, is the brainchild behind this fill-it-in-yourself journal. With cute prompts such as “If you got lost in a city, the first place I’d look for you would be” and “How you generously pretend you’ve forgotten the time when” will have you scribbling away with thoughtful responses in no time. Why not buy a pair before Valentine’s Day—one for you to fill out and one for your significant other? You can set aside time each week to fill out several pages and by the time February 14th arrives, you’ll have a thoughtful gift to present each other.
To Buy: $10; anthropologie.com.