What could be sweeter than a homemade Valentine's Day surprise? Whether it's mom-to-kid or toddler-to-older-sibling (or even spouse-to-spouse), a gift with a personal handcrafted touch is sure to get an "Awww" response. The good news is that you don't have to be super crafty to put together the following items. (Plus, you can buy what you need on your next Food Lion grocery run.)
1. Lollipop bouquet. You can't get any simpler than this. Buy some red and pink lollipops of various sizes (Dum-Dums, Chupa Chups, or Tootsie Roll Pops all work) and tape "stems" together with green masking tape. Tie a big bow around the bottom and attach a homemade card. Voila: Instant love.
2. Celery painting. This is a craft that even the smallest child can make, with a little grown-up help. Cut several celery stalks evenly across the bottom. Dip the cut ends into a saucer of red paint. Then use the painted end of the celery to stamp flowers onto brown paper (use cut-up grocery bags.) Mom or Dad can add the greeting for little ones who can't write yet.
3. Marshmallow pops. Take 20 large marshmallows, 2 cups of chocolate chips, red and pink sprinkles, 4 teaspoons canola oil, and 20 lollipop or popsicle sticks. Put a stick into each marshmallow. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips for about a minute, stirring halfway through. Mix in the canola oil. Dip the marshmallows into the chocolate, covering two-thirds of the way. Put the sprinkles into a bowl, and dip the chocolate-covered end of the marshmallow into the sprinkles. Let the treats sit for a few minutes until the sprinkles have set.
4. Conversation heart photo frame. Take an inexpensive wood frame and paint it pink or red. Glue conversation candy hearts to it (any pattern will do). Insert the photo of your choice.
5. Candy kabobs. Take some bamboo skewers and a variety of soft, chewy candy such as gummy bears, Sour Patch Kids, jelly hearts, soft Lifesavers, or gumdrops. Thread the candy onto the skewers (they're sharp on one end, so watch little fingers). Push the top piece of candy only halfway onto the skewer, so the sharp end doesn't poke out. Put the kabobs into clear plastic bags and tie off with a red ribbon.
6. Homemade truffles. Truffles taste so indulgent, and yet they are super easy to make. Start with 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. Bring ½ cup of heavy cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Let sit a couple minutes and then whisk till smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour. Form into balls with your hands, and then roll in coatings like crushed peppermint candies, pink sprinkles, cocoa powder, or finely chopped nuts. Place in tiny pink-and-red foil candy holders and store in a cardboard egg carton. Tie it off with a red bow and you'll have a gift that is sure to please.