Welcome to a new space on Smiling Jay – D.I.Y. I love being creative and making things, so I thought I’d bring that into the blog too with a space for D.I.Y. projects. Valentine’s Day is in just over 1 week, and nothing says “I love you” like handmade, gifts – so that’s exactly what the first D.I.Y. post will be – special and one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day gifts.

Box of Roses

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I’ve seen this everywhere, and it seems to be a sort of trend in the flowering and gifting world. It is pretty simple to make and the end result is a beautifully special gift, perfect to give to your Valentine.

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What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard box of your choice (reasonably thick)
  • Roses (enough to fill your box)
  • Oasis (enough to fill your box)
  • Cling wrap
  • Ribbon/string
  • Scissors
  • Tape

1. Line the inside of your box with cling wrap, this is to ensure the water soaked oasis wont ruin the box.

2. Trace the parameters of the box onto the oasis and cut out the shape to fill the box.

3. Wet your oasis and then place it in the cling wrap lined box, cutting away any excess cling wrap.

4. De-thorn and removes all the leaves from your roses.

5. Now measure the required rose height along the side of the box, and trim all the roses to size. Rose length should be two fingers from the base of your box.

Tip: Cut the stem at an angle, as this helps pierce the oasis, and it absorbs more water.

6. Begin filling the box from one corner, ensure the rose buds are packed tightly, but leave a little room for future blooming.

And there you have it! A sophisticated and unique take on the traditional bunch of roses for Valentines day. I would love to see how yours turned out, and let me know how much your partner adored this wonderful gift.

Snack Box

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A special, more personal approach to giving something sweet to the person you love.

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What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard box with a lid
  • A sheet of transparency paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • A4 Cardboard (colour that suits the treats you’ll be using)
  • Ribbon/String
  • Thin double sided tape
  • Different snacks and treats

1. Fold the A4 sheet, and trace the shape onto the inside of the lid, ensuring it is centred.

2. Cut the shape out using the craft knife.

3. Trace the parameters of the cut-out of the box lid onto the transparency paper and cut it out. Make sure to cut about 1cm outside of the drawn lines – this area will be used to stick it to the box.

4. Put down double sided tape on the corners of the cut-out, close to the edge, and then place the transparency paper down, ensuring it is stuck down well.

5. Decide how you want to divide the box for the different sweets and treats. Measure the height of the box, and cut the matching coloured cardboard into 2 strips, one the same length as the box, and the other with the same width, both should have the same height as the box.

6. Find the centre of both cardboard strips and cut slots halfway down the dividers and then slide them into each other and into the box.

Tip: I placed some baking paper at the bottom of the box before inserting the dividers to avoid an oily residue over time.

7. Fill each division with different treats. It could be cookies, chocolates, gummy sweets, biltong – any snacks that your Valentine loves will work for this.

I chose these cute and lovely biscuits from Agape Cakes and Treats. They have a variety of biscuits for Valentines Day, and you can contact them on Instagram – @agapecakes_sa, to place your order and to see all the other cakes and treats they make.

8. Seal the box with the lid, and tie some matching ribbon to ensure it stays closed. You can also add a cute note for your Valentine by writing something sweet on a strip of cardboard and threading it onto the ribbon/string.

I personally would LOVE to receive this as a gift! It’s cute and can be made even more personal by making the actual box yourself, or even making the treats. Be sure to show me your take on the Valentines Day Snack Box.

Handmade Cards

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A sweet and simple, Valentine’s Day favourite – the handmade card. The options and possibilities here are endless. Making a card with a special phrase or picture that only the both of you will get makes the card even lovelier.

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What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Ribbons
  • Markers
  • Washer tape
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Double sided tape

Layering different textures and colours is a simple and effective way of creating beautiful handmade cards. Be sure to show me your own cards, I’d love to see them!

Bath bombs

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A worldwide craze, that is actually so simple (and a lot more affordable) to make at home. The options here in colour, shape and scent are endless – making them more personal will make this gift all the more special and one-of-a-kind.

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda
  • Half a cup of citric acid
  • 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Water
  • Moulds for your chosen bath bomb shape
  • Jasmine scented essential oil
  • Red food colouring

1. Mix all your dry ingredients (baking soda, citric acid and Epsom salt) in a bowl. Mixing with a whisk will ensure all the ingredients mix well and evenly.

2. Melt your coconut oil in the microwave (heat for 15-30 seconds), and mix that with about 12-15 drops of the essential oil, the teaspoon of water, as well as 3-5 drops of food colouring.

The food colouring and essential oil usage depends on how bright you want the colour and how strong you want the scent to be.

3. Now add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly (whisk or spoon will do). The consistency should be quite dry, but wet enough to hold its shape. Grab a handful and see if it will hold shape.

If it is not the desired consistency, add half a teaspoon of water at a time until the shape holds.

4. When the mixture is at the correct consistency, pack it tightly into the moulds, and leave them there for 8-12 hours. After that, pop them out of the mould, fill your bathtub and relax with your homemade bath bomb.

Tip: I used a simple cupcake tray as moulds for my bath bombs, they’re a nice size and easy to pack and then remove.

This is a fantastic gift to encourage your partner to relax. I can’t wait to see your bath bombs, all in different shapes and colours – I hope your Valentine loves them!

(Adapted from Brittany – Pennies to Pearls)

Sugar Lip Scrub

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This is another product that can be quite pricey, so easy to make! With a few ingredients and 10 minutes max, you and your Valentine will have the softest lips.

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What you’ll need:

  • Air tight containers
  • 2 cups of Sugar
  • Half a cup of Coconut oil
  • 1 table spoon of Vanilla Essence
  • Red food colouring
  • Ribbon/string

1. Soften your coconut oil in a bowl by microwaving for 15-30 seconds.

2. Add the essence and a drop or two of food colouring to the coconut oil. Mix this well.

Tip: I found that a whisk works best for mixing the wet ingredients, like the coconut oil and essence.

3. Now you can add a cup of sugar and mix well, ensuring the colour is even. Then continue slowly adding sugar until the scrub is at a consistency you like.

4. You can then pack your lip sugar scrub into your jars, and decorate them with ribbon and tags. (This recipe makes enough to fill 8-10, 80ml glass jars).

And there you have it, a quick, simple and affordable lip scrub that smells and tastes delicious. Plus, who doesn’t love smooth, kissable lips on Valentines Day.

(Adapted from Liz Fourez – Love Grows Wild)

Marble Mugs

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Everyone loves coffee or tea, so whats a better gift than a mug? Well, a handmade, marble mug! I have seen these all over Pinterest, and couldn’t believe how simple and effective it was when I tried it.

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What you’ll need:

  • Plain white mugs
  • Nail polish
  • Disposable container
  • Toothpicks
  • Water
  • Paper Towel

1. Fill your disposable container with hot water (about 3/4 full).

Tip: the hot water will prevent the nail polish from setting too quickly.

2. Slowly pour a few drops of nail polish into the water, with the bottle as close to the water as possible to ensure the paint doesn’t sink to the bottom.

3. Mix the nail polish around with the toothpick (this creates an even better marbled effect) and then dip your mug into the water. This step needs to be done quite quickly ’cause as soon as the paint touches the water, it’ll want to set.

4. Place your now beautifully marbled mug down on the paper towel (unpainted side down) to dry.

5. You can use acetone to remove any nail polish that got onto unwanted areas, and then let the mug dry overnight.

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These mugs are unfortunately not dishwasher or microwave safe, so hand wash only to have them last. I would love to see your take on these unique mugs, or hear what your partner thought of this special, handmade gift.

(Adapted from DIY Candy)

These are just a few, simple D.I.Y. projects that would make fantastic Valentine’s Day gifts for the person you love (that includes yourself). Let me know which was your favourite project, as well as future D.I.Y. projects you’d like me to do.

#KeepSmiling

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