Creative Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her
Forego the standard rose bouquet and chocolate heart this year. With so many inventive ways to express your love for her, how can you choose just one? Though it may be hard to narrow down, you can be sure to find something (or perhaps, two or even three things!) in our annual Valentine’s Day gift guide. Real Simple’s editors have carefully curated an array of items to suit her every fancy. If she is a woman who loves to pamper herself or unwind after a long day (and who doesn’t?), try a box of gourmet ‘chocolate’ bath bombs or plush organic herbal booties. If she errs on the more practical side, a leather jewelry box or a colorful umbrella will surely appeal to her sensible side. For those who appreciate a sentimental gesture, we’ve got you covered in that department, too. From a necklace that can be personalized with the important dates in her life to a customizable beaded emoji bracelet, these selections are sure to tug at her heartstrings. And, since a little humor never hurt anyone, there’s even an apology notepad included (presumably, as an add-on gift!) for the beloved lady in your life who loves a good joke.
Diptyque “Roses” Scented Candle
Instead of the classic bouquet of a dozen roses, why not gift her something that will last more than a few days (or a week, if you’re lucky)? This scented candle is almost like the real thing, since it smells like a fresh arrangement of roses. With a burn time of about 20 hours, it’s guaranteed to be her new favorite home fragrance (at least until the next gifting holiday!). When she lights the candle, the room will smell like it’s covered in bouquets of the romantic flower. If you’re feeling extra generous, there’s also a 6.5-ounce version that burns for up to 60 hours.
To Buy: $32 for 2.4-ounce candle and $62 for 6.5-ounce candle; nordstrom.com.
Make Your Own Pom-Pom Beanie
The pom-pom trend will not go away—it’s everywhere from clothing to accessories to even home dÃ©cor (we’re not mad about that!). And a playful winter beanie is just the right place to give the trend a try. This kit is for the DIY-lover in your life—it comes with a ball of yarn, a faux fur pom-pom, knitting needles, and a personalization label. Whether she’s a novice or an expert knitter, this one is classified as “beginner” level, and even comes with an instruction card so she’ll know exactly what to do (plus, it only takes one or two hours to complete).
To Buy: $24; uncommongoods.com.
Metallic Tassel Fob
She’s had her everyday tote or handbag for what seems like forever, and will never, ever part with it. This metallic tassel fob won’t cramp her personal style, but will give her trusty bag an eye-catching update. This leather fob comes in shimmery red or gold, along with gold hardware for even more shine. She can hook it onto the outside of her bag, on a small clutch or pouch, or even use it as a keychain (perfect if she’s always losing her keys in the car, at home, or at the bottom of her tote).
To Buy: $48; draperjames.com.
Medley + Noir Blooming Tea Set
Tea time just got a lot prettier. Far from the average gift box of assorted tea bags, this set contains six varieties of blooming teas. Yes, that’s right, the flower blooms in the hot water for a dramatic and unique afternoon tea experience. The blends are all silver needle white or black teas, with varieties including amaranth and jasmine; calendula; calendula and jasmine; rose and lily; jasmine and lily; and carnation. When it’s time to sit back and relax with a cup of tea, the blooming process will amaze her as she pours hot water in the teapot.
To Buy: $28; food52.com.
Eberjey Gisele Sleepshirt
When in doubt, a pajama set is a no-fail gift—and one that she’ll use forever. She’ll never want to take off this ultra soft, extra comfortable pajama shirt. With a classic trim and style, it’s a fit for the woman in your life who has timeless, elegant style. The shirt is made of modal and spandex, so it’s loose and stretchy enough for sleep—choose from black, navy, and pale pink options. If you want to add in a little something extra to the present, we recommend considering a pair of fuzzy slippers to complete the look.
To Buy: $89; bloomingdales.com.
It’s okay if you don’t really have a way with words—leave it to the experts to show her how you really feel. And by experts, we mean the likes of the most romantic writers in history: John Donne, Christina Rossetti, E.E. Cumming, William Shakespeare, and W.B. Yeats to name a few. The book set comes with five anthologies, featuring love poems, love letters, love songs and sonnets, Indian love poems, and sonnets from Dante to present. The books themselves are packaged beautifully with a pink book band—it’s definitely a collectors’ set and a special gift.
To Buy: $85; shopspring.com.
Cosabella Italia Lace Thong and Candle Set
If you’re opting for lingerie this year, you could get her something that looks (and probably is) uncomfortable, or you could get her something that will make her look and feel good. Say goodbye to the cheesy lingerie set that’s likely to be a one-and-done experience and welcome this luxe option instead. Cosabella is a lingerie line known for its beautifully made lace pieces in a rainbow of colors. This bright pink and orange number is both playful and sophisticated—it can be worn for special occasions or everyday, depending on her mood. The set also comes complete with a deliciously scented candle (in grenadine).
To Buy: $54; shopspring.com.
La Vie en Rose Pocket Notebook + Clever Pencils
If she never leaves the house without a notebook, or loves to journal, this elegant notebook and pencil set will be a surefire hit. And if she tends to the see the world through “rose-colored glasses,” then this is a match made in heaven. The red pocket notebook has a lizard-embossed front and back cover, with gold gilded edges, and unlined cream papers. The set also comes with 10 pencils—all with clever phrases, from “The Boss” to “Evil Genius.” Here’s hoping that this gift set will stir up a lot of creative ideas and inspiration for her.
To Buy: $46, shopspring.com.
Audrey Hepburn Sleep Mask
For anyone who envisions herself as a modern-day Holly Golightly (complete with a cat named “Cat”), then this is the ultimate gift for any diehard Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Audrey Hepburn fan. Every night she’ll head off to glamorous dreamland with a sleep mask that is reminiscent of the one Hepburn’s character wears in the film, from the Tiffany blue hue to the bejeweled eyes. Gift this one with a special edition of the DVD, or the original book by Truman Capote. Black Givenchy dress, fabulous pearl necklace, and tiara sadly not included.
To Buy: $20, thesleepycottage.etsy.com.
“Pining for You” Stainless Steel Water Bottle
This stainless steel water bottle is adorned with gold-hued pineapples so she can take a bit of cheer wherever she goes, from work to the gym to running errands. Pineapples are the international symbol of hospitality, after all. Plus, with the unique design, she’ll never misplace it or mistake it for someone else’s. This particular water bottle is double-walled and vacuum-insulated: It will keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24 hours, making it perfect for not only a morning commute, but also a sunny hike in the mountains.
To Buy: $25; nordstrom.com.
Jelly Comb Slim Portable Keyboard and Mouse
If she’s not one for a box of chocolates or a bouquet of her favorite flowers, and much prefers some Bluetooth-capable gizmo or the latest phone gadget, this keyboard might be the answer. Plus, it’s a tech gadget that she’ll use just about every day. The portable combo (keyboard and mouse) for Windows desktop computers is completely wireless and has “whisper-quiet” keys for comfortable (and non-distracting) typing. And if you think this present is a little too boring and serious, think again: it does come in a gold hue for a little bit of metallic flair.
To Buy: $20; amazon.com.
Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase
Help her get a heavenly night of sleep (finally!) with this luxurious pillowcase. It’s made of pure silk to add elegance and comfort to her everyday bedding. Unlike normal cotton pillowcases, the sham is hypoallergenic, and will protect her skin and hair from scratches, creases, and tugs. She’ll wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated (and without any weird lines or indentations on her face from sleeping a certain way). The sham fits standard pillow sizes, so all she has to do to transform her bed is slip it over her regular pillow.
To Buy: $79; anthropologie.com.
Le Ibiza Beach Towel Fouta
Made in Tunisia, these hand-woven beach towels have a bit of shimmer and a metallic stripe. The towels are made of 100-percent cotton, so each one is luxuriously soft, yet still lightweight (you can compactly tuck them in a handbag). And they’re not just for the beach—wear one as an oversized shawl, stack a bunch in your home bathroom, bring one or two on a picnic, or drape one as a throw blanket on your couch or living room chair. Choose from a variety of colors, including bold or light blue, yellow, orange, purple, and light gray.
To Buy: $50; ahalife.com.
Royal Theater Frame
Get the look of a beautiful, antique piece without breaking your budget. This beautiful frame is vintage inspired with a brass body and a pretty scalloped, floral design at the bottom. The tassel hangings give the piece a delicate flair (and make it easy to affix to a wall.) Display personal photos inside the frame, or gather some favorite mementos from throughout your relationship—ticket stubs, love letters, postcards, even dried flowers for an extra special detail. She can place this frame in the bedroom or home office to be reminded of your thoughtfulness on a daily basis.
To Buy: $32; anthropologie.com.
Bottle of White, Bottle of Red
You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine—and why choose between a white or a red varietal when you can gift both? This duo features a refreshing bottle of Chardonnay from Oregon and a full-bodied red blend from Washington State. You two can have fun pairing these bottles with dinner on your next date night. Who knows—you might even find your new favorite, go-to wine. If you want to add a little something extra to the present, throw in a couple of stemless wine glasses and you’re all set for a cozy night at home.
To Buy: $65; mouth.com.
Imogen Owen Scented Pencils
For the writer type, the ideal bouquet would be this set of six cedar wood pencils. They may look like ordinary pencils, but they actually smell like peonies. And who wouldn’t want to get a calming whiff of a flower while writing or working? Along with the beautiful natural wood grain design, each pencil is engraved with the phrase “Make Something Beautiful,” which provides ample inspiration for whomever is using it. If peonies aren’t her favorite, you can also opt for the lily scent. When packaging the gift, tie them together with a pretty bow (reminiscent of a flower arrangement), or place them in a pretty pencil box.
To Buy: $14; anthropologie.com.
Knit Your Own Sweater Kit
If Wool and the Gang’s catchy name and product descriptions don’t grab your attention (early 80s and 90s musical references, anyone?), surely the chic patterns and wide-ranging assortment of yarn will. This knit your own sweater kit will undoubtedly delight the crafty lady in your life. Choose from a colorful variety of either striped or solid alpaca-blend yarn, add an extra ball for larger sizes (optional), and even select a pair of beautiful rosewood knitting needles (if she doesn’t already have her own trusty pair). Helpful video tutorials will steer her back on track if she accidentally drops a stitch.
To buy: $68, woolandthegang.com.
Capri Blue Personal Travel Diffuser
Whether she logs in a bunch of frequent flyer miles on business trips, or she always takes one big trip every year, this diffuser will come in handy if she encounters a musty hotel room or vacation house. It’s pocket-sized, so she can easily slip it into her carry-on or handbag. Just add a few drops of the fragrance oil to the ceramic cylinder and place in the metal case to eliminate any offensive smells. Plus, it’s guaranteed to last twice as long as a candle. The included scent, called “Volcano,” has hints of tropical fruits, sugared oranges, and lemons.
To Buy: $25; anthropologie.com.
Whether your sweetheart is a resident of the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest or just wants to protect her immaculately styled hair from occasional drizzles, this cheerful heart-shaped umbrella is sure to brighten even the dreariest of days. The generous size (it’s over 3.5 feet wide) is perfect for skipping through the rain Ã deux—or shielding her favorite oversized handbag and freshly brewed latte. Despite its large size, this crimson red umbrella is lightweight, durable, and windproof thanks to a fiberglass and aluminum construction. It’s perfect for stashing in the back seat, resting on the front porch, or simply displaying in her foyer’s umbrella stand for an eye-popping accent.
To buy: $32; uncommongoods.com.
Teal and Gold Ring Cone
Whether it’s your first Valentine’s Day as an engaged couple or your twentieth year together, this pretty ring stand provides a home suited for a gorgeous ring. Each cone is hand painted in a rich teal glaze and accented with 22-karat gold bursts. This charming handmade item ships out within 1 to 2 business days, in the event this significant holiday slipped your mind until the eleventh hour. Consider ordering a set to display your matching bands next to one another on your dresser—a sweet reminder of your love while going about your daily dressing ritual.
To buy: $38; modernmud.etsy.com.
Cocoa Butter Bathtub Truffles
The only thing better than a box of chocolate truffles is one with plenty of indulgence and no nutritional setbacks. This box of six—bathtub truffles, that is—contains an eclectic assortment of aromatic scents including rose petal, grapefruit eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary mint, citrus spice, and cafÃ© mocha. Crafted with luxurious and skin-soothing ingredients such as cocoa butter, kaolin clay, and essential oils, they’re the perfect antidote to a long day on her feet. One way to enhance the gesture even more? Crumble one under running water and light a candle on the bathroom vanity before she arrives home to create an unexpected oasis.
To buy: $28 for six; uncommongoods.com.
You Complete Me Jigsaw Puzzle
Trade the traditional greeting card this Valentine’s Day for this creative puzzle version instead. She’ll get a kick out of assembling this heat stamped wooden game, which you will have already pre-written and mixed up before placing back in the box. Whether you opt for sweeping declarations of your love or simply a short note reminding her she’s your one and only, she’s sure to enjoy piecing together this thoughtful heart-shaped gift. Each puzzle contains 11 pieces, is composed of plywood, and works with a variety of pens, should you decide on a simple and graphic black ink or the more standard holiday red or pink.
To buy: $18; amazon.com.
Amethyst Crystal Air Plant
For the woman who loves the idea of having fresh foliage in the house but hasn’t honed her gardening skills, try one of these air plants nestled in a crystal base. The amethyst lends a glamorous touch to her décor, while the hardy greenery (an actual living plant!) is fairly self-sufficient. Air plants require only a light water or misting once per week and will thrive with indirect sunlight as well as good air circulation for years to come. A kraft gift box and a matching card inscribed with your own personal message accompanies each purchase. Available in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.
To buy: $18; airfriend.etsy.com.
Kate Spade Reusable Shopping Tote
Kate Spade’s witty tote bag will remind her to make little indulgences each and every day. The bright pink bag is big enough for groceries or gym clothes, but rolls up (complete with a fabric tie closure) for easy storage in her trunk or day bag for those inevitable last minute stops at the grocery store on her way home. This easy to clean tote (thanks to durable nylon), which measures 15.5 inches in height and width, is roomier than you might think, too. You may consider ordering two—one for her to stash in her car and another to keep in her handbag for casual weekends wandering around the farmers market.
To buy: $16; nordstrom.com.
Enamel Heart Snacks Pin
If snuggling up on the couch together to binge-watch your favorite shows with a bowl of popcorn is your go-to date night, she’ll adore this red enamel heart pin. With ‘Snacks’ drawn in gold script across the front and a bite taken out of the side, she can showcase her snacking affinity wherever she goes. It’s perfect for pinning onto the lapel of her favorite blazer or jean jacket for a pop of whimsy or attaching to her canvas gym bag to remind herself why she’s really logging all those treadmill miles. If she’s got a sweet tooth, you can also order the donut pin as a cute accompaniment.
To buy: $12; mouth.com.
Organic Comfort Booties
Pamper her like the queen she is with these certified organic cotton fleece aromatherapy booties. Containing 12 healing herbs and grains with scents like lavender, valerian root, and cinnamon, she’ll find herself happily drifting off while enjoying some quiet down time with her favorite best-seller or magazine (may we, ahem, suggest Real Simple?). The organic cotton pillow covering contains removable insoles to heat or chill for the ultimate in relaxation. A cup of chamomile tea placed by her lounger or bedside is a thoughtful touch that’s sure to be noticed. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon?
To buy: $40; ahalife.com.
Custom Emoji Bracelet
Say exactly what’s on your mind this Valentine’s Day—in a lasting way. Reminiscent of old-school friendship bracelets, these beaded and 14-karat gold-filled bracelets can be personalized with any name or phrase up to eight characters in length. Your choice of any white letter or number beads, plus one gold vermeil or sterling silver emoji or symbol bead (zodiac signs are an option, too!) are included with each bracelet. For some romantic customization suggestions, try “LOVEYA” or “BEMINE” with a heart emoji , “KISSME” with a kiss emoji, or simply choose both of your initials for a more simplified look.
To buy: $58; shopspring.com.
Geo Card and Folder Holders
For the woman with minimal office space, this artful three-piece set serves as the perfect place to display her favorite photographs, paper mementos (your first love note or photo together, perhaps?), or simply a favorite piece of artwork. Made of solid brass with a satin finish, the simple yet elegant stands are strong enough to stay upright. Bonus points for the gift giver who prints out the photos for her. One (or several clustered together) would also look especially attractive on her windowsill, mantle, or dining room sideboard. Or, for the gourmand, these can also do double-duty as recipe holders on her kitchen counter.
To buy: $70; yielddesignco.etsy.com.
Royal Roses Gummies
If she has a sweet spot for candy, skip the long stems this year and try an edible version of the favored Valentine’s Day bloom instead. These gummy roses—in a mixture of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and black currant—come packaged in a pretty acrylic box ready for gifting. For a fraction of the cost of the real thing she can be nibbling on these imported delectable treats… and feel just as special. Choose from three different sizes: taster packet for $2.50 (one serving), small cube for $7.50 (three servings), or 2.5 pounds for $40 (28.5 servings).
To buy: From $2.50; sugarfina.com.
Ok, we’ll admit it—everyone makes mistakes. Acknowledge your flaws and be proactive about future faux pas with this hilarious notepad. Filling out the first sheet with one of your more recent slip-ups and the reason for your indiscretion (“I forgot you didn’t like that” or “I’m a schmuck”) will guarantee immediate forgiveness and lots of laughter. Hopefully, she won’t use the entire notepad before next Valentine’s Day. Knock Knock, the clever company behind this comical idea, also makes a variety of other equally amusing notepads, journals, books, and desk accessories if you’d like to give her more than one.
To buy: $8; amazon.com.
Long Distance Relationship Mugs
Find yourself and your significant other sharing a long distance romance? Whether it’s a temporary situation or an everyday fact of life, these mugs will surely keep your love at the forefront of her mind—and help ensure her hectic mornings start with a smile. This set of two 15-ounce mugs thoughtfully link your current states with a swirl and heart design. Each mug is crafted with permanent paint to ensure they last a lifetime (though handwashing is recommended). Custom designs are available upon request, should you want to include something a bit more personal on your duo of coffee cups.
To buy: $28; theletteredco.etsy.com.
Even if Mercury is in retrograde, this pendant is sure to put a smile on your love’s face. Whether she is an astronomer or just a casual stargazer, she’ll get a kick out of this cute take on the age-old question, “What’s your sign?” The acrylic medallion can be personalized based on her zodiac sign and favorite color (options include emerald, antique gold, and magenta), so she knows you selected it just for her. The 24-inch chain length will accent any top or dress she chooses to pair it with. Just be sure to plan ahead: Because it’s personalized, this item takes one week to ship out.
To buy: $32; baublebar.com.
Rosé All Day 2-Piece Bento Box
RosÃ© lovers, rejoice! Sugarfina’s popular rosÃ©-flavored gummy bears are finally back in stock. After enduring a painful wait (the list was 18,000+ people long!), you can treat your lady to the coolest new way to enjoy rosÃ©—without even dirtying a glass. In addition to gummy bears, this clever bento box also features the company’s latest alcoholic infused incarnation—rosette-shaped gummies. The floral candies are pretty enough for displaying in a small dish for dinner guests, while the bears are perfect for snacking on in the kitchen while she helps you put the finishing touches on your famous Coq au Vin.
To buy: $20; sugarfina.com.
Rectangle Dates Necklace
This sleek gold-filled pendant can be engraved with your choice of meaningful dates—like birthdays or anniversaries—for a unique present. Since there aren’t any dashes in between the month, day, and year, each date will look like a string of random numbers—only the two of you will know the special meaning behind each. Up to five dates can be included, should you wish to add in children, beloved family members, or her favorite furry companions’ birthdays, as well. (Each set of dates is an additional $18) Available metals include 14-karat gold-filled, rose gold-filled, or sterling silver.
To buy: $118; winifredgracejewelry.etsy.com.
Nail Polish Set
From celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann comes this sophisticated collection of pink nail polishes in shades that are just right for the holiday. The eight-milliliter bottles (perfect for travel!) in the six-piece set all feature Lippmann’s signature flat tip applicator for a streak-free manicure. The one-of-a-kind creamy formula will help her nails remain glossy days after application. As an added bonus, all of Lippmann’s polishes are vegan, non-toxic, and cruelty-free, for a guiltless indulgence sure to please the most discerning woman. Pair these petite polishes with Lippmann’s base and top coats (sold separately) to ensure a chip-free at-home manicure.
To buy: $34; net-a-porter.com.
Hand Lettered Rubber Stamp
Does it seem like your long distance relationship has you living worlds apart? Sure, you may text every day, but this attractive hand lettered present will encourage her to send a little snail mail your way. She’ll be stamping everything from greeting cards to wrapping paper to send a little taste of home to your doorstep. This state of your choice is engraved onto a wood block then mounted with adhesive. Ink pads are sold separately, so grab one to gift along with the stamp. Available colors range from purple to grey, so her stamping creativity is limited only by her imagination.
To buy: $25; paperpastries.etsy.com.
Heart Book Box
Add a beautiful weathered book to her bookshelf—and a secret place to stash valuables—with this hand cut heart book box. Because only pre-owned books are used, each will vary slightly in color, shape, and heart size (as a result of hand cutting), though approximate book size is roughly 9 inches long by 6.5 inches wide. Try one in lieu of a traditional jewelry box or nightstand catchall (it’s the perfect size for small baubles, change, keys, and more). Or—if you’re feeling extra generous—purchase several to stack on her coffee table or line her bookshelf with.
To buy: $55; uncommongoods.com.
Leather Ring Box
This compact leather ring box makes the perfect jewelry stash for a weekend getaway. At just four inches wide, it’s compact enough to take on the road—but large enough to tuck away even her thickest statement bracelet and still have room leftover for a necklace and several rings. The linen lining protects gems from snagging or breaking while jostling around in the trunk or overhead compartment. A magnetic tab closure secures her baubles stay safely inside, too. Free monogramming (a single letter or three initials) lends a personal touch. Choose white or red for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
To buy: $48; markandgraham.com.
Gold Heart Coasters
From Los Angeles-based cult stationer Sugar Paper comes this set of glamorous white scalloped coasters. Adorned with a gold foil heart, these chic coasters are sure to add a touch of flair to her next cocktail party. Each coaster is hand printed on antique machinery onto a four-ply coaster board to ensure the delicate surfaces in her home remain free from pesky condensation stains. With 10 pieces per set, there will be plenty to go around—and possibly even a few extras in case the Valentine’s Day bubbly happens to overflow when poured.
To buy: $30 for 10; shoptiques.com.