Sure, it's not for everybody, but for those who love the holiday of kissy-face and candy, decorating for Feb. 14 can be about as much fun as the day itself.
So, how to make your home ready for the great Hallmark holiday of love?
Here, five Valentine's Day decorations you can put together yourself with a little effort and a lot of anticipatory joy.
First, shed a bit of deliciousness on the day …
A multi-holed disc (or square, rectangle, whatever) and a bag of Hershey's kisses are all you need to make a lovey-dovey, light-catching "chandelier."
A shower-drain cover from the hardware store will do, or you could even use the hanging base of an old set of wind chimes. String the kisses (like you would popcorn for a Christmas tree) on different lengths of string, tie them to your base, string the base from a hook in the ceiling and you've got yourself a chandelier of kisses. Make sure not to hang it too close to a heat source, lest your kisses melt.
Best yet, on Feb. 15, you can start eating your décor.
Next up, your very own parade of roses …
Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" quite like the red rose. Overdone? Perhaps. But still, it just screams "love!" So freshen up the old standby with some rustic elegance: a line of silver-potted roses along the mantle.
You can find mini red-rose bushes in 4-inch pots at any nursery, most big-box stores and in many supermarkets. Buy a bunch, perhaps six, and pick up some silver tin pots at a craft store (or spray paint some 4-inch clay pots in metallic silver). Line them up above the fireplace for a lovely reworking of a V-day classic.
Next, a sweet sound …
This one is a simple project for one of those snowy February days, and it opens the door to all sorts of creativity. It starts out a lot like the chocolate chandelier but ends up being a set of Valentine's Day wind chimes. It'll delight the ears even as it lets your neighbors know just how timely you are with your décor.
Instead of stringing candy, hang strands of large wood, tin or other sound-making objects (washers, bells and wooden beads will all do) from the frame. Hang them closely so they collide easily with a light breeze. Intersperse heart-shaped and/or shiny red beads along the strand to make your chimes holiday-specific, and hang them where they'll catch a bit of wind.
Up next: Be mine.
Those old-school candy hearts that say "Be Mine," "I Love You," and "Maybe" have the staying power of, well, candy: They've been around for decades. And guess what? They'll hold a candle.
You can make some Valentine's Day candleholders to top a dining-table runner, line a mantle, or top off a coffee table with some light. It's about as simple as it gets: Pour those little candy hearts into any size glass cylinder, and insert a candle. Mix up the sizes for added interest.
Just don't plan on eating the candy afterward, since the melting wax will most likely do a number on the sugary treats.
Finally, the focal point of the day.
Just as a romantic meal can be the Valentine's pièce de résistance, a romantic centerpiece can be the finishing touch that pulls your holiday décor together. You can make a fun but still elegant centerpiece in no time at all.
Start with a round mirror, and place a low, silver vase holding red flowers in the center. Then, sprinkle the mirror with rose petals (or any flower petal that's fairly round) -- go with something a little wild, like yellow or peach or purple. At the center of each petal, place a single, silver Hershey's Kiss, so the mirror is topped with brightly framed candy, all framing the flowers. It's a great combination of traditional and artistic.
Above all, remember that you can celebrate Valentine's Day with any Valentine you want. A meal with a bunch of beloved friends is just as festive as a table for two. So get your decorating done early and enjoy the love.
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