You'd think that once you got past the December holidays, it would be possible to skate by for a while without having to craft any themed decorations. You would be wrong. For DIY bloggers and people who actually get enthusiastic about vaguely pagan cultural holidays (like Halloween), Valentine's Day is a reason to deck the halls with red, white, pink, hearts, and chocolate.
What does S. Valentine have to do with hearts and cupid wings? About as much as S. Patrick has to do with green beer. Some sources say that Valentine's day is a holiday commemorating the martyrdom of S. Valentine; others say that it is the Christianization of a Roman pagan holiday that celebrated fertility. In either case, written Valentines showed up in the 1400's, and it became a popular holiday celebrated by the common folk in the 1700's. So, all of you who will be enjoying boxes of chocolate on February 14th have a Christian martyr (possibly) or a Roman pagan fertility holiday (possibly) to thank for your candy.
Knowing a smidgen about the origins of Valentine's Day should make you feel better if you don't happen to "have a Valentine". There is no reason to hang your head and cry, nor to rush to your nearest bar to find someone to be your Valentine, unless you are really jazzed up to celebrate the memory of the murder of S. Valentine, or alternately the Roman festival of Lupercalia.
I realize that I am supposed to be writing about recycled V-day decor projects right now, and that I totally just launched off on a tangent. I really just need you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that you are OK the way you are. You are not a loser if you are single and have no Valentine. You are great; you are loveable; at the right time, you will meet your husband, wife, life partner, electrician, plumber, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. Who cares if your coworker gets a giant bouquet of flowers from her gentleman caller delivered to her desk? One day they will be miserable together, and they will break up, and she will come into the office eating bags of nacho cheese flavored chips to dull the pain. If you don't want to buy into this holiday that makes so many people miserable and lonely, I personally give you permission not to.
But if you do want to red, white, and chocolate it up, well then it's a perfect time of year for another DIY project made from recycled materials!
DIY Wine Cork Heart: I hope you've been saving your wine corks for DIY projects! This project is an artistic rendering of a heart shape, done in painted wine corks and framed. It was thought up and posted by Kristen, from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, exercises her handyman skills near San Diego, and blogs about her projects.
Peppermint Valentine Hearts: You know that bag of red and white peppermint hard candies that is sitting in your desk drawer getting stale? Now's the time to turn it into something cute. This project involves melting peppermint candies in heart-shaped molds.
Painted Valentine Rocks: This project rocks! (I couldn't resist.) You know how your kid insisted on bringing home a bag of rocks from the beach last summer, which he has never once opened to play with? If you stamp them with letter stamps dipped in craft paint, they will look like something expensive and romantic, except they are only rocks.
Upcycled X-mas Decor Valentine's Wreath: You're about to be transported to glue gun heaven. Whatever decorations you have hanging around from X-mas can be artistically glued to a heart-shaped wreath. Are you feeling the love yet?
DIY Metalwork Valentine: This involves all kinds of cutting metal and a lot of epoxy. It's time to get ready for some heavy metal love.
With all that said, I must be going. Remember: You are not a loser if you don't have a Valentine. You're a winner because you recycle.
Chaya Kurtz writes for Networx.com.