The Perfect Valentine’s Day Table & Gifts

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Table & Gifts

In our family, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of all kinds of love. It’s not just about some random commercial holiday, it’s about the fun part of remembering that loving love is just . . .  lovely.

And it doesn’t have to break the bank.

I know the whole day sends shivers of stress through many, but really, showing your love is so, so simple.

One year, we made heart-shaped ravioli for Valentine’s Day dinner (we’re coloured the pasta red with beets). The kids were excited to roll, cut and stuff the pasta. And I had the table set perfectly with surprises for everyone, without over-spending.

I shared my Valentine’s table on my local Daytime show , and I’m happy to share it with you, too!

Frugal Gift Ideas

The way to anyone’s heart is not with expensive gifts, it’s with thoughtful acts of love. And maybe gifts, too. But small ones. 😉 How about spreading love beyond just your own family with something thoughtful from Plan Canada? Through either their Gifts of Hope catalogue or their website, you can buy one gift and know that you’re actually giving two — one to your loved one, and one to someone in a developing country. That’s true love to me.

For my favourite kids (heh heh), this adorable little goat:

IMG_2997And for the love who makes all the headlines in your life, a beautiful paper necklace made from local magazines and papers in Kenya, maybe? They make beautiful, inexpensive additions to your table settings and all the profits from Gifts of Hope merchandise goes to different Plan projects for children in developing countries.


How about a handmade gift?

I used Sharpie markers to draw on this tea steeping mug (which I found at Superstore for $6!), then sprayed a coating over it so it’s safe to wash. (My one tip for these is to keep the marker and spray off areas mouths or food will touch, just to be on the safe side.)


I found a font I liked at PicMonkey, and printed off my saying.


On the back of the printed paper, scribble over the lettering with a pencil:


Tape the paper to your mug, and trace the letters, using pressure, to get an outline of the lettering onto the mug. It’s like tracing paper:

IMG_2913You’ll have a faint outline on the mug, and then you just trace over it with your Sharpie.

IMG_2914You have to use a sealant on Sharpie mugs, I don’t care what any tutorial tells you. No baking required, but yes, sealant. If you’re not eating off the writing, any spray craft sealant is fine.

The adorable red plates and mugs you see in my pics are from Superstore, too, and were just $3 each. So cheap, and my kids absolutely love them!


Using a white table cloth I already own, I set the blank slate for the beautiful pops of Valentine’s colour, and the handmade items really make it special. On my kids’ settings, I made beautiful little fortune tellers (cootie catchers) for them. I hand coloured the one shown, but I also designed this one for my kids:

Cootie Catcher Design with Words

(You can download it here: Cootie Catcher Design with Words from for free.)

I propped a Kinder Egg on top because they’re my kids’ absolute fave treats (and I’m also a Kinder Mom, remember?) and even hand-stamped the cloth napkins I tucked into the mugs.

The napkins were only $7 for a set of 6 at Superstore, and I used dollar store acrylic paints and a potato stamp to make them. The take maybe a minute to make, plus the time to dry them.

Just cut a potato in half:

potato stampingTrace a heart shape onto the potato and using an x-acto knife, carve it out:


I used acrylic paints from the dollar store (pro craft tip: hang onto those egg cartons, they ALWAYS come in handy!):


And stamp! In any pattern, however you like it:


They’re fully dry after about 24 hours.

My centrepiece is just a cake platter I already own, with candy conversation hearts on it. The jars are old jam and relish jars I always keep, and they’re also filled with candy, and topped with battery-operated tea lights.

And you know what? We made those conversation hearts, too! They’re so easy, they taste delicious, and you can write on them with food markers. The recipe is at Irritated by Allergies.

And that, my friends, is all it takes to make Valentine’s day meaningful and romantic without breaking the bank.

Notice the glaring lack of overpriced cards and sparkly things? Me neither. 😉

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