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My thrifted Valentine

My thrifted Valentine

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Gift your partner with something handcrafted, showing them they have your heart 365.

Gift your partner with something handcrafted, showing them they have your heart 365.

My thrifted Valentine
To be given just one day a year to celebrate love is simply not enough. The sweetest of feelings, the driving force behind our existence deserves year-round grand gestures. Diamonds may be forever but this year your gift need not be the kind found in a luxury store. Instead gift your partner with something handcrafted by you. Something that shows your love they have your heart 365. And you best believe it – you can say “I love you” to the planet at the same time by using mostly preloved and thrifted ingredients.

I make most of the gifts I give to my husband myself and he loves them so much he has kept every single one. I’m here to help win the heart of your love with some earth-friendly, handcrafted, and enduring ideas for this February 14th.

The love advent calendar

Instead of making a date once a year, make a date once a month – a little capsule to open every four weeks with something exciting inside.

How to make your love advent calendar:

I went on a scavenger hunt in my home as well as my mom’s home for containers for each month’s trinket box, and this is what I found:

• Vintage cake, biscuit and tea tins.

• Kitchen jars and metal canisters.

• Old teapots.

• An old cigar box.

• Jewelry box.

Ingredients for trinket boxes:

A treat. Something you know your partner will love (I found Love Hearts sweets).

A hand lettered activity card. This could outline anything you can do together: breakfast at your favorite café, a walk on the beach, a photography mission, a game of cards, a candlelit dinner to cook together, a picnic or volunteering at your local animal shelter.

A handwritten memory card. Something to make you think fondly of your history together – a screenshot of a message you sent, a funny story you shared together, something you are grateful for about your partner, a photograph or a souvenir from an adventure.

A handwritten question. A conversation starter over a meal or a road trip. If you are stuck for ideas here are some examples:

• What would be on the gag reel of your life?

• If you wanted change your name, what would you change it to?

• What’s the worst movie you ever paid to see?

• If you could make up an ice-cream flavor what would it be?

• What’s the best idea you ever had?

Extras. I added some little bottles containing hand harvested seasonal seeds from my garden. You can also purchase seeds from any good general dealer. They usually have a great selection to choose from with instructions on what to plant in which month.

Easy peasy poetry art

Instead of a disposable card, make it art! You don’t need to be Picasso to make a piece of art. Nor do you need fancy equipment.

What you will need to make collage art:

1. Old books, magazines or newspaper.

2. Flowers or dried blooms.

3. White or other color back drop.

4. A space with some contrasty lighting, like near a sunlight filled window.

5. Camera phone.

6. Preloved frames.

How to make your poem photos:

• Cut up the poems from an old book into separate words and place each excerpt onto a piece of white paper without sticking them down.

• Manipulate each bit of paper a bit to give some texture to the scene and add some dried blooms.

• Do this late afternoon in a spot with strong sunlight so that the paper cuttings and the flowers create shadows on the paper.

• Take photos of your flatlay with a smartphone camera and edit them a little to boost the contrast (this just makes the photos look better when they are printed).

• Have the finished photos printed to size on photo paper.

Vintage frames are ubiquitous to junk stores, car boot sales and charity shops. Collecting similar styles will give your finished gallery a cohesive look.

I’ve curated a collection of thin metal frames from the same era. You could choose something more ornate, or go for wood, brass, or even some old unused frames that you already have at home.

Clothing “tattoos”

I’m no seamstress. In fact, in three years of needlework class I knitted one very holey sleeve of a jersey. However, embroidery is way more forgiving than knitting. The idea is that you take a piece of thrifted clothing, or something already in your partner’s wardrobe and add a little something to it to make it more special.

What you will need:

1. Item of clothing – something with a pocket is nice to add detail to.

2. Embroidery thread.

3. Template of your design.

4. Chalk or soft pencil to draw onto your canvas.

5. Needle.

I found an old pair of my husband’s jeans and stitched something on the back pocket. I drew a rough design and traced it onto the jeans pocket. Both our names start with an “M”, so together we are M Squared, so that’s what I stitched onto the pocket.

Ideas for designs:

• Date you first met.

• Your initials.

• Line of a favorite poem.

I had some old fabric and an embroidery ring and made this wall hanging too.

If this all sounds like a bit out of your league there are many embroidery accounts on Instagram that will happily do this for you for a fee. You just send them your garment and they will add the embroidered details for you.

Do it with love

Even the smallest things, if done with love, can be the greatest gestures. A grand gesture need not be wasteful or expensive. It can be done using a lot of what you already have lying around at home or hiding in cupboards. Whoever you chose this year, may they be yours forever, even if it’s your dog.

To be given just one day a year to celebrate love is simply not enough. The sweetest of feelings, the driving force behind our existence deserves year-round grand gestures. Diamonds may be forever but this year your gift need not be the kind found in a luxury store. Instead gift your partner with something handcrafted by you. Something that shows your love they have your heart 365. And you best believe it – you can say “I love you” to the planet at the same time by using mostly preloved and thrifted ingredients.

I make most of the gifts I give to my husband myself and he loves them so much he has kept every single one. I’m here to help win the heart of your love with some earth-friendly, handcrafted, and enduring ideas for this February 14th.

The love advent calendar

Instead of making a date once a year, make a date once a month – a little capsule to open every four weeks with something exciting inside.

How to make your love advent calendar:

I went on a scavenger hunt in my home as well as my mom’s home for containers for each month’s trinket box, and this is what I found:

• Vintage cake, biscuit and tea tins.

• Kitchen jars and metal canisters.

• Old teapots.

• An old cigar box.

• Jewelry box.

Ingredients for trinket boxes:

A treat. Something you know your partner will love (I found Love Hearts sweets).

A hand lettered activity card. This could outline anything you can do together: breakfast at your favorite café, a walk on the beach, a photography mission, a game of cards, a candlelit dinner to cook together, a picnic or volunteering at your local animal shelter.

A handwritten memory card. Something to make you think fondly of your history together – a screenshot of a message you sent, a funny story you shared together, something you are grateful for about your partner, a photograph or a souvenir from an adventure.

A handwritten question. A conversation starter over a meal or a road trip. If you are stuck for ideas here are some examples:

• What would be on the gag reel of your life?

• If you wanted change your name, what would you change it to?

• What’s the worst movie you ever paid to see?

• If you could make up an ice-cream flavor what would it be?

• What’s the best idea you ever had?

Extras. I added some little bottles containing hand harvested seasonal seeds from my garden. You can also purchase seeds from any good general dealer. They usually have a great selection to choose from with instructions on what to plant in which month.

Easy peasy poetry art

Instead of a disposable card, make it art! You don’t need to be Picasso to make a piece of art. Nor do you need fancy equipment.

What you will need to make collage art:

1. Old books, magazines or newspaper.

2. Flowers or dried blooms.

3. White or other color back drop.

4. A space with some contrasty lighting, like near a sunlight filled window.

5. Camera phone.

6. Preloved frames.

How to make your poem photos:

• Cut up the poems from an old book into separate words and place each excerpt onto a piece of white paper without sticking them down.

• Manipulate each bit of paper a bit to give some texture to the scene and add some dried blooms.

• Do this late afternoon in a spot with strong sunlight so that the paper cuttings and the flowers create shadows on the paper.

• Take photos of your flatlay with a smartphone camera and edit them a little to boost the contrast (this just makes the photos look better when they are printed).

• Have the finished photos printed to size on photo paper.

Vintage frames are ubiquitous to junk stores, car boot sales and charity shops. Collecting similar styles will give your finished gallery a cohesive look.

I’ve curated a collection of thin metal frames from the same era. You could choose something more ornate, or go for wood, brass, or even some old unused frames that you already have at home.

Clothing “tattoos”

I’m no seamstress. In fact, in three years of needlework class I knitted one very holey sleeve of a jersey. However, embroidery is way more forgiving than knitting. The idea is that you take a piece of thrifted clothing, or something already in your partner’s wardrobe and add a little something to it to make it more special.

What you will need:

1. Item of clothing – something with a pocket is nice to add detail to.

2. Embroidery thread.

3. Template of your design.

4. Chalk or soft pencil to draw onto your canvas.

5. Needle.

I found an old pair of my husband’s jeans and stitched something on the back pocket. I drew a rough design and traced it onto the jeans pocket. Both our names start with an “M”, so together we are M Squared, so that’s what I stitched onto the pocket.

Ideas for designs:

• Date you first met.

• Your initials.

• Line of a favorite poem.

I had some old fabric and an embroidery ring and made this wall hanging too.

If this all sounds like a bit out of your league there are many embroidery accounts on Instagram that will happily do this for you for a fee. You just send them your garment and they will add the embroidered details for you.

Do it with love

Even the smallest things, if done with love, can be the greatest gestures. A grand gesture need not be wasteful or expensive. It can be done using a lot of what you already have lying around at home or hiding in cupboards. Whoever you chose this year, may they be yours forever, even if it’s your dog.

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