8 Twists on Traditional Valentine's Day Gifts

Put a fresh spin on the typical flowers and chocolate with these ideas.
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Traditional Valentine's Day gifts tend to get a bum rap for being cheesy and impersonal. When you really think about it, most of these gifts aren't bad — I mean, who doesn't like chocolate or flowers? — but they do feel overdone. This year, take those traditional ideas to the next level with a personalized touch. Here are eight new takes on the usual Valentine's Day gifts to try for your sweetie.

Instead of a Box of Chocolates...



...Try Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes. Sure, the typical box of chocolates is tasty, but it can also be used to make something even tastier. Whip up a batch of these Neapolitan cupcakes, and top them with your Valentine's favorite bonbons. 

42 Valentine's Day Sweets for Your Sweetie

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Chocolate Brownie Pudding

This super chocolatey treat is sure to satisfy your sweetie's sweetest tooth. Is it a brownie? Is it pudding? We're not sure. All we know is that it's sinfully delicious. Get the recipe.

Pink Champagne Truffles

Toast to love and another year of happiness with these bite-sized truffles that pair perfectly with a chute of champagne. Get the recipe.

Cupid's Arrow Hot Chocolate

Kids and adults alike will love this fun twist on a classic winter treat. Dress up hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows and a paper straw "arrow" for the finishing touch. Get the recipe.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cookie Truffles

You're probably familiar with classic chocolate truffles. But these beauties mix chocolate sandwich cookies, cream cheese and fresh strawberries for a treat that's seriously irresistible. Plus, you can use a heart cookie cutter and hot-pink sprinkles to make them even more delightful. Get the recipe.

Conversation Heart Cookies

This year, swap those traditional candy conversation hearts for something homemade and customized. Make vanilla sandwich cookies and use a custom stamp-setting kit and food-safe decorating pen to create personalized and scrumptious messages right on top. Get the recipe.

Heritage Red Velvet Cake

You don't need any special supplies to make this sweet, heart-shaped cake. Just create a hand-drawn template and cut out the heart with a knife. If you can resist eating the cake scraps, crumble them and coat the cake for a soft, crumb layering. Get the recipe.

Pie Crust Designs

Spell out "love" on your significant other's favorite pie, then mail it, or hand-deliver for a true reaction. Get the instructions.

Photo By: White Loft Studio

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes

Nothing goes together quite like chocolate and strawberries, but here's a combination you probably haven't seen. Chocolate shortcakes give this traditional dessert an unexpected twist. Get the recipe.

Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Bake the perfect batch of sugar cookies to decorate for Valentine's Day. Get the recipe and four decorating how-tos.

White-Chocolate-Dipped Fortune Cookies

Surprise your valentine with a special delivery in the form of white-chocolate-dipped fortune cookies packaged in a personalized Chinese takeout box. Get the recipe and how-to.

Chocolate Chai Cups

Who puts dessert in a porcelain bowl? Not us! Not only can you eat the cinnamon-sprinkled chai cream, but the chocolate cup is edible, too. Get the recipe.

Neapolitan Cupcakes With Bonbon Toppings

These cupcakes are rich and decadent from their bonbon tops to their chocolate cake bottoms. Get the recipe.

Fluffy Waffles

Wake up your loved one with fluffy, heart-shaped homemade waffles covered in sweet maple syrup. Get the recipe at DIYNetwork.com.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer ©ten22 studio 2013

Raspberry Muffins

Make your favorite muffin recipe extra-special for Valentine's Day by using heart-shaped muffin tins. The sweet results will surely surprise your significant other. Get the recipe at DIYNetwork.com.

Coffee Shortbread

Get a taste of coffee in the form of shortbread squares topped with powdered sugar. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Mint Dessert Smoothie

You can still be naughty while remaining health conscious. Ingredients like pear and avocado make this healthy, but add in the cacao powder and dairy-free chocolate chip ice cream for a perfect after-dinner treat. Get the recipe.

Champagne-Glazed Fruit Tarts

Does your sweetheart prefer something a little less rich? These fruit tarts feature a mix of fresh fruits on mini tart shells with mascarpone cheese. The champagne-apricot glaze is the perfect mouthwatering finish. Get the recipe.

Cupid's Crispie Treats

Spice up classic crispie treats by adding cinnamon imperials and inserting Cupid's arrow as a sweet embellishment. It's the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Get the recipe.

Red Wine Lollipops

Lollipops always bring back a bit of nostalgia, but these are purely for adults. Top off your romantic meal with a red wine lollipop that offers a bit of a kick. Get the recipe.

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Instead of going out for ice cream, why not treat your valentine to a night in with a homemade recipe? It's easier than you think, and you only need six ingredients. Get the recipe.

Ganache-Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves a good ole' chocolate chip cookie. But if you dip it into chocolate ganache, you have a tasty chocolate explosion. Get the recipe.

Rose Swirl Vanilla Bean Cookies

Nibble on these delightful frosted sugar cookies all weekend long as you celebrate being a couple. Get the recipe.

Pina Colada Baked Doughnuts

Doughnuts may feel like a naughty breakfast food, but try baking the dough instead of frying it. You and your sweetie will feel less guilty. Get the recipe.

Strawberry Milk Whoopie Pies

These colorful whoopie pies might be too pretty to eat! Strawberry milk gives these pink sandwich cookies their sweet color and flavor, while vanilla icing and rainbow sprinkles embellish the exterior. Get the recipe.

Better Than Heaven Cakelette

Give your love something they can eat (guilt-free) in one sitting. This cake-in-a-jar serves one, but can easily fit two spoons. Get the recipe.

Photo By: 5ive15ifteen Photo Company

Heart Mints

You'll be ready for that goodnight kiss with these homemade candy heart mints. For an extra-special touch, incorporate your sweetheart's favorite color or flavoring. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

Imagine a dessert with brownies, cheesecake and a variety of chocolate chips all mixed together. This dream treat does exist, and your sweetheart won't be able to resist. Get the recipe.

Tiffany-Blue Macarons

Anyone can buy delicious macarons, but impress your love with these handmade sandwich cookies embellished with sugar pearls for an extra-special touch. Get the recipe.

Pink Raspberry Macarons

Or, whip up these pink raspberry macarons with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. Yum! Get the recipe.

Fondant Glitter Hearts

Make your sweetheart's favorite cupcake, then top them off with a sparkling fondant heart (your own special touch). Get the recipe at DIYNetwork.com.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer ©ten22 studio 2013

Chocolate Soup

Thick and creamy chocolate soup with a soft, whipped topping that serves only two — need I say more? Get the recipe.

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Three types of chocolate — bittersweet chocolate, dark chocolate and cocoa powder — combine to create the most swoon-worthy brownies you've ever tried. Get the recipe.

M&M Sugar Cookies

No one can resist soft, chewy and delectable sugar cookies, especially when they're filled with melt-in-your-mouth M&Ms in traditional Valentine's Day hues. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Make your beau this royal-inspired chocolate cake made from tea biscuits, lots of chocolate and cinnamon. FYI, it was Prince William's groom cake, and it's simple to make, too. Get the recipe.

Petite Apple Pie

There's no need to feel guilty about eating a whole pie; these petite pies are baked and wrapped-up with one recipient in mind. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate truffles are the perfect bite-size treat to satisfy any sweet-tooth cravings. Plus, they're easier to make than you think. Customize the fillings with extracts or flavorings, cookie pieces, dried fruit and other add-ins. Your sweetheart will love the thoughtful, homemade mix. Get the recipe.

Creme Brulee

You don't have to be a professional chef to whip up a beautiful and delicious creme brulee. Surprise your sweetheart with this creamy culinary classic. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Branislav Senic

Chocolate Mousse Crepes

Jazz up breakfast in bed with handmade crepes filled with chocolate mousse and garnished with fresh raspberries and white chocolate shavings. Get the recipe.

Salted Caramel Bars

Looking for something to satisfy both sweet and salty taste buds? Bake these rich and gooey caramel bars with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes on top. Get the recipe.

Orange and Cranberry Bread Pudding

Oranges, cranberries, cinnamon and cloves combine to form a sweet bread pudding that's perfect for a mouthwatering breakfast or as an after-dinner treat. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


If baking isn't your forte, give this simple yet elegant dessert a try. Pair Italian espresso with ice cream, chocolate sauce and crispy biscotti. Get the recipe.

S'mores for Two

Bundle up and head outdoors with a cooler packed full of just enough marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate to make s'mores for two. Pull out all the ingredients once the fire's crackling. See more at DIYNetwork.com.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis © 2013 Kimberly Finkel Davis

Instead of a Bouquet of Flowers...

...Try a Succulent Garden. It's low maintenance and will last way longer than cut flowers. You can even get them in a heart-shaped pot for a romantic touch.

Instead of Conversation Hearts...



...Try Conversation Heart Cookies. Skip the chalky, store-bought candies and customize your own conversation heart cookies. Use a stamp-setting kit and food-safe decorating pen to create personalized messages on top of vanilla sandwich cookies.

Instead of a Stuffed Animal...

Handmade Heart Pillow

Handmade Heart Pillow

Follow our easy step-by-step instructions for this cute, handmade heart pillow for Valentine's Day.

...Try a Personalized Heart-Shaped Pillow. Stuffed animals are cute, but most of us will likely just stash them away in a closet post Valentine's Day. Get the same snuggly appeal with a colorful, custom pillow that can be showcased all year round.

22 DIY Valentine's Day Gifts

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Candy Necklace Valentines

Let kids make homemade valentines this year using strawberry licorice laces and gummy ring candy, creating edible necklaces their friends will love to devour. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Easy Hand-Knit Kids' Scarf

Keep your little one nice and warm this season with a hand-knit scarf that's perfect for beginning knitters. Add a plush fabric heart pin for that extra-special touch. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Heart-Shaped Phrase Pillow

Dress up the sofa or bed with a pillow that says "I love you" all year round. Use patterned fabric and a stylish embellishment to make a special decor piece that pops and makes a statement. Get the step-by-step instructions.

String Art Heart

Say those three magic words with a handcrafted string art heart. The best part? Your gift recipient can display the artwork in their home year round. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Paper Heart Garland/Chandelier

Sew paper hearts together to create a whimsical chandelier that will certainly help set the mood during a romantic meal for two. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Glitter Champagne Flutes

Dress up your Valentine's Day dinner by adding a little sparkle to basic champagne flutes. Set them out for special occasions — or just because. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Jeff Romaniuk

DIY Takeout Treat Box

Surprise your sweetheart with a crafty Chinese takeout box full of white chocolate-dipped fortune cookies covered in candy heart-shaped sprinkles. That's better than real takeout any day. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Sequin-Covered Cupid's Arrow Wreath

Not sure how to say "be mine"? Let this sequin-covered wreath do the talking. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Photo by Jeff Romaniuk

Love Letters

Use inexpensive chipboard or wooden letters to spell out a sweet word for your valentine. Colorful, patterned scrapbook paper dresses up each letter, creating a memorable, year-round mantel or wall display. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Etched Wineglasses

Spice up a romantic tablescape with customized etched glasses that feature pet names, inside jokes, hearts or phrases just between the two of you. That's definitely a gift you can't find in stores. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Upcycled Heart T-Shirt Dress

Turn two old t-shirts into a child's play dress. Use a heart stamp and fabric ink to add a holiday-inspired pattern she can wear for the big day and all year round, too. Get the step-by-step instructions on DIYNetwork.com.

Love Bugs

Use fabric scraps to make these stuffed heart-shaped love bugs that are small enough to fit inside your little one's lunchbox. Get the step-by-step instructions from DIYNetwork.com.

Heart-Shaped Wreath

Wrap thick yarn around a heart-shaped foam wreath, and create an arrow embellishment using a dowel rod and felt pieces. Get the step-by-step instructions from HGTV Magazine.

Photo By: J. Muckle

Countdown Paper Chain

Count down the days until Valentine's Day with a pink and red chain made from paper hearts. Starting February 1st, tear off a heart each day until the 14th. Get the step-by-step instructions on DIYNetwork.com.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer ©ten22 studio 2013

Play Dough Valentines

Skip the cheesy, store-bought valentines this year, and give these homemade gifts a try. Use a simple play dough recipe and a heart-shaped cookie cutter, and package each individually in glassine bags. Kids and classmates will love their crafted surprise. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Pretty Paper Flowers

Use color and patterned paper flowers add style to Valentine's Day gifts, attire and hairpieces. All you need is paper, scissors and a hot-glue gun to churn out these blooming beauties. Get the step-by-step instructions on DIYNetwork.com.

Photo By: Rennai Hoefer ©ten22 studio 2013

His + Her Throw Pillows

You'll never have to claim your side of the bed ever again with these personalized his-and-her throw pillows. Get the step-by-step instructions on DIYNetwork.com.

Doily Treat Cup for Kids

Turn inexpensive paper doilies into sweet treat cups perfect for filling with candy or a cupcake. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Hand-Dyed Bouquet

You can never go wrong with flowers. Give them a handmade touch by hand-dying a bouquet in your sweetheart's favorite color(s). Get the step-by-step instructions.

Neon-Dipped Flowerpot

Dress up a simple ceramic flowerpot with bold and colorful neon paint. Use painter's tape to add color to just the bottom for a color-block look. Add their favorite flower or succulent to brighten up a cold winter garden.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Lexy Ward of The Proper Pinwheel

Doily Dream Catcher

Use meaningful, secondhand pieces to create a one-of-a-kind dream catcher for a loved one. Pretty decorative accessories, like feathers, stones and heirloom jewelry, will make the perfect customized gift. Get the step-by-step instructions.

© 2012 Etsy.com

Playful Cupcake Toppers

Give homemade cupcakes an even sweeter touch with personalized toppers. Cut out heart shapes, add a message for your valentine and embellish with rhinestones, glitter or ribbon. Get the step-by-step instructions.

Instead of Heart-Shaped Jewelry...



Try Heart-Shaped String Art. For the Valentine who already has plenty of bling, try adding some sparkle to her home with this easy DIY string art. Metallic thread against a bright pink backdrop makes a major statement.

Instead of a Store-Bought Card...

On the Line

On the Line

Transform a blank wall into a drying rack with red and white kitchen twine, origami hearts and clothespins. Write the name of each guest onto heart-shaped pieces of card stock, and hang on the line to identify everyone's work. Completed valentine cards display beautifully and create a playful backdrop as they dry.

...Try a Handmade Card. Get crafty and decorate cardstock with Scrabble tiles, Bingo boards, glitter and more. If it doesn't turn out perfect, that just adds to the charm. Browse the gallery below to find more DIY card ideas.

11 Handmade Valentine's Day Card Ideas

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Sweet Turtle Shell

Muster up the courage to let your crush know just how you feel with this bold card that reads, "You really bring me out of my shell." Get the instructions.

Candy Necklaces

Kids will love making these fun and easy edible valentines for their friends using licorice laces and gummy ring candy. Get the instructions.

Cupid's Arrow

Send off your tasty homemade treats with a trendy Cupid's arrow card tucked inside.

Photo By: Kori Clark

Made From Scratch

Host a Valentine's Day card-making party with a group of your dearest friends, and use a variety of craft supplies to create one-of-a-kind cards for loved ones.

Covered in Glitter

Made + Remade blogger Emily Fazio says, "while an unofficial poll of six year olds tells me that store-bought packs of cards are the way to go in the public school system, I still think our friends and family really appreciate and adore our DIY efforts." We love them, too!

Get Creative

Use Scrabble tiles, Bingo boards, postcards and sparkling gems to decorate card stock, creating unique homemade cards they'll cherish for years to come.

Biggest Fan

Send a loving and heartwarming message to your sweetheart with a homemade card from their "biggest fan." Get the instructions.

Play Dough Hearts

Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to turn homemade play dough into adorable valentines for kids to hand out to friends and classmates. Get the instructions.

Be Mine

Craft up a handmade gift, then attach one of these stylish "be mine" cards for a sweet finishing touch.

Photo By: Kori Clark

Bejeweled Hearts

Download and print this elegant valentine for that special someone, then embellish with ribbon and rhinestones.

Love Birds

This darling card is perfect for your other half. Simply download and print onto card stock, then embellish with ribbon and a button.

Instead of Store-Bought Valentines...



...Try Homemade Play Dough Valentines. The kids will love helping you make these fun Valentines that are sure to impress their friends and classmates.

Instead of a Spa Gift Card...



Photo by: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Kimberly Finkel Davis

...Try a Romantic At-Home Spa Day. Everyone loves a day at the spa, but for something a bit more personal, try setting up a romantic spa date at home. Pull out all the stops with candles, essential oils, cucumber water and light snacks.

How to Create a Romantic Stay-at-Home Spa

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Setting the Mood

Create a clean, serene space by placing aromatherapy candles of various heights around the bathtub, and placing fresh, out-of-the-dryer warm towels off to the side. Incorporate organic tones and natural elements for an authentic spa atmosphere.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Roses Aren't Always Red

This romantic holiday wouldn’t be the same without cupid’s favorite flower. Stop by your local flower market, and pick up a bundle of white roses. Pick out a few stems to place in a white or clear vessel for a clean decorative touch. With the remaining stems, gently pull the petals from their buds and set aside in a bowl by the tub.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Rose Water

To give your spa date a soothing vibe, draw a warm bath — studies show that 105 de-grees is the optimal temperature for most people. Once the tub is filled, add a touch of romance, and perfume the air by scattering a handful of rose petals on the surface.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Stay-Home Essentials

Add infused salts and essential oils to the running water to create a therapeutic bath for you and your Valentine’s date. Once dissolved, they’ll ease tension, relax muscles and melt away stress. Not only will you create a spa-like experience — you’ll also be left feeling supple and replenished fresh out of the tub.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Tension Tamer

Spend some quality time with your special someone by offering up relaxing spa treatments. Use essential oils or your favorite body lotion to treat your honey to a neck, back or foot massage. Simply place a dime size amount in the palm of your hand and, using kneading motions, move in the direction of the heart to stimulate blood flow. Who knows, they might just return the favor!

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Happy and Hydrated

There’s no better way to celebrate than with a delicious libation. A refreshing cucumber cooler will help authenticate your at-home spa date with its hydrating qualities. Plus, it could not be easier to make! Combine ginger vodka, lemon juice, a touch of agave syrup and cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the cucumbers slightly to release their maximum flavor, and then shake, shake, shake! Pour the cocktail into low glasses, top off with sparkling water, and enjoy!

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Fresh and Clean

For a light, palate-cleansing snack that’s super healthy and easy to prepare, serve up a plate of radish and lemon aioli tea sandwiches. Just cut the crusts off of thin, white bread, spread a light layer of lemon aioli on the slice, then place thinly sliced radishes on top. Garnish with cilantro, then cut the slice on the diagonal to create perfect triangular tea sandwiches.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Veggie Rejuvenation

To really round out the full spa experience, indulge in this guilt-free twist on a main course. This satisfying roasted veggie, bean, and herb salad can’t be beat. Not only does the salad fit the good-for-you bill, it’s also colorful, pretty and delicious!

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Nature's Antioxidant

No Valentine’s Day is complete without a dessert, and these decadent cake balls are the perfect combination: chocolate on chocolate. These sexy snacks are full of antioxidants — experts say that a little bit of chocolate each day actually has health benefits!

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

Sit Back & Relax

The candles have been lit, the food’s been prepped, the cucumber cooler has been poured, and the roses are perfectly placed. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy this stress-free spa date with the one you love.

Photo By: Kimberly Finkel Davis

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Let that special someone know exactly how you feel with this sweet turtle card that reads, "You really bring me out of my shell."

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