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 February 1, 2013  Posted by  Expired
york jar (4)

Valentine’s Day is coming up and if you want give your sweeties (or friends) some sweets, go beyond the heart-shaped box and get creative with items you already have around the house. Add their favorite candy and cute sayings, and you’ll have cute, upcycled Valentine’s Day gifts that they’ll appreciate.

Upcycled Candy Jars

The first project reuses empty jars from the kitchen. Save your peanut butter, jelly or pickle jars and wash them out very well. If the food scent remains, try shaking up some white vinegar in the jar to neutralize the odor. The easiest way I’ve found to remove sticky labels is to wet a cloth or paper towel with white vinegar, wrap it around the label and let it sit for 15 minutes or more. The label and adhesive should peel off pretty easily and whatever doesn’t come off can be rubbed off with the cloth. If the adhesive is particularly strong, you may need to repeat the treatment.

All that’s left to do is decorate and add candy. If you’re feeling particularly creative, cut out letters from a magazine to make a ransom-style saying. This took longer than expected, but would be a good job for kids. I stuck my letters on Glad Press’n Seal wrap while I was cutting them out so I could keep everything together. You can also print out cute sayings and decorations to attach to the jar. Make up a personalized saying or use one that coordinates with the candy inside, like these (or Google for others):

  • York My Favorite: York Peppermint Patties
  • Love You to Pieces: Reese’s Pieces
  • We’re Mint to Be: gum or mints
  • Happy Valentine’s Day, Toots:  Tootsie Rolls
  • You’re a Catch: Swedish Fish
  • Lots of Reese’s Why I Love/Like You: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Hugs and Kisses: Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses
  • You’re a star in my galaxy: Milky Ways
  • You stole my heart: conversation hearts

Upcycled Candy Rolls

If you don’t want to use jars or want to make several smaller gifts, save your empty toilet paper rolls. This craft is even easier than the jars because you don’t need to wash or remove labels. Just wrap the toilet paper roll with tissue paper or newspaper and decorate with your preferred saying or hearts. To close, twist and tie one end with string, add candy, and tie the other end. I would recommend using wrapped candy for this since toilet paper rolls aren’t food-grade cardboard or resealable.

Looking for non-candy homemade gift ideas? Better Homes and Gardens has more than 30 handmade Valentine’s gifts with instructions.

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Val McCauley

Val McCauley was drawn to writing about Living on the Cheap after moving to Columbus from her small hometown after college. She realized that there were a ton of events and activities going on around the city, but there wasn't a website that made it easy to find out about these things. Her love of travel and desire to get out of debt after college cemented the need to live on less while still having fun. Over the last several years, she has paid off all of her debt and still has fun. In her free time, she loves to workout, play sports, and cook gluten-free meals. Val is the owner and operator of Columbus on the Cheap and That’s What We Did.

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