Easy Doily Valentines
Create a little romance this month with inexpensive paper doilies. Their pretty cutwork is just right for lending a touch of nostalgia to Valentine's Day.
Doilies supply a bouquet of paper posies to decorate Valentine's Day cards.
Blossoms such as Queen Anne's lace, daisies, camellias
Green card stock
White gouache or ink
1. Cut out a mixture of blossoms -- Queen Anne's lace, daisies, camellias -- and glue them to the front of a folded piece of card stock.
2. Snip, arrange, and glue green card-stock stems and leaves.
3. Write a heartwarming message in white gouache or ink.
4. Seal the envelope with a single lacy bloom.
Related: Last-Minute Valetine's Day Ideas
Propagating seeds is a little like nurturing relationships: The more attention and care they get, the more likely they are to flourish and thrive.
White coin envelopes
Eraser stamp or a rubber stamp
1. Put seeds in plain white coin envelopes available at stationery stores.
2. Label with an eraser stamp or a rubber stamp, or make a heart with thumbprints.
3. Put growing instructions on back, noting when seedlings need to be transplanted.
Even the ribbon and paper on a valentine present can say, "I love you." Romantic poetry -- try Byron, Keats, or Shelley -- will provide words appropriate to your amorous circumstance.
Suggested wrappings: 1/4-inch quilling paper
Double-faced stain ribbon
1. In your best script, copy a line onto 1/4-inch-wide quilling paper. Or use double-faced satin ribbon, and decorate it with a short, traditional phrase, such as "Be Mine"; a stamp with adjustable letters, available from most stationers, makes the message look like that on a tiny candy heart. An old typewriter also gives a present a romantic feeling; transcribe a verse onto tinted vellum for wrapping.
2. If you're giving chocolates, count the ways sweetly on small paper disks, and place one beneath each candy.
Keepsake Envelope Folders
Over the centuries, envelopes have contained many secrets and declarations of true love, so it's appropriate to use a group of them to store dear old letters and treasured notes -- or to fill them with trinkets for your valentine. Just stick several envelopes together, using their own adhesive; then insert your keepsakes, and tie the bundle with the most beautiful ribbon you can find.
First, fold the flaps back on all but one of the envelopes you want to join. With the unfolded flap on the bottom, stack the envelopes, open side up. Moisten folded flaps; affix each to the envelope behind it. Punch a hole through the bottom center of all the envelopes; insert keepsakes, and fold last flap over. Thread a ribbon through the hole, and tie.
It only takes about 30 minutes to whip up these romantic treats.
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 pound large strawberries (about 20), washed and dried well
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios (optional)
1. Place chocolate in a bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat; then sprinkle chocolate-covered portion with pistachios, if using, and place on waxed paper.
3. Chill chocolate-dipped strawberries at least 15 minutes to set chocolate. (Strawberries should not be stored in refrigerator longer than 1 hour as condensation drops may collect on the chocolate.)
The cherry bomb evokes the Shirley Temple that used to make you feel grown-up.
1 cup grenadine
1 liter clear citrus soda, or seltzer
18 maraschino cherries
1. Place 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add grenadine; stir to combine. Pour mixture into two ice-cube trays. Freeze until solid, 2 hours or overnight.
2. Fill six glasses with grenadine ice cubes. Top with soda. Garnish with cherries, and serve.
This practical valentine befits your favorite bookworm.
Heavy card stock
1. Create a template of a heart, about 1 1/2 inches wide.
2. Cut out with a utility knife, and trace onto heavy card stock.
3. Copy it at 80 percent, cut out, and trace onto decorative paper, such as wrapping or origami paper.
4. Cut out both hearts, and use a glue stick to secure smaller patterned heart to center of the larger one; let dry.
5. Finally, trace bottom half of inner heart with a utility knife, cutting through card stock beneath. Then your valentine can slip pages between the hearts.
Spice your Valentine's Day up with a personalized message in a bottle.