DIY: Easy Homemade Valentines to Remember

Keeping the chaos out of Valentine’s Day can be a challenge! I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite holiday. Sure, I enjoy it. I LOVE love. The problem is that the love can easily get lost in the candy-drenched, commercialized expectations we put on the day. Pile on tight schedules with multiple classes, parties and group events, and you have a recipe for Valentine’s-induced exhaustion. Soon enough, you find yourself feeling less like skipping through hearts and flowers and more like crying into a pile of ribbons and confetti with your glue gun in one hand, homemade Valentines ideas from Pinterest in the other.

That truth alone is enough to send anyone straight to the Valentine aisle at Target for a little store-bought goodness, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Valentine’s Day should be thoughtful and personal, and it doesn’t have to be a stressor. You may recall from my Just Say No to Candy Valentine’s Day post that am not a big fan of ready-made Valentines. This year, I’m still not sending in candy. I am, however, sending a culinary item of sorts. I have decided we are making Valentines that center around an item from of our garden — rosemary.

Start with something you already have on hand to personalize and simplify your Valentines!

Rosemary was one of the first items we planted in our garden; it is a sentimental favorite. I was terrified that despite its hearty nature, it wouldn’t thrive in our garden. Much to my delight, it grew and is bountiful. Our warm climate means we are able to harvest from our rosemary bushes nearly year-round. Rosemary smells beautiful, is delicious and also comes with a bit of thematically appropriate mythology: It was believed to be a love charm in the Middle Ages and was traditionally worn in wedding ceremonies. In modern times it is often used as a token of remembrance and is a perfect fit for Valentine’s Day. This year, we are taking a few sprigs from our rosemary bushes and adding them to traditional to hand-made Valentines. As a personal touch, we will include one of our favorite recipes on the back of the card and a rosemary seed for our friends to plant at home.

(But a little bit of store-bought help doesn’t hurt.)

To make our Valentines, we are using store-bought, die-cut hearts and stickers. We will also have crayons, markers and colored pencils to help make each one unique. After the children decorate the hearts, we will glue a small envelope to the back of each one. Inside each envelope, our friends will find a rosemary seed with planting instructions and recipe card. The day before Valentine’s Day, we will head out to the garden and clip some sprigs of rosemary for each heart. I found these super cute Valentine-inspired paper clips that we are using to attach them to each valentine. The result is a personal, fragrant and fun Valentine!

The most important thing to remember on Valentine’s Day is to enjoy the time you have together. The pace of our lives isn’t going to slow down, and that’s a good thing. We have full lives and full hearts.  It only takes a little extra time to share something special with the ones we hold dear.

Stacy Mcdonald-Taylor
Stacy, a former health care program manager, came to the first coast by way of Charlotte, NC. Passionate for community and creative arts. Stacy has worked with families and educators through Parent Education & Outreach Programs. Since welcoming the births of her and her husband’s two delightful, energetic sons, she has worked from home, always seeking to find new ways to provide a joy-filled, creative environment, nurturing a love for people, learning, nature, and healthy, natural/organic foods. Stacy shares tidbits of her “life learnings” on her blog, Wasting Nothing


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