Say “I Love You” with Handmade Gifts

Handkerchiefs have been a token of love for centuries. Made lovingly for men by their thoughtful gals, jousted for as tokens by brave Knights, a handkerchief is a gift that today can be made for either. Now guys, don’t be afraid to show a sensitive side by picking up a needle and thread.

Before you start make sure you have:

Handkerchief Pencil or tailor’s pen Embroidery floss Embroidery needle Embroidery hoop Temporary spray adhesive Iron

1. Decide what you want to embroider. Do you want to do his initials or a phrase that is special to you both. Also use this time to decide on the font you would like to use.

2. Draw out what you are stitching on the handkerchief. Use the pencil or tailor’s pen. This is where you decide exactly how you want it to look and can wash away any of mistakes.

5. Secure your handkerchief in the hoop using temporary spray adhesive. You want to keep you fabric taut in the hoop. This will make it easier to sew.

6. Begin sewing! I find the split stitch works best for most basic designs. To get started thread you needle with a strand of your floss. Tie the end together so you have two threads being pulled through. After you complete your first stitch you will pull the second through the two strands of the first. This is why it is called a split stitch. Feel free to search through Yahoo! For more embroidery stitches.

7. Once you complete your design wash away the adhesive and iron flat.

8. There you have it, a unique gift perfect for your love.

Chocolate is an iconic part of Valentines Day. This year instead of running out with $10 and little to no thought consider making chocolates for your loved one. One of my most cherished memories of Valentine’s day is making chocolate with my sister for us to give our boyfriends. It’s fun, quick and easy. It also shows a little more thought and care than a box I could swing by Walgreens for.

Before you start make sure you have:

Melting chocolate Chocolate molds Microwaveable bowl Ziplock bag Rubber spatula Contain of your choice for chocolates 1. Follow the instructions of your melting chocolate. I prefer using the microwave over double boiler because it’s a tad more forgiving. Make sure your utensils have NO WATER on them. It will cause your chocolate to curdle and you will not have a pleasant texture. 2. Once your chocolate is melted scoop into ziplock bag. Cut the corner and use as you might a frosting bag. This will result in less air holes and gaps in your chocolates. Squeeze into the chocolate molds you picked out. 3. Once the molds are full place in the freezer. Leave for 20 minutes. 4. After 20 minutes check on your chocolate. If it is complete cold then you can remove from the freezer. Remember it is better to leave your chocolate in longer rather than try to remove it too soon. 5. Gently tap on the molds and they should fall right out. Place within your box and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to gift.

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